• Jamie Sorcher

Fire and water mix in Florida

International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo kicks off in Orlando

PSP ExpoAbout 552 companies are exhibiting at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., this week for the annual International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo.
ORLANDO, Fla. — The International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo kicked off Wednesday in Orlando, Fla., with 552 companies in the Orange County Convention Center, and aisles busy with potential buyers and show-goers.

While the floor typically features items like salt bromine generators for spas, patio heaters, blow-up rafts and pool equipment, this year there is an abundance of companies rounding out the entire backyard living experience related to both food and furniture. More than 10 grill companies are here at the expo including Barbeques Galore, Big Green Egg, Bull Outdoor Products, Fire Magic Grills, Primo Grills, Saber Grills, Saffire, Summerset Outdoor Living, Swiss Grill and others. Several also have space outside at The Hot Spot, an outdoor burn area, which featured a BBQ Cook-Off and other

Several grill companies that Casual Living caught up with said opening day met their expectations and that buyers were here to write orders.

Alan Kideckel, CEO of the Toronto-based chain International Pool & Spa Centers, which has nine locations and has been in business for more than 35 years, was scouting for the next big thing. “It’s important to come to this show to network and say hello to those I have relationships with, but I am here to see what is new,” he said. “I am looking for products that will help me stay ahead of the competition.”

“This is our third pool show; we did Vegas, New Orleans and now Orlando,” said Kevin Lee, sales with Tucker, Ga.-based Primo Grills. “There are a number of grill companies here which gives us — the category — a strong presence. This is a market that is untapped — the pool side. It gives a pool/spa retailer a chance for sales in those months of November, December and January when it’s slow season. It’s another revenue stream and you’re keeping your sales staff busy. We require just three grills on the floor so it’s not a huge space commitment.”

Also making a more significant presence are furniture companies including C.R. Plastic Products, Grosfillex, The HammockSource and Housewarmings Outdoor.

“As a manufacturer we need to diversify outside of the norm,” said Ted Scott, VP of sales and marketing with C.R. Plastic Products in Stratford, Ontario, as to why this event is part of the company’s heavy show circuit. “Pool and spa brings in destination retailers. The dealers here are coming to buy and to book business with the furniture companies. And there are a lot of us here this year.”

The show concludes Friday with next year’s event heading back West to Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. It is set for Nov. 10-12, 2015.

Jamie SorcherJamie Sorcher | Senior Editor, Casual Living
jsorcher@casualliving.com

Jamie Sorcher, senior editor at Casual Living, is a multimedia reporter as well as a word nerd, lifestyle expert and tech enthusiast. In broadcast, Sorcher has earned recognition as a go-to techie during more than 1,000 TV and radio interviews and originated the role of the Gizmo Girl on ESPN's Cold Pizza. She has written for publications as diverse as ShopSmart, Premiere, Home, Ty Pennington at Home, Sound & Vision, amNewYork, Robb Report, Consumer Reports, Maxim, Unlimited, Cafemom.com, The Huffington Post, Etown.com and ElleGirl.com. A graduate of Lehigh University with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, Sorcher has studied at the London School of Economics and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

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