The concept of a “staycation” coupled with a slowdown in the home construction market spurred members of the Kohles family of Johnston to open Aqua Oasis Pool and Spa.
“With a custom building background, we wanted to cater to customers as a one-stop-shop, keeping in mind the ‘staycations’ people were taking,” A.J. Kohles said. “As people were building three- and four-season rooms, they might want to put a hot tub in there or a pool in their backyard instead of going on a family vacation to Florida.”
Being a family-owned business from the Johnston area, Kohles said they strive to offer the best quality product at the most affordable price around town. They recently showcased their products at the Iowa State Fair.
“There were seven different companies inside and outside the Varied Industries building,” Kohles said. “It’s definitely busy at the fair, especially since a lot of manufacturers offer special incentives or perks during fair time. We deliver to customers in a 50- to 60-mile radius. We’ve also taken on some new lines from companies, so we have even more to offer customers.”
Kohles shared more about the pool and spa business with the Register:
Q: Who are the majority of your customers seeking pools and hot tubs?
From families to baby boomers. Families want to swim at home while some baby boomers seek hot tubs for their hydrotherapy that aids in relieving arthritis and joint pain relief. They’re also popular simply because people want a nice hot tub to entertain in.
Q: How are hot tubs popular year-round?
Ninety percent of our customers put them outside. Because they are portable spas and pre-plumbed, all you have to do is run electric to them. The best time to get in them is in the fall, winter and spring evenings. We love it when people tell us they used their hot tub one night when it was 10 below and snowing and how it was one of the best experiences they’d had.
Q: What is the most popular hot tub?
It really depends upon the use, whether for entertaining or health reasons. People want to get into a hot tub at the cheapest price while still having a quality tub. We offer a really sharp hot tub that no one else in the area offers.
Q: What is the most popular pool?
Above-ground pools are more popular than in-ground, simply because of the price point more than anything. You can get into most above-ground pools for under $10,000 and most in-ground pools start at $25,000. Above-ground pools also can be partially submerged into the ground.
Q: What has changed about pools and hot tubs?
If people haven’t owned either one in the last 10 years, they are now very energy efficient. A lot of hot tubs are virtually close to being a maintenance-free system and it doesn’t take as much upkeep as one might expect. There’s also different chemical systems that make things easier when owning a pool. A lot of people are putting in a chlorine generator, which basically is a saltwater system. It takes sodium chloride and the generator turns it into chlorine, so it’s continuously being treated. The technology has evolved in the last five or 10 years with pools, too, and they really aren’t that expensive or difficult to maintain.