An award-winning entrepreneur is aiming to make a splash with his new hot tubs business.
The company’s new showroom in Mochdre, near Colwyn Bay, was officially opened by Jim Jones, the managing director of North Wales Tourism, which represents tourism operators across the region.
UK Leisure Living, based in a modern 1,000 square foot unit on the Old Creamery business park in Station Road, is the latest venture by the Carbon Zero Group which already runs businesses across a number of sectors, including energy conservation, home improvements, leisure and training from its St Asaph headquarters.
Gareth Jones believes it is also the “perfect fit” for another of his new enterprises, the UK’s first dedicated glamping construction company.
He said: “We took over a unit formerly occupied by a surveying firm and spent a considerable sum on tailoring the building to our own requirements.
“From this new base we’re selling and hiring out a range of luxurious hot tubs across North Wales and our aim, as with all the Carbon Zero companies, is to make it the region’s leading supplier.”
After cutting the tape on the new showroom at the first of two open days held there as part of its fanfare launch weekend, Jim Jones said: “Any new business development in this area is great for the economy but even more so for the tourism sector.
“In this day and age people are looking for lots more things to do with their leisure time and for someone serving that market having a hot tub within your range of attractions creates added value. It helps tick all the boxes and is exactly what lots of people are looking for.”
“I know from enquiries we get from people thinking of coming to North Wales that many want to know about the availability of hot tubs and some look specifically for them before booking.
“We also know that there’s an increasing number of applications to local authorities in the region for glamping, or luxury camping, sites which want to include hot tubs.
“I’m delighted to see tubs being supplied by the Carbon Zero Group, which is one of our members and has a lot to offer with all the businesses it is involved in.”
Pride of place in the new showroom goes to a range of Hollywood-style hot tubs hand-built in the United States and shipped over by Gareth and his team to Mochdre.
Most impressive of these is the Passion II which retails for £7,995 and features a range of movie star touches such as a mini waterfall, mood lighting, wi-fi speakers with surround sound and 55 hydrotherapy spa jets helping up to six people to relax in its water bubbling away at a soothing 37 degrees C.
Close behind in the glamour stakes comes the Obsession II, also hand crafted in the US and including lots of the same luxury fittings for just under £4,995.
Gareth added: “Apart from selling them we also hire out tubs for people who might be thinking of buying one, to quite literally dip in their toes into the water. Our hire prices range from £99 for a weekend.
“For people who hire our tubs we take care of everything from delivery to set up in someone’s garden.
“As our core business is based on it, I naturally wanted to be supplying something that’s energy efficient and these tubs typically cost under £1 a day to run and are some of the most energy efficient on the market.
“It’s recognised that using a hot tub has health benefits in that the stimulation of the bubbling water and hydrotherapy jets increases blood flow, lowers blood pressure and helps you to sleep. It’s also very relaxing.
“Apart from private buyers, we’ve already had enquiries about our tubs from some of the largest players in the leisure sector in the region and this is obviously a growth area, particularly where glamping sites are concerned – and we know this because one of our businesses builds these sites.
“A hot tub can increase sales for a holiday let by up to 12 weeks, so a hot tub is a great investment for owners of holiday cottages and the like.
“Our plan is to sell 200 tubs this year and to put £1 million into our business. That’s an ambitious target but with the marketing strategy we have, we think it’s highly achievable.
“We have also introduced our own brand of chemicals/treatments sold from the showroom in Mochdre. So whether they bought off us or have had a tub for a while, we can help people look after them.
“We currently have three people working at UK Leisure Living who transferred from other parts of the Carbon Zero Group and one new wellbeing assessor who does home visits to measure up but once the business takes off we’ll be looking to create more jobs, in delivery, logistics and engineering.
“We’re also planning to increase the number of tubs we can display in the showroom to include some exciting new models such as a hand-built Scandinavian model that’s wood fired and very eco-friendly.”
The launch weekend attracted a number of key figures from the North Wales leisure sector, including Andrea Bristow, marketing and entertainments director of Greenwood Forest Park in Felinheli, Gwynedd.
She said: “We’re always interested in looking at new attractions and it’s been interesting to come here today and to see the variety of hot tubs on offer – I wouldn’t mind having one in my own garden!
“I can see that for people offering tourist accommodation its great added value to have a hot tub.”