Fox Hot Tubs, Billiards & Games, a home entertainment center since 1976, masters the art of relaxation and brings families and friends closer together through conversation and entertainment. By Ann Zimmerman
In snippets of conversations on the ski mountain or around town, the term hot tub pops up frequently as people describe their resort experience and the pleasures of luxuriously soaking in a hot tub as essential to enjoying their stay. “Bonding with friends and family and relaxing in the comfort of one’s own hot tub is the core of our business,” says company founder and owner Linda Fox as she explains the home entertainment concept. “Pool tables, darts, ping-pong, shuffleboard and board games round out products we carry that are intended to enrich the time people spend together relaxing, having fun, and creating memories.”
Trail Blazer in the field
An experienced designer and home and remodeling contractor, Linda Fox brought the original redwood hot tubs to Vail and Aspen in 1976. She experienced relaxing in hot tubs while in northern California where they were first introduced. Wishing to return to Vail, she started up her new company. Linda recounts, “I learned everything from the ground up: I had a lot to learn and so did the budding industry. A whole new challenge here was the problem of the climate and freezing.”
“I personally designed, plumbed, and installed the tubs, and when fiberglass shells came on the market, I started adding more and more jets to the spas,” Linda continues. “I designed the jet configurations, drilled them, and plumbed the spa and equipment. Living and working in Vail in the 1970’s was in many ways a modern frontier.” After learning the business from the ground up, Fox became the go-to person for services as spas became part of the mountain resort way of life.
Fox soon began offering weekly and bi-monthly maintenance services. “In 1977, homeowners were at loss as to how to keep their tub clean, especially when they were gone for weeks at a time. Also, housekeepers and management services were unaware of how to keep a spa healthy and the dangers of not properly maintaining them,” Linda recalls. “So, at the request of my customers, I started offering regular maintenance services.”
Fox is still passionate about maintaining the freshest, healthiest water possible, and constantly researches alternative sanitizers and purification systems. “The spa experience is about the water. I consult with clients to identify the optimal way to enhance their spa experience by controlling chemical odors and the drying effects of purifiers on the skin while preserving the highest degree of safety.”
Fox cites a range of options to purify the water as naturally as possible under categories like granular, silvers, salts, enzyme, ozone, and electronic systems. “However, regardless of the type of treatment, I recommend changing the water every six months.” As Fox explains it, the hot water in a spa extracts oils and fluids from one user at a rate equivalent to 200 swimmers in a pool. “Careful monitoring and treating spa water is imperative.”
Fox admits that there is a great deal of misunderstanding regarding treatment. “For example, there is a salt water system that incorporates a chlorine generator. A consumer may think it is chemical free because the owner doesn’t add chemicals, but the generator constantly feeds chlorine into the water. The consumer may be unaware that the spa has chlorine in the water.”
“I also feel that a personal hot tub at home is a different experience because one knows that it is fresh, clean, and purified. Regular checks and servicing by a professional verify this.” As a final note, Linda Fox adds that spa longevity is directly tied to regular maintenance.
Full Range of Products and Services
Games and game tables offer a similar appeal to that of spas: they gather people together to enjoy themselves. Because of this, it was a natural extension for Linda Fox’s spa sales and service business. “People come to a resort area like Vail for more than just recreation. It is also a place and opportunity to connect and reconnect with family and friends. We hope our business concept of a home entertainment center provides for this.” In keeping with this concept, in 1990, Linda Fox expanded to offer billiard tables and other game supplies. She offers these along with her full range of spa design, sales, installation and maintenance services, and she provides weekly rentals that include setting up the hot tub and dismantling it. Additionally, Fox carries spa accessories, covers, and chemicals.
Fox represents numerous lines of pool/billiard tables, including Olhausen, Adler, Golden West, and Fusion, as well as a wide variety of accessories like cues, covers, and lighting. For those with different entertainment interests, Fox carries shuffleboard tables, three lines of ping-pong tables, darts, and board games.
“Some think that gaming products are a leap from spas, but my response is spas and billiard tables are both big, heavy, and expensive investments. They complement our purpose to provide home products that center people around relaxation, fun, and bonding with friends and family members,” Fox notes and adds, “When I first came to Vail, we shared the same feelings about the importance of family and friends. I hope that in Vail we continue to delight in taking time to get know one another better and a hot tub is a great starting place to do this.”