Wellness Authority

Vince Wuebker doesn’t sell hot tubs, he’s an advocate for them


Nothing comes between Vince Wuebker and providing the benefits of a hot tub to his customers. 

“We can handle the cold,” Wuebker says. “But if a customer buys a hot tub and there’s 10 feet of snow in the backyard, we might not be able to deliver it until May or June. The hot tub’s a wellness machine, so why wait till the summer to get it? Let’s put it in your garage where you can start using it now and get the wellness benefits of hot water.”

Most dealers avoid return trips to move already delivered hot tubs, but Wuebker says, “It’s just what we do.”

Selling Hot Tubs

Wuebker owns HotSpring Spas & Pool Tables 2 with locations in Fargo, Grand Forks and Bismarck, North Dakota. He grew up on a farm in southern Minnesota, which his parents lost while he was in college. The family’s next venture — a hot tub business. 

Wuebker occasionally helped but had little interest in the store. He went to work at Gateway, which was headquartered in North Sioux City, South Dakota, until its 1998 move to California. Wuebker saw the writing on the wall and found himself back in the hot tub industry. 

“I went from working with 5,000 employees in the computer tech industry to sitting in a 1,200 [square] foot showroom by myself not knowing my head from my toes in the business,” he says. “The first year, I hated it.”

But he decided if he was going to work in the industry, he was going to do it right. Wuebker looked around the Watkins network of dealers and pinpointed the top 10%. “I’m just going to try to be like them,” he remembers thinking. “That started the ball in the right direction.”

Finally, I’m like, ‘We do the things that allow you to use this more. And if you use it more, you’re better physically below the water, you’re better mentally above the water and you’re better relationally beyond the water.”

Vince Wuebker

Wuebker bought his parents’ Watertown, South Dakota, store he was managing, bought another store in Aberdeen and started one in Pierce. But it wasn’t an ideal competitive landscape with another Hot Spring dealer close by. 

“I felt moving to Fargo would isolate the brand, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the same competitor that close,” he says. “That’s exactly what happened.”

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Selling Wellness

Moving to Fargo and opening HotSpring Spas & Pool Tables 2 was a turning point for Wuebker, but there was a bigger one to come. In 2014, Wuebker made a New Year’s resolution to stop selling hot tubs and start selling “every day made better.” Hot tubs, Wuebker says, are a commodity; “every day made better” is an aspirational way of living and feeling.

Easy to say, not as easy to do. Even though he had made that his mission, it wasn’t until April of that year that it really started clicking. Wuebker was giving his usual sales pitch to a woman at a home show covering all the things that made Hot Spring and his business different than the competitors. 

Hear Wuebker The SpaRetailer Podcast

“It’s not resonating,” he says. “Finally, I’m like, ‘We do the things that allow you to use this more. And if you use it more, you’re better physically below the water, you’re better mentally above the water and you’re better relationally beyond the water. It’s probably the greatest wellness product in the state of North Dakota. And we do the things that allow you to take advantage of that.’ ” 

That messaging hit home to Wuebker and his customers. Now he lives and breathes that idea not just to his employees and customers but to almost everyone he meets. At a Vikings football game, he even sold three hot tubs to the fans around him. 

“If you believe it, which I do, it’s a difference-maker,” he says. “It’s a life-changing product.”

Now, it’s what HotSpring Spas & Pool Tables 2 is known for throughout the community. “They know we’re not just a hot tub store, but we’re about wellness and every day made better,” Wuebker says. And he doesn’t see a sales slowdown anywhere in his future.

“It’s real,” he says. “What the hot tub and sauna do for you wellness-wise is real. So, in my very strong opinion, there’s nowhere to go but up. It’s only going to get better.”

Hear Wuebker on The SpaRetailer Podcast

Photography by Hailey Morrow