A swimming pool can say so much about a home. Architecture and landscaping can project a homeowner’s sense of style from the street, but a unique, custom-designed pool conveys that sense of style to friends and family, people who are inside the home.
It can be difficult in scorching Florida summers to enjoy the outdoors without a pool. It’s also a huge investment, perhaps the biggest single-ticket item that goes into anyone’s home.
New Tampa residents James and Alexis Staten, owners of Olympus Pools in Tampa, share that view. They won’t put any pool in your home unless it’s of the same quality they would have in their own home.
“From the amount of steel, the thickness of the concrete and finished products like tile, pavers or travertine floors, the same products we offer our customers are the same products we use in our own homes,” Staten says.
The company is accustomed to managing a large volume of projects. There are four designers and four project managers on staff, with 150 crew members out in the field on any given day. In 2017, Olympus completed 330 pools, all completely customized; 40 to 50 ongoing projects are managed at any time.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re budgeting for a $30,000 or a $300,000 pool, Olympus uses the same top-quality products.
“We use the best filters, best pumps and best salt systems included with every pool,” Staten says. “Even the most basic design gets the most premium quality money can buy.”
It’s a sentiment not lost on Olympus Pools’ core of veteran employees.
Construction manager Brian Messler has 34 years of experience in the business, and helped start the company with the Statens in 2013. “All of my subcontractors are top notch and each specializes in one phase of the construction,” says Messler. “We’ve got tile guys, plumbers, excavators and other specialized craftsmen. A lot of our crew (members) have 30 or more years of experience, too.”
Messler says that if anything doesn’t look right when your pool is being built (or completed), it will be dealt with immediately. “If I go to a job site and I see something that would be unacceptable in my house,” he says, “we take it out and replace it.”
Olympus Pools doesn’t sell “templates.” Every pool starts with a clean slate and is entirely built around the customer’s desires. James says his company’s guiding principles are incorporating the customer’s available space, taste and budget.
“The design has to fit with the customer’s environment, as well as their wants and needs,” he says. “It’s what makes this business fun to work in. We’re extremely passionate that each pool we build will be unique. I like to say we’re in the memory business.”
He adds that every week, customers send him and his staff text messages with photos of their new pools and how much they are enjoying them. If his customers are happy, James and his staff are happy.
“It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning,” he says.
Olympus Pools prides itself on bringing the customer’s vision to life. Sometimes, all they have to work with is something sketched on a piece of paper. No matter. Regional manager and designer Doug Griffith takes customers through every step of the process, letting them see and touch the colors and textures that will be used in their dream pool.
The company’s showroom near Tampa International Airport helps bring the customer’s vision into reality.
“We’re not selling a package,” Griffith says. “We spend a lot of time creating the right pool for the right person.”
Griffith, like Messler, has been with Olympus Pools since its inception and as the regional manager, he stays on top of any issues that come up with a new or existing installation.
Tracking With Tech
Olympus Pools keeps up to date with cutting-edge technology, which fits into every aspect of pool construction. The company’s 3-D imaging AutoCAD system creates a life-like image of your pool. It can be rotated 360 degrees, to show the customer what the pool would look like at dusk or at night, even view features as if floating through the pool.
“We can create an entire 3-D tour for every client” James says. “Customers can see what their pools will look like before any construction is started.”
During construction, customers can use a customized application that enables them to check the construction schedule, communicate with Olympus staff members, access any documents related to the pool’s construction and make secure payments online.
Customers also can receive photos of the project’s progress 24-7, even if they are away from home.
Olympus also utilizes an application created by pool pump manufacturer Hayward called OmniLogic that enables customers to control day-to-day and customized functions of their aquatic oases.
The technology is only three years old, and it allows a homeowner to change the pool’s temperature, check the salinity and chlorine levels, and even turn the spa on or off. For example, a client could be out to dinner and, by pressing one button on their phone, can set the temperature and lighting just right in their spa for when they get home.
“We want ownership of our pools to be as easy and carefree as possible,” James says. “The only thing I want them to worry about is what to serve at the barbeque.”
The Statens live in and install a lot of pools in the New Tampa/Wesley Chapel area, and are big proponents of giving back to the Tampa Bay community.
Four or five times a year, Olympus Pools sponsors a local classroom through Donors Choose.org, a public charitable organization. DonorsChoose connects contributors to classrooms that have submitted requests through the website. Olympus Pools sponsored five classrooms in 2017, which are predominantly in the low-income-area public schools in Hillsborough County.
Recent efforts saw Olympus Pools donate tablets to each student in a selected class, help in donating an entire audio-visual system to a special needs class where the teacher had students who were hard of hearing, and donating $200 from each of 22 different pools they built to Feeding Tampa Bay, a hunger-relief charity — nearly 3,100 meals were purchased with those funds.
“If you’re in business and all you do is make money, you’re not a very good business,” James says.
Over the years, Olympus had donated more than $50,000 to the aforementioned charities, as well as to Kids Place (a foster home), and in sponsorships and donations to schools in the New Tampa and Wesley Chapel area. Hand-written thank-you letters from dozens of students line the window of the main office and dry erase board in the Olympus Pools showroom.
“We’re all about giving back to the community,” James says. “Most of our staff lives in the New Tampa/Wesley Chapel area. Our kids go to school in the area and half of our business comes out of that area.”
Olympus Pools has installed custom pools in the Live Oak, K-Bar Ranch, Estancia at Wiregrass Ranch, Union Park, Grand Hampton, Meadow Pointe and Esplanade communities, to name a few. The company’s goal is to make your dream aquatic paradise a reality.
Olympus Pools is located at 4422 N. Lauber Way in Tampa. For more information, visit OlympusPoolsFl.com, call (813) 983-7854, or see the ad on pg. 24 of this issue.