SIOUX CITY — Despite the uneven weather patterns Siouxland has experienced this summer, local pool vendors say things are going swimmingly at their stores.
“From April on, everybody is thinking of swimming pools and all the outdoor patio stuff and making their backyard a ‘staycation’ (destination) I guess you would call it,” said Cory Davis, manager of Splash City at 409 Singing Hills Blvd.
Davis has managed Splash City’s Sioux City location since 2005. The Sioux Falls-based family-owned chain of recreational specialty stores has had a presence in western Iowa’s largest city for more than 20 years.
Summer weather in Siouxland started out hot, with temperatures soaring into the 90s in late May and early June. Unseasonably cool weather prevailed in the final weeks of the month, with daytime highs mostly in the 70s, and nighttime lows dipping into the 40s.
Last week, the heat returned, with highs in the 90s, and a triple-digit heat index.
No matter the reading on the thermometer, Davis said it’s been business as usual at Splash City, which sells the Doughboy brand of above ground pools.
“April until about now, it’s a 100 miles an hour; it just keeps going and going all summer long,” Davis said. “People need supplies, chemicals, we’ll do water testing.”
Davis seems passionate about his job and noted its more than just pools and spas — the company's biggest seller — being sold there. Brunswick pool tables, other recreation games, decorations, patio furniture and more are sold at Splash City, allowing it to be more than just a summertime business.
Between the two Splash City stores in Sioux Falls and the one in Sioux City, Davis estimated they sell “a couple hundred pools” during the summer.
Amy Traver, manager of Combined Pool & Spa, 4444 S York St., also noted the cool start to summer hasn't impacted her business either. Combined Pool & Spa sells both above ground and in-ground pools.
Most of the pool projects the company is working on this year were booked in the prior year, Traver said.
"We were already busy from the get-go and it definitely helps for sure after the Fourth of July," she said. "Usually, people that put in a pool are thinking about it for next year and they are trying to get on the books for next year."
Dating back more than 40 years, Professional Pool & Spa, 325 W. 23rd St., also deals above ground and in-ground pools. The staff there said things have been as hectic for them as it has been for their competitors.
"You think the cold weather would kind of keep people away, but, no, we've been busy," said Nikki Vakulskas, who works in the store's accounts receivable department.
According to the latest data from Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP), a national industry trade group, 162,000 above ground pools and 58,000 in-ground pools were sold/installed nationwide in 2014.
The city of Sioux City closed the former Cook and Leeds pools last year, for example. Three city pools remain open -- Lewis, Leif Erickson and Riverside.
Although part of the early summer was a bit cooler than normal, temperatures are projected to be above 80-degrees and higher throughout July, according to AccuWeather.
With the mercury set to keep rising — Thursday's high was 99 — customers are likely to keep pouring into area pool stores.
"For sure, the weather always helps our business, but we pretty fortunate this year that we were busy from the get-go," Traver said. "We do a lot of business with contractors and I've heard it from just everybody — they're busy."