You don’t become a hot tub expert overnight. The Boyles family of Carbondale spent plenty of time as hot tub apprentices before ascending the ranks to become the Roaring Fork Valley’s most savvy spa purveyors, and it all started with their search for the perfect hot tub.
Joan Boyles began the search in the 1980s, when she helped her husband’s general construction company bring in hot tubs from out of state to complete projects for second homeowners. As there were no hot tub dealers on Colorado’s Western Slope at the time, the tubs were often shipped in from southern states on the train, but Joan saw the drawbacks of these large appliances immediately. Designed for warmer climates, these hot tubs were uninsulated and not suited for freezing temperatures, so they’d often freeze up during the worst possible time — like the busy Christmas season.
Joan did her research and found Hot Springs Spas in Denver, a model of hot tub with layers of insulation for cold weather climates, and best yet — to become a dealer of the spas she didn’t have to have a storefront, she only had to buy three hot tubs. Her family installed the first at their own home in Carbondale, sold two tubs to neighbors and then as a dealer, she used her own oversized barn to display hot tubs to contractors or homeowners.
Crystal River Spas has solely offered Hot Springs spas since 1987, since the company continues to create the most efficient, innovative spas for cold weather climates with a bevy of relaxation benefits. But in 1989, the Boyles decided they needed a bona fide storefront for their business, and moved into an unlikely location: an abandoned Conoco gas station on Carbondale’s Main Street, complete with gas pumps in the front and oil slicks on the floor. Even though until 2015 they shared the space with everything from Carbondale’s first health food store to a wood working shop, Joan’s son, Jake Boyles, says the hot tub retail business was a success from the first day.
“We offered a product that people related to, and had a demand for,” he says. Joan adds that while they expected business to come primarily from second homeowners, they were pleased to discover that the vast majority of their sales were initially going to tradesmen in the valley.
“Like contractors after a long day of banging nails or ski instructors and lift operators who spend all day outside, we found so many people who needed a place to warm up and sooth their muscles so they could do it over again tomorrow,” Joan says. “It was probably the most surprising and rewarding thing to find out in our first year of business.”
In 2015 Crystal River Spas finished a grand remodel of that former gas station, and just as their physical space has evolved, so has the nature of hot tub sales. From primarily sales to new hot tub owners in the first years of business, Crystal River Spas is now replacing appliances that are coming to the end of their natural 20-year lifespan, and providing regular maintenance to a broad population of customers. “Our business model has never been ‘…and hot tubs,’” Jake says. “Hot tubs are our primary program and we back that up with a maintenance program, so that’s what has allowed us to specialize in this industry.”
The hot tub experts also point to a changing ideology when it comes to spa sales that they attribute to their ongoing success: one thought of as simple way to relax, enjoy time with family and even just increase property value, hot tubs are now a symbol of self-improvement and wellness.
“Just think about all of the great ideas and problem solving you do when you’re in the shower or bathtubs — hot tubs are just a larger version of that,” Joan says. “The opportunity to go to a body of warm water and let your body heal and your mind settle is quite beneficial, and research is starting to prove that out.”
Crystal River Spas now sells and maintains hot tubs from Aspen to New Castle, and remote communities like Marble. Jake Boyles essentially grew up in the store during the past 25 years, and the business has grown to include 15 staff members and the Boyles’ two bulldogs, Winifred (who was named by a customer) and Hatch.
“No one, especially our factory rep, thought we could turn an abandoned gas station into a reputable hot tub store, and no one thought a luxury retail business would work in Carbondale back when the center of this community was City Market, The Pour House and the Roaring Fork Co-op,” Joan Boyles says. “But we’re a family business, and every year we continue to grow.”
Crystal River Spas Environmentally Friendly Hot Tubs honor this crucial time to be environmentally conscious. At Crystal River Spas, we pride ourselves in providing the most sustainable products and services possible to our customers. In 2008, our efforts resulted in 4.2 million pounds of recycled material, and we hope to exceed this number each year. We strive every day to make “green” initiatives part of our lives and business practices, and are pleased to pass this tradition on to our customers.
CRS Green Footprint
- Since we installed two Waukesha natural gas fired generators in 2001, CRS has roduced our own power, 24/7, achieving an overall reduction of 5.3 million kWh since the system was put into place.
- Our old roofing was replaced with high-reflection, Energy Star Rated roofing.
- We installed a new HVAC system and updated our IT Data Center, including the installation of “virtual servers,” which are expected to provide an annual savings of 198,570 kWh and a CO2 emission reduction of 147 metric tons.
- All water system level controls have been adjusted and upgraded, resulting in an estimated savings of 1,244,000 gallons per year, and over 15,000 kWh.
- Our show room is self-heating, using outside sunlight to generate heat.
- CRS offers shoppers optional reusable shopping bags for small purchases.
- We are the valley’s leader in chemical-free water care, which significantly reduces the amount of chemicals that enter surrounding water sources.
- We utilize light timers and motion sensors to prevent our fluorescent lights from being left on, and use and recycled paper and office supplies whenever possible.
- CRS provides a company bike for staff to use around town.
Discover the Difference
- CRS spas are the most energy-efficient in the industry. Beneath the spa cabinet are multiple layers of high-density foam that minimize heat loss. These allow the water temperature to be maintained at a constant temperature, eliminating expensive heating and cooling cycles.
- Hot Spring spas feature environmentally-friendly water care systems that keep the water cleaner, longer. Our spas offer 100% no-bypass filtration, meaning that all water passes through the filter before it enters the spa.
- We reuse and recycle whenever possible. In order to minimize impact on local landfills, CRS recycles all major components of used spas and customers’ old tubs for free.
- Watkins Manufacturing, the world’s number one seller of portable spas and maker of Hot Spring® Spas, was recently awarded a Flex Your Power Award for leadership in energy efficiency.
The Little Things Make All the Difference!
- All our office paper, newspaper and magazines are shredded & recycled via Paperwise recycling service.
- We only purchase and use recycled paper in our office.
- All ink and toner catridges are recycled with the manufacturer.
- We offer email and online billing to our customers for paper-free service.
Our Crystal River Spas Hot Tub Experts are dedicated to helping you spend more time enjoying your hot tub and less time maintaining it. Whether it’s a one-time repair, a seasonal drain and clean, or just a simple “refresher course” on water care, Crystal River Spas is here to help make your experience as pleasurable as possible.
Being part of the Crystal Rivers Spas team is a lot like delivering flowers: We make a lot of people happy on a regular basis. That certainly explains why we love what we do!
For the past 30 years our family-owned business has become the Hot Tub Experts in the Roaring Fork Valley, as this area’s exclusive distributor of Hot Springs Spas. It has been our goal to provide the best quality spas to our customers, along with hassle-free maintenance and water care, and the relaxation and self-improvement that hut tub owners are looking for.
Our crew is knowledgeable and friendly, and we have a lot of fun at work. Matchmaking between local residents and the perfect, high-functioning hot tub is a passion of ours, as is getting outside and playing in the gorgeous surroundings of the Rocky Mountains.
We’re always on the lookout for team members who share this vision with us. If this sounds like the right fit for you, consider filling out an online application so we can meet you soon.