Trop­i­cal Pools Construction

Cape Coral firm tops in the in­dus­try

Cape Coral Living - - Cape Departmens - BY CRAIG GAR­RETT Craig Gar­rett is Group Ed­i­tor-in-Chief for TOTI Me­dia.

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.

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