Rich and Barb Strick took a small side gig and turned it into a three-store retail venture
Photography by Meghan Molin
Rich Strick wanted a hot tub. To help subsidize the cost of buying and owning one, he and his wife Barb figured they could rent it out, moving it to customers’ homes to let them use for a period of time.
“But then it was gone all the time,” Barb Strick says.
Even if that wasn’t the intention, the Stricks found themselves more or less in the hot tub business. The couple, who already operated a construction company, started selling hot tubs from their home and eventually opened a retail store, Aqua Spas, after moving to Fort Collins, Colo.
Now they have expanded to three locations across the Denver suburbs, and cover a wide area that spans parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas.
Strick says it has taken her years, but she is getting close to having the right service-department employees, delivery team and salesmen.
“I have the best sales team I’ve ever had,” she says. “I had to wait 22 years to get there — it’s just a process.”
Included in their team are the family’s three white huskies that come to the store whenever the Stricks are there. “We have customers who come in just to see them,” Strick says. “They’ve helped sell a few hot tubs.”