High demand for pool and hot tubs continues; some retailers sold out until 2022
If you're looking to make a splash this summer with a new pool or spa for the back yard, you're likely out of luck.
At Tropical Pools and Spas in Prescott, the only remaining hot tub on the floor is sold and will be delivered soon.
"We were just notified that if we were to order spas today, that we would be getting them in April of 2022," said owner Jo-Anne Beckstead.
Pools are in the same demand.
"We were telling them that if they were interested in getting a pool towards the end of the summer last year that they should probably get their name on the list now. We were sort of forewarning them," Beckstead said.
"Right now, I've had to tell them that we are sold out for the season. We've reached our limit and we just can't commit to anymore for this year," she added.
Beckstead said this is the first time in the company's 27-year history that they sold all of their pools in March.
"It would take us until August to sell them. Now we're just sold out," Beckstead said.
"We sell anywhere from between 20 and 30 above-grounds and anywhere from two to five in-grounds. We are a small, family-based company and we keep our team small so people know that they are getting the quality of the installation," Beckstead said.
One problem, she says, is that manufacturers are suffering from supply shortages because of the high demand.
"Demand has gone up so much, they just can't keep up, both from a production point of view and a from a supply chain point of view," Beckstead said.
Even pool accessories are getting harder to order.
"We re-ordered already twice for pool heaters so that we now should be fine for the season," Beckstead said. "We wanted to get ahead of that curve and we did the same thing with our filters and pumps."
In Maitland, construction of a new 16x36 in-ground pool at Joe Norton's new home began this week.
The family put the order in at Carefree Pools in Brockville last summer.
"We knew we weren't going to put a pool in until this year at the time. We didn't realize how far in advance we'd have to actually book so luckily we booked it when we did," Norton said.
"Who would have thought it would have taken a global pandemic to kick start the pool industry," he added.
The family is excited to be able to use it this year, and Norton has heard that new installs are now hard to book.
"I think there's supply shortage, there could be logistics issue more than just the shortage on the pool side of it," he said.
"The nice thing is that we've got a mess already (in the back yard) so they are not going to disturb the yard."
Beckstead says they've even had to halt quotes for new pools as well.
"It's too difficult to give quotes because of what's happening from the manufacturing end of things. Raw material is going up so much, so fast," Beckstead said.
"Normally you give a quote and it's good for 30 days. Well, we can't sell something now to put in for next year because we have no idea just what the costs are going to be and it's really not fair to give a quote out for next year," she said.
The store has even received calls from as far as Kelowna, B.C. asking about their pool stock.
"You can only do what you can do," Beckstead said. "Most people are very understanding; they are obviously disappointed but I think it's industry-wide so I think we're all feeling that pain."
While Beckstead said last year was a learning curve, most retailers expected the demand to continue.
"Everybody that is able to get a pool, enjoy it! We hope for a hot summer!"