10/30/2009 – Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
A Pomona spa-maker has been tapped by the Coleman Co. Inc. to create products not for the campground but for the backyard.
It’s a move that will generate jobs and business at Cal Spas Inc. and forge a new path for Coleman, known mostly for its camping products.
Under the long-term deal, Cal Spas will begin developing and manufacturing spas under the Coleman Spas name out of Cal Spas’ 1million-square-foot warehouse.
"They could have chosen anybody," said Casey Loyd, president of LMS Inc., which manages Cal Spas. "We’re pretty honored about it."
Loyd would not disclose the value of Cal Spas’ contract with Wichita, Kan.-based Coleman but said it would generate up to 250 additional jobs as the line of products hits the market next month.
Hot tubs will be built to order, officials said. They’ll include 7-foot and 8-foot spas in lounger and bench models, plus specialty tubs.
It’s good news for a long-slumping manufacturing industry in California, which Loyd voiced confidence in as a manufacturing hub.
Ultimately, the Coleman name will bring confidence to consumers, he said. While the industry has taken a hit from the recession, the spas – if they are energy efficient and make sense for the consumer – still represent a positive life-style change.
For the 109-year-old Coleman Co., the move into the spa business is not a journey into totally new waters. Coleman has been in the spa market for about 10 years, said Jason McClintock, the company’s senior director of product development.
But the company has a goal of not just catering to campers – but rather for all kinds of outdoor activities, whether it’s in the backyard or by a campfire, McClintock said.
Cal Spas represented an opportunity to strengthen the company’s presence in the market. Recession or not, the company is banking on the potential for Coleman Spas to be at least as popular as Cal Spas has been.
"The fact that they are a leader in the spa industry was one of the main attractors," McClintock said. "However, the primary thing was the vision that they have and the plan to execute that vision for the Coleman brand."