The Barrie Area’s Hot Tub Craze + Tips For New Buyers

Barrie Area Hot Tub

Take a drive in practically any neighbourhood of Barrie, and chances are you’ll pass a hot tub store. Why do we have such a high concentration of these businesses in our area, and what questions should you ask before you buy your hot tub?

The Booming Local Hot Tub Market

“Does our population support the 20+ hot tub stores in this town?” asks Hans Kissmann at Georgian Hot Tubs, Barrie. “Absolutely not.” Kissmann continues, “Barrie has become a hub for all those little outlying communities.” Our commuter population may also be part of it, says Kissmann. “We are a bedroom community with a lot of people who travel to and from Toronto every day. They commute and when they get home they want to sit at home, rest, and relax.”

David Benjafield at Arctic Spas Barrie adds that it’s also about Barrie’s “climate and access to cottage country.” Meagan Hannan at Hot Tub Mart, Innisfil similarly adds: “It has to do with the housing market and average family incomes, but also being in cottage country means there’s a lot more outdoor activities here regardless.”

Questions to Consider: Materials and Services

Kissmann advises that you ensure your hot tub was manufactured in Canada. “If you’re putting one of these units in your backyard for the next twenty years, you want to know that it’s going to be supported.”  Benjafield adds, “Arctic Spas are built in Canada, made for Canada, and built in Canadian dollars. There’s no surplus or exchange rate having to be worked into the price of the hot tub.”

But Hannan emphasizes that just because it’s manufactured in Canada doesn’t guarantee its quality, particularly with insulation. “Our tubs are made in Mexico, but we foam-fill our tubs with the highest quality insulation,” says Hannan. “Do your homework, ask to look in the tub and see the insulation.”

Barrie Area Hot Tub

Services after purchase are also essential to consider. “The biggest thing is to go into a local dealer and ask questions,” says Hannan. “Make sure you’re comfortable with who you’re purchasing from. What kind of service do they provide? It’s not just that initial purchase, it’s also the after-market.”

You may be familiar with Hot Tub Parking Lot Sales—pop up markets that sell hot tubs at supposedly discounted prices. “The warning for anyone going to a travelling road show is that they actually charge more, so it’s not a sale,” says Benjafield. “They charge more than we do on a normal basis.” The availability of customer service may also be lacking. “Those parking lot sales in this area have become a lot less popular because of the horror stories afterwards,” says Hannan. “There’s no one locally for customers to contact; that’s where that after-market service is just as important as your initial purchase.”

Maintenance Musts

“I get asked a lot about maintenance, because that’s the area a lot of people don’t know about with hot tubs,” says Hannan. “But I always tell customers, it’s common sense as long as it’s explained to you properly from Day One.” So, how much maintenance should a new buyer expect? “It’s once a week if you want to do it right,” says Benjafield. Kissmann adds, “It depends on typical use and how much you’re willing to work at it and take care of it. Think of water as a puppy,” says Kissmann. “A puppy, if you don’t play with it and don’t groom it, it will come back to bite you one way or the other.”

by Emily Bednarz

Local Links

Georgian Hot Tubs

Arctic Spas Barrie

Hot Tub Mart

Barrie Area Hot Tub

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