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Are You Embracing the Total Outdoor Experience?

By Eric Herman

WaterShapesWorldBlogNow that it is generally accepted by experts, economists and pundits that the recession has come to an end, there’s a great deal of curiosity about what the recovery will look like and, more specifically in these parts, about how < style="color: #444444; font-family: Georgia, 'Bitstream Charter', serif; line-height: 1.5; font-size: 16px; margin-bottom: 24px;">watershaping will fare as things turn around.

In my conversations with people from all over the watershaping industry, I’ve been assured that, indeed, things are picking up again. Some report almost stunning upticks in business, while others say that improvement, while solidly evident, is still a bit patchy. Only a few have told me they’ve seen no real progress at all.

Throughout these discussions, I’ve detected one consistent theme: Homeowners these days are less interested in talking about pools or spas than they are in discussing the entire outdoor-living experience. In fact, sales of outdoor kitchens, deck areas, shade structures and exterior furnishings are all very much on the rise, while watershapes themselves are lagging, stuck in the doldrums along with the housing and credit markets.

We’ve reflected all of these exterior-environment trends in WaterShapes and WaterShapes EXTRA!, of course, and have urged watershapers of all stripes to expand your horizons and embrace a bigger picture when it comes to outdoor spaces, and to broaden the sets of options you make available to prospective clients.

We’ve reflected all of these exterior-environment trends in WaterShapes and WaterShapes EXTRA!, of course, and have urged watershapers of all stripes to expand your horizons and embrace a bigger picture when it comes to outdoor spaces, and to broaden the sets of options you make available to prospective clients.

Our columnists in particular — Brian Van Bower, Bruce Zaretsky and Mike Farley — have pushed watershaping toward involvement in this bigger scheme of things and have long extolled the value of perceiving consumer interest in the outdoor lifestyle.

Are they right? Are we all headed in the same direction? Have you sensed a shift toward the overall outdoor experience and a somewhat lessened emphasis on pools and spas? Have you altered your business model to meet this demand? Please let me know what you think!

 

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