Lehigh Valley

The booming business of pool sales in the Lehigh Valley

With the hot weather we've been having, most of us would probably love to be lying by a pool.

Building them is big business.

WFMZ spoke to two local builders about some surprising trends in the industry.

Michael Beani, owner of American Pools & Spas, got into the business by accident.

"I knew not one thing about a spa or a pool, not one thing," he said.

He started off selling decks.

"And so people were asking us, 'yeah, I like the deck, can you do the pool?'" he said. "I just jumped into it because I thought the opportunity was there."

He said sales have been steady the last 20 years, except twice: after 9/11 and the financial crisis. But not for the reason you might think.

"Those two years were actually our two best years. And the reason is that everybody stayed home," he said.

Sales dipped slightly for more expensive in-ground pools, but above-ground went sky high. He has a simple theory.

"If I'm gonna spend $2,000 or $3,000 I might as well put it into something that will last you know years instead of a one-time trip, and they were afraid to go away," he speculates.

Tony Caciolo, who owns Monogram Custom Homes & Pools, also took a roundabout path to pool building. He started in home construction.

"We started about 10 years ago building custom pools because the customers we were building houses for, most of them wanted pools," he said.

They are high-end, costing $60,000 up into the mid-hundreds of thousands. They're also automated.

"Our customers don't have to add chlorine, they don't have to add shock," he said. "They can control it from an iPhone."

The people who hire him have money to spend, and he says business is better than ever.

"The average price range of houses has gone up over the years, as has swimming pools," he said. "The days of building the simple basic kidney shaped pool, we don't see that anymore."

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