Tropical Pools Construction
Cape Coral firm tops in the industry
Few things are as pleasant as a dip in the pool. The problem is not having one. Jack Willard Sr. has been making that dream happen for nearly five decades, first in California, then in Cape Coral with his Tropical Pools Construction. Over time the company has built hundreds of outdoor pools, spas and other features relating to water recreation. He has even built a pool shaped like an airplane. What’s most satisfying to Willard, however, is building a backyard pool for a family’s enjoyment. “In Florida,” he says, “it’s about backyard living. And nothing represents that lifestyle more than a pool.” Like just about everything, pool technology and designs have shifted. Many homeowners are demanding, for example, a game pool, which places the deeper section in the center of the pool. Either end is shallow, which can allow for volleyball or other water sports with a net across the deeper area. Beach pools are also popular, with a sloping entry rather than steps or a ladder. The swimming pool industry has witnessed many changes since Massachusetts native Willard began as a laborer applying wet cement for pools at such places as John Wayne’s California home. Pools at that time were considered a luxury or exclusively for country clubs, just beginning to find a footing for average families. Willard formed Aquatic Specialty Pools and by the 1970s had a dozen crews building pools in California. “I enjoyed [California],” he says, “but the smog and the traffic got to be too much. And I was looking for a place to build year-round. I saw an advertisement for the most prosperous and affordable community [in America]. And that was for Lee County and Cape Coral. I never looked back.” Tropical Pools has focused in recent times on private residential projects, repairs and upgrades, although community
pools/upgrades and some commercial work are in the portfolio. The company builds home pools in today’s market that are moderately priced―$30,000 and up ― but also higher-end pools that include water features such as falls, fountains and spas, as well as landscaping that provides a lush feel to an owner’s backyard. Tropical Pools has also built elevated pools in such places as Sanibel and Captiva, he says. The Tropical Pools home office in Cape Coral has a studio feel, the vibe pleasant, the background sound of trickling water. Financing and custom designs are options. “Always focus on quality,” Willard says when asked about advice to young entrepreneurs. “Persevere and work hard … and just don’t give up.”
“I saw an advertisement for the most prosperous and affordable community [in America]. And that was for Lee County and Cape Coral.” —Jack Willard, owner of Tropical Pools
Over the years, pool technology and designs have changed. Many pools today are as much works of art as sources of recreation.
Tropical Pools specializes in residential installations, like this elevated pool on Captiva. Above, examples of the company's various pool designs.