by Rob Cox, February 01, 2011
Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show 2011
30 years of the pool and spa show, held during the coldest (and least busiest) month of the year. Hard to believe that it's been going on for 30 years, and even harder to believe that I have been attending for over 20 years!
The AC Pool & Spa Show 2011 attracted nearly 11,000 attendees, and nearly 500 exhibiting companies. According to one of the AC Convention Center staff, this is a "fairly large show". Over 500 exhibitors have booked space in the convention hall - one room that is nearly 500,000 square feet in size!
This year's show showcased a "Green Track" - with educational seminars and presentations on how to operate a pool or a pool business, with an eye towards more eco-friendly methods and processes.
Our normal recap of the AC Pool & Spa Show will be to highlight some of the new products / systems available - the Hottest New Pool Products for 2011!
Emerson Motor Technologies has come up with a new two speed pool pump motor with programmable timer. More states are now requiring energy efficient pumps to be used. With the 2EZ Speed motor, there's no need to throw out a perfectly good pool pump, just replace the motor instead. Available in 1hp - 2.5hp, the 2EZ Speed is easy to install, meets most state requirements and even includes a freeze sensor! Less expensive to install than a new pump or variable speed pump, the 2EZ motor offers fast payback to states that now require 2 speed or variable speed pool pumps.
Zodiac has released the new Baracuda MX8 pool cleaner, billed as an advanced suction pool cleaning robot. Pictured at left from the underside, twin turbines pull up debris from the floor, as the X-Trax dual tank tracks maneuver the MX-8 into tight spots around the pool. As debris is drawn up into the top of the unit, a secondary turbine slices and dices the debris into small pieces, to help prevent clogging inside the unit and at the pump basket. Very fast, full featured suction pool cleaner, the MX-8 will likely move quickly to dominate suction cleaner markets in Arizona, Florida and Southern California.
Sacrificial zinc anodes are nothing new, they have been used for years in salt water environments, on boat rudders for instance, but In-Line types are new. As more and more swimming pools are switching to salt water systems for chlorine generation, it became necessary to introduce something that will absorb the corrosive properties of all that salt in the water. There exists clamp-on sacrificial zinc anodes, that attach to the ladder or pool light, but these only protect the item they are attached to. An Inline zinc anode will attract electrolysis, to prevent oxidation of chrome and other metal items for all items in the swimming pool. If you have a salt water pool, check this out to avoid pool surface and equipment corrosion.
ADA accessibility laws are in effect! Passed into law on Sept 15, 2010 - this new requirement for public or semi-public pools requires that a lift be installed to create greater access to the pool for those who are wheelchair bound. Effective March 15, 2011, and required compliance by March 15, 2012, this ADA regulation covers both public and private facilities operated by park and rec districts, hotels, fitness clubs, country clubs, schools, waterparks and hospitals. This will add a budget line item for pools in the area of $2500, as a minimum. An unwelcome expense to many pool operators, on the heels of the VGB main drain requirements. All for good, however - hydro therapy is one of the best treatments for those with limited mobility.
It's called the Shower in the Round, and it looks like a lot of fun! Weight activated, you step on the non-skid surface disk, which is connected to a garden hose, and dozens of jets shoot water up - kind of like an outdoor wet park. If the hose and the unit are in the sun, a natural warming to the water is enjoyed. We thought this would be a good addition to our shower line up, and we thought many of you would enjoy this new product as well.
Well, there's more, lots of new toys and games, and other items that deserve mention, but unfortunately have been missed today. Kudos to the organizers this year for upgrading the welcome party to something that looked more like a Vegas party and less like a high school dance! Make your plans to attend the AC Pool and Spa Show next year, we'll be sure to be there and will report once again for those of you who could not make it. Click here for pictures of this year's AC pool and spa show.