After initial launch in Europe, Jacuzzi swim spas are now available in North America
Looking to grow its swim spa presence, Jacuzzi purchased Hydropool in 2017. Bob Rowan, then CEO of Jacuzzi, said at the time that Jacuzzi had been watching the swim spa space for a number of years and saw it as a category “with a ton of opportunity.”
“A very tiny part of our business is swim spas, but we really had no expertise in the category to speak of,” he said.
In addition to the manufacturing capabilities that Hydropool brought to the table, it also had the expertise of more than 20 years of designing swim spas. Tracy Hall, the newly named vice president of global swim spas for Jacuzzi (which Investindustrial purchased last year) and Hydropool, was part of that brain trust and was with Hydropool when it developed its first swim spa in 1995. Now, Hall is leading the unveiling of the first Jacuzzi-branded swim spas, available starting in February.
“The [Jacuzzi] swim spas were launched in Europe last June to test run, just to work the kinks out,” Hall says. “And we made a lot of changes that will affect the entire line worldwide.”
This year, it is releasing three models in North America: the J-19 and J-16 in February and the J-13 in the spring. Though the components are different, the Jacuzzi swim spas borrow the same type of jetted swim system Hydropool is known for. The high-end PowerPro and mid-range PowerActive swim systems will be available on the J-19 and J-16. The lower-end PowerPlay system will be available on the J-13.
“The PowerPro is the perfect swim,” Hall says. “The PowerActive is the perfect pool for the everyday athlete. The PowerPlay is really for everybody who comes in the backyard to have fun. It’s for the kids, they can swim in it, exercise in it, they can have people use it as a hot tub. It’s got a lot of seats in it.”
Hall says the process for developing a Jacuzzi product was unique — they worked with two different design teams to develop all-new molds for the line.
“We had to be sure we’re following the true Jacuzzi philosophy of everything that we put into them,” Hall says. “We had to get everything approved all the way down the line — the molds, the jets, the waterfalls, the pillows, even the seats in them are the same. It’s totally different than anything we’ve ever manufactured. They’re absolutely stunning.”
What makes the Jacuzzi swim spas stand out from the other brands they manufacture, according to Hall, is the focus on massage. “We’re using all the Jacuzzi jets and it’s very heavy on the massage, which is a different unique selling proposition than the SwimLife and Hydropool. Jacuzzi is about the brand first, then the swim and then massage. We’re using all of their intel and bringing it across to the swim spa.”
Adding the Jacuzzi name to a swim spa opens up the market for the company in areas where dealers already sell Hydropool and SwimLife. Plus, Hall says many Jacuzzi dealers hadn’t yet brought swim spas into their showrooms.
“They knew it was a growth category, but they didn’t know which brand to pick and they were waiting to see what would go on when Jacuzzi purchased Hydropool,” Hall says.
Jacuzzi dealers got their first look at the swim spas at the company’s Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, dealer conference in January. The unveiling included a focus on properly displaying a swim spa in a showroom, which Hall says is paramount to a dealer’s success.
To make sure “it’s not just a big box in their showroom,” the company partnered with a manufacturer to create modular decking. This makes it easy to set up a display in the showroom as well as at home shows and other off-site events. “It makes it look like a backyard,” Hall says. The system can also be sold to customers.
While Jacuzzi is the latest of many manufacturers to add swim spas, it certainly won’t be the last. Hall says there is still room in the market for new swim spas, as long as they fit a niche and aren’t just giant hot tubs. She’s found that bringing on swim spas can improve the health of a dealership. “Adding swim spas to a showroom display really helps their hot tub growth as well,” she says. “It takes up room in their showroom, but overall they’re going to sell more hot tubs and they’re going to sell swim spas. When they have more products in their showroom, it brings in more people.”