Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pacific Pools - Who We Are

Welcome to the official launch of the Pacific Pools blog! This is where I would like to introduce you to Pacific Pools. Let me start by telling you who we are and how we got started.

Pacific Pools was founded in 1956 by Merrill Laven, father of our current President and CEO, Mark Laven. Merrill originally sold home improvement products and vinyl-lined, wood-wall pools under the name Pacific Pools.

Initially, growth was through the expansion of the retail pool business and Pacific Pools became one of the largest pool builders in the country with locations in Syracuse, NY, Hartford, CT, Providence, RI, Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA.

The 1960’s was a time of change and it was no different for Pacific Pools. Frustrated that manufacturers weren’t responsive to what consumers wanted, Pacific Pools got into the manufacturing side of the business to develop new products to best meet the needs of consumers.

Pacific Pools opened our first steel pool manufacturing plant in 1965, and one year later, the first steel walk-in steps system in a vinyl-liner pool was offered. This gave consumers the option of adding steps in addition to ladders. Pacific Pools ended the decade by offering the first vinyl liner with a tile motif at the waterline. Prior to this, pool liners were only available in white or blue and consumers asked for more choices.

Pacific Pools can proudly boast a number of “firsts” based on customer focus, with our continuous development of new products and the enhancement of existing products!

In 1972 Pacific Pools opened its own liner manufacturing plant. Initially, all liners were sourced from a supplier in California. A facility in the east cut delivery times, shipping costs and made liners more readily available and gave us the option to offer consumers more of what they wanted. In 1973, the first polymer pool component - the K-brace was rolled out. This brace was the first totally non-corrosive component available. In 1975, the all-resin inground pool made its debut, again non-corrosive. In 1976 Pacific Pools followed up with the first structural polymer pool that incorporates the wall, coping and liner track into modular pool panels. Still not satisfied to sit back and watch, the first one-piece thermoplastic step in the industry was unveiled in 1979! Unlike steel steps, it doesn’t need to be bolted together and assured a wrinkle free step area.

All of these innovative, pioneering products led to the emergence of Pacific Pools as one of he leading manufacturers in the industry.

The 1980’s were highlighted by ownership changes. In 1982 brothers Mark and Robert Laven and three other partners acquired the company from their father and expanded the company into custom molding. Then, in 1987 they bought out their partners. The 1980’s ended with the Cookson Group acquiring the company and Pacific Industries became the principal business of Cookson’s Recreational Products Division.

The 1990’s brought more changes. Pacific Pools expanded from manufacturing to include distribution. Shortly after, the TES Support System (Total Encapsulated Support) was added to the product line. This pioneering patented system encapsulates tread supports in pool steps for optimum tread support and strength. Pacific Pools followed up with the 3D liner patterns that offer realistic tile images for liners. This revolutionized the vinyl liner segment of the pool industry. Prior to the introduction of 3D liner patterns, all liner patterns were 1 dimensional and visually flat.
Mark Laven left the company in the early 1990’s, but in 2001, he reacquired the company along with two private equity investors, Summer Street Capital and HSBC Capital Canada.

This new decade continued the tradition of new product offerings and growth. In 2004 we introduced the Wedding Cake Step, the first one-piece molded inside step. The Wedding Cake Step was designed for the vinyl over application on new construction, but it was also perfect for renovation because it can be dropped into an existing pool.

TruTile (Perimeter Tile System) was added to the product line a year later. It is the first system that attaches to the pool wall allowing real ceramic tile to be applied at the waterline of a vinyl liner pool, combining the beauty of tile with the low maintenance of a vinyl liner. In addition, we developed a water-tight patented bead system on the TruTile extrusion that allows the vinyl liner to be hung underwater. This system eliminates waterline discoloration and extends the life of the liner.

The decade closed with the introduction of the Personal Hydrotherapy seat, allowing consumers to interchange massaging JetPak configurations to fit their own personal style!

Under President and CEO Mark Laven’s guidance and through acquisitions, Pacific Pools has continued to expand and grow. Pacific Pools, under the Latham International umbrella, has become the largest manufacturer of inground packaged pool components in North America! Continually striving to “outdo” ourselves and remain customer focused and dedicated to delivering exceptional products, and by developing innovations in materials, technology, design, customer service and marketing, Pacific Pools has had a significant impact on the evolution of the pool industry!

Our products are sold and installed by pool builders who are members of our “Showcase” network of dealers. All of our pools are backed by an outstanding warranty program. (Click here to visit our warranty site). Our corporate headquarters remain in Latham, NY where it all started!

Come back often to visit with us and learn what other surprises we have in store for you! Remember, Nothing’s As Cool As A Pool!

My name is Denise Mickalonis and I have been with Pacific Pools since July 2003. I am the Marketing Communications Specialist and I will be sharing information with you. I welcome your comments and questions.

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