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Scottsdale, AZ 85260
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Imagine Backyard Living extends family’s 60-year business legacy in Phoenix
Even though he was semi-retired, David Ghiz knew he wasn’t quite done with his business career. Growing up in the pool and backyard living business in a company founded by his father, George Ghiz, David was part of a team seen by many as a model for excellence in the pool and hot tub industry: Paddock Pools. David, along with his brothers Buzz and Edward, owned and operated Paddock from the late 80s after their father passed away. The Ghiz brothers grew Paddock into the largest privately-owned pool construction and backyard living company in the U.S., with 17 stores spanning the Phoenix and Las Vegas markets doing nearly $150 million in sales.
In 2005, the Ghiz family sold Paddock to a private equity firm and David took some time to work with his brother Buzz in their other company, Paramount Pool & Spa Products. However, in 2014, an opportunity to continue his family’s legacy in the backyard living industry was hard to pass up. The Great Recession was winding down and the housing market was gaining momentum. Ghiz felt the urge to dive back in, more specifically with a business that focused primarily on hot tubs and backyard living environments.
“I loved the hot tub business from my years at Paddock,” he recalled. “We’d sold tens of thousands of Sundance Spas and Jacuzzi hot tubs since the early 90s. The amazing thing is we are still servicing many hot tubs we sold in the 90s. It’s been great to reconnect with many of our Paddock hot tub customers and true confirmation of the quality of these brands.”
A ‘try it before you buy it’ strategy
David and his wife Melanie opened Imagine Backyard Living in 2014. After researching virtually every other hot tub manufacturer available, they secured these legendary brands again.
David tapped a strategy taught to him by his father after starting Paddock in 1958. In 1962, George bought 10 acres of land at 65th Street and Thomas Road, back then considered the edge of town. He built the Paddock headquarters and Garden Town, the world’s largest pool display, featuring seven full-size swimming pools customers were encouraged to try before buying.
The same practice holds true today inside Imagine Backyard Living. There, you won’t just talk to an Imagine expert about Jacuzzi and Sundance offerings, you will experience a 15,000 square-foot showroom that features full-size, fully-landscaped backyard living vignettes where you can see hot tubs built into custom living spaces. There are even two private soak rooms for customers to try a Jacuzzi Hot Tub and Sundance Spa.
“We want people to feel the incredible hydrotherapy for themselves. It’s really important to try before you buy,” Ghiz said. “Competitors generally don’t want you to test their tubs. Instead, they use confusion tactics like talking about what’s under the cabinet. Jacuzzi has been building hot tubs for over 65 years and continues to lead the industry in every way. There‘s not another product on the market that compares in quality, value, or performance, I guarantee that.”
Ghiz learned from his father, that surrounding yourself with the best talent is key to success. When building the Imagine team, he contacted several former Paddock employees to join his team, aligning himself with those who understood his customer service expectations. After just one year in business, Imagine Backyard Living became the #1 volume single store Jacuzzi® Hot Tubs & Sundance® Spas dealer in the world and has maintained that ranking ever since.
“David was an ideal match for our brands,” says Drew Meng, president of Jacuzzi Worldwide. “His incredible showroom was a perfect representation of the Jacuzzi and Sundance brands in the Phoenix market. His team is what makes Imagine Backyard Living one of our top dealers in the world. As a matter of fact, they have won every customer service award we give since they opened.”
The icing on the cake for Ghiz now is the ability to pass on the family backyard living legacy to his son Harrison, who joined the company last year after graduating from college.
“To have the opportunity to carry on the Ghiz family legacy in this industry is incredible,” Harrison adds. “Paddock was a very special business started by my grandfather and my dad and uncles grew it to a huge success. Now, to be able to learn from my dad and the great team of people at Imagine is something that many people only dream of.”
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