Photography by Kirk Grant Photography
When Michael Charles found himself in Vail, Colo., in 1976, his aspirations had more to do with skiing than building a business. But after working a variety of jobs to support his ski habit, he saw an opportunity.
For extra cash, he acted as caretaker and manager for “very high-end, sophisticated homes that had pools and spas,” Charles recalls. “I thought this could be something I could do for a business.” In 1981, he formally labeled the business Maximum Comfort Pool & Spa, and in 1984 incorporated it — “and it became what it is today.”
Today, the company builds pools and water features; constructs outdoor kitchens and patios; and sells hot tubs, fitness equipment, billiards, grills, patio furniture and other outdoor-living products. “We’re kind of all the big toys,” Charles says.
Its maintenance and service department makes Maximum Comfort different from other hot tub and pool businesses. High-end resort areas like Vail have a plethora of what Charles calls “absentee owners,” so the company is often caring for its customers’ products year-round.
“One of the things we focus on is servicing and maintaining those properties on an absentee basis,” he says, adding that Maximum has in the vicinity of 1,800 active service accounts, maybe more depending
on customers who go on and off the service as they need. It also offers service 24/7 to make sure its exacting customers can always reach someone if need be.
“We serve a very high-end clientele,” says Michael’s wife Sara Charles, who also works in the business. “They demand our customer service to be very hands-on and high-touch. Maximum has always been outstanding in its customer service and dedication to making it right for the customer. That’s why we’ve had such a flourishing service department.”