At a glance
- » Products: hot tubs, bath tubs, wooden gazebos, garden furniture, anything made from cedar
- » Services: assistance acquiring safety approvals and certifications in a wide range of jurisdictions throughout the world
- » Location: Spokane Valley, WA
- » Minimum order quantity: none
- » Ideal client: anyone – in fact, would prefer smaller brands with a niche
- » Maker’s Row profile: https://makersrow.com/blue-falls-manufacturing
- » Fun fact #1: has partnered with various international sports leagues to promote in-house brands
- » Fun fact #2: hot tub feature capabilities include jets, light, music, cushions, headrests, fountains, small fog machines for ambience, and even popup TVs!
American Production, Global Reach
Blue Falls Manufacturing is a successful hot tub production house based in Spokane Valley, Washington that has been manufacturing four distinct hot tub brands since the 1990s. The company was originally started by a group of Canadian friends. They sell their product to retailers throughout the world – hot spots include Russia and Scandinavia. They also do private label production for independent brands.
There are approximately 50 hot tub manufacturers worldwide – distributed between the United States, Canada, and Europe. Most of the global competition resides in the United States – there are quite a few hot tub manufacturers in California. Blue Falls is among the top ten worldwide in volume, producing between 6,000 to 10,000 units per year.
The biggest homeowner consumer market for hot tubs is in the United States as well. Scandinavia is a new trending market. Blue Falls’ retail prices span a wide range, from 3,000 to 30,000 dollars based on size, quality, and features.
They’ll Work with Any Idea
They’ll work with anyone. In fact, they think it might be easier to work with smaller customers, with more niche product ideas or specific untapped markets (such as remote parts of the country) in mind. For those brands new to making hot tubs, Blue Falls is happy to help them through the ideation phase. Current customers have the option to create a line from scratch or take over two of Blue Falls’ own brands that are currently shelved for “companies that want to revamp and run with them.”
All of the hot tubs are designed for homeowners rather than commercial use. They are self-contained, portable units, as opposed to requiring a custom one-off manufacturing process that involves digging a hole in the ground and filling with concrete.
Blue Falls’ in-house brands occupy different niches. The most sold, recognized and highest-end brand is Arctic Spas. It’s made for extreme outdoor conditions – places with cold winters or volatile fluctuations in climate. The brand had taken off really well, even in not-so-extreme environments. It’s made to be energy efficient but also expensive.
The company’s other brands include Coyote Spas – mid-range in price and not as extreme in quality in features. Two relatively new brands are designed to be much more affordable. Colombia Spas offers no-frills units for mass merchants like Wal-Mart or Home Depot. Burton Spas makes very low-priced and smaller units through implementation a lower-cost process – the hot tubs are rotationally-molded rather than vacuum-formed from acrylic sheets (more on this later).
Blue Falls markets each brand through online venues in approximately 15 different countries. The larger brands (Arctic and Coyote) are also promoted through sponsorship – for example, through partnerships with the national hockey leagues in Canada, big sporting events in the UK (such as England’s cricket matches), and TV sports channels in the US for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activates.
How do you make a hot tub?
We learned that there are three materials and three ways of manufacturing hot tubs (as well as a fourth no longer in use).
(1) Vacuum-formed acrylic sheet (most popular)
An acrylic sheet is heated up, formed into a shape with seats, and reinforced with fiberglass or high density polyurethane foam. Around that shape is built a cabinet or enclosure to hide plumbing and equipment, a base, and a removable cover. The material for the outer enclosure is usually cedar or resin decking material (fake wood made of plastic that decks and patios are often constructed from).
The tub can be made to all sizes – from 3 x 6 feet (for two people) to 8 x 14 feet. Additional features include jets, light, music, cushions, headrests, fountains, small fog machines for ambience, and even TVs that pop up on the side.
(2) Rotational molding of plastic resin
Plastic resin pellets are heated up and put in a mold that spins around and forms the material into a shape. The mold and subsequent shape already includes jet holes and an exterior cabinet – therefore, these tubs can be made in fewer steps. Blue Falls’ Burton Spas hot tub line implements this process, and for that reason can be made and sold at a lower cost.
(3) Excavation and concrete
A hole is dug into the ground, and concrete poured into that hole to form a shape. The plumbing is hooked up to an equipment room. These tubs are one-off custom jobs that Blue Falls doesn’t do.
Bonus: Wood construction
The original hot tub was made from wood. The hot tubs were essentially repurposed barrels – like the large ones you can imagine are used for storing wine. They were attached with pumps and heaters and filled up with water. Wooden hot tubs are rarely (if ever) manufactured these days.
Explore more factories
Contact Blue Falls Manufacturing about hot tubs, furniture, and cedar products! Use Maker’s Row to explore over 10,000 other factories in diverse industries such as apparel, furniture, home decor, packaging, and more.
- » NYC Leather Manufacturing: Handbags, Soccer Balls, and Whips
- » Potions & Lotions: Producing Personal Care Products
- » Brooklyn Packaging Factory: Two Brothers Thinking Ahead
Join our daily blog mailing list to receive a new post in your inbox each day!