Success Stories

When Wolfgang and Neil Collins hire a new employee, they not only look for someone who has mechanical skills but, above all, is both honest and trustworthy.

 

“We must make our customers feel comfortable with us being on their property,” said Wolfgang, who has been selling and servicing hot tubs in Northern New Mexico for more than 20 years. “The real thing that we have is trust — trust that we can do the job right and trust that all of us are responsible, honest people.”

 

Wolfgang’s Spa Works is having its best year ever, and its installation, maintenance and repair crew is as large as it has ever been. Revenues are up for all areas of the business: new hot tub sales, maintenance of existing units, repairs on all brands (not just those carried by Wolfgang’s) and chemical sales.

 

Earlier this year, Wolfgang’s Spa Works hired its sixth crew member, Josh Boubion, to keep up with the busy maintenance and repair end of the business. This addition follows the promotion of David Linholm in 2015 to become the company’s first, full-time office manger. That move freed up Wolfgang and Neil to concentrate on sales, marketing and promoting the benefits of hot tubs.

 

“We want can-do people who have a positive attitude,” said Wolfgang. “We are a solution-oriented shop. We don’t place blame; rather, we ask, ‘How are we going to fix this?’ and pitch in together and solve it. That’s our M.O. here.”

 

Each employee keeps a running log of the day’s activities, including the time spent on each job and notes on the condition of the hot tubs they service. Essential to Wolfgang’s Spa Works reputation is that crew members show up for work on time, and arrive at the job at the appointed time. And while they don’t have a perfect record, said Neil, having that goal keeps them pointed in the right direction.

 

“Being on time really makes an impression on our customers,” said Neil.

 

Contrary to some, Wolfgang’s Spa Works has had no problem finding good help in Taos. The company pays competitive wages with regular pay raises, paid vacation, and pays for its employees to go to California for periodic training in hot tub installation, maintenance and repair. Also, all employees eventually get free hot tubs from Wolfgang.

 

“I mean, who would want to get wet and cold, and play in water every day?” said Wolfgang with a laugh. “Seriously, it’s not a cushy job, not for everybody, but this group loves it all. There’s a camaraderie in the shop that I love.

 

“And besides,” he said, “they laugh at my jokes. That’s very important.”

 

With that in mind, here’s a look at Wolfgang’s Spa Works crew that installs, maintains and repairs hot tubs from Angel Fire to Colorado — and all parts in between:

 

David Lindholm has been with Wolfgang’s for 10 years, after owning a Volvo repair business in his native Seattle. He is office manager, in charge of keeping track of jobs and making sure work gets done correctly — and in a timely fashion. He is married with an 11-year-old son.

 

Carlos Rivera is also a Taos native who has been working for Wolfgang’s Spa Works for eight years. He came to the shop with a strong feel for the mechanical end of things, making him perfect for both maintenance and repair jobs. Married with three children, he too finds he learns something new every day.

 

Edwardo “Walo” Martinez is in his third year at Wolfgang’s. A Taos native, Martinez focuses on maintaining existing hot tubs so that they are in peak condition when a homeowner wants to soak. He says he learns something new every day, especially about chemical usage and the mechanics of a tub.

 

Mario Gutierrez hired on at Wolfgang’s eight months ago after stints with Taos County, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and construction contractors around the area. His parents bought chemicals from Wolfgang’s, and his mother asked if they were hiring. Now, he’s got a steady job handling maintenance tasks.

 

Augustin Padilla hired on with the company last November after working for the town of Taos at the Youth & Family Center for seven years. He was looking for something different, and found it with the friendly, supportive atmosphere at Wolfgang’s Spa Work and the chance to learn hot tub maintenance and repair. He lives in Arroyo Seco with his wife and three children.

 

Josh Boubion got a job with Wolfgang’s in March, after six years in the swimming pool industry in Tucson, Arizona. He easily transferred his pool maintenance skills to hot tub maintenance and repair. He’s married with a young daughter and son.

 

Wolfgang’s Spa Works

1210-J Salazar Road

(575) 758-1857

Success Stories is a PAID advertorial feature. Stories about successful businesses and institutions which are sponsored in part by the businesses and institutions themselves. Success Stories runs weekly in The Taos News.

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For people like Paul Johnson of Taos, a hot tub is much more than a container of water with air jets.

 

1“Of all things I’ve purchased, my hot tub from Wolfgang’s Spa Works has been my best investment,” Johnson recently said. “It’s improved my health, and given me a true sense of well-being. It’s better than a fancy car or vacation.

 

“I got the most bang for my buck with my hot tub from Wolfgang’s than any of that other stuff,” Johnson said.

 

Such an endorsement is music to the ears of the father-and-son owners of Wolfgang’s Spa Works — Wolfgang and Neil Collins. For the past 14 years, Taos’ only full-service hot tub business has been spreading the good word by selling, installing and servicing hundreds of hot tubs in Northern New Mexico. The business has grown steadily — so much so that they have promoted longtime maintenance and repair tech David Lindholm to become store manager — freeing up Wolfgang and Neil for sales, marketing and promoting the benefits of hot tubs.

 

“People like Paul (Johnson) have made an investment in their comfort,” said Wolfgang. “There are verifiable returns on that investment in physical, emotional and social health.”

 

Hop in a hot tub and, right away, you are getting a treatment in hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy is the use of water to revitalize, maintain and restore a person’s health — for which a hot tub is ideal. Regular immersion in a hot tub from Wolfgang’s Spa Works, in the simplest terms, makes you feel better. On the physical side, consistent use of a hot tub has been shown to stabilize metabolism. With hot water flowing over muscles, hydrotherapy improves the function of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, reducing pain by removing lactic acids and other contaminates from muscle issue.

 

3Specifically, hydrotherapy has been shown improve heart health. Hotwater immersion increases blood flow to heart to improve output and often reduce blood pressure. Wounds and soreness heal quicker because hot water increases circulation and blood supply to sore or injured muscles, and to wounds.

 

Specific conditions have been treated effectively with regular visits to the hot tub. Pain can be reduced for sufferers of arthritis and other rheumatologic conditions. By improved blood sugar levels, hydrotherapy helps lower blood pressure for diabetes patients, and ameliorate symptoms brought on by muscular sclerosis, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, scoliosis, carpal tunnel syndrome and bursitis.

 

“It’s like putting a heating pad all over your body every time you get in,” said Wolfgang. “Our bodies are 90 percent water, so 90 percent of us is floating, taking pressure off of joints.”

 

However, for Wolfgang and Neil, dropping into a tub of hot, soothing water every day is as much about restoring mental and emotional health as anything. The release of stress-reducing dopamine hormones that occurs with a hot, moist soak brings a flood of relaxation over the body and mind — and a sense of calm, clarity and connection.

 

“I never make an important decision without getting in the hot tub,” one customer said. “It’s there that my wife and I can really connect.”

 

In a hot tub, conversations tend to be more relaxed, undistracted and unhurried — unlike the outside, worka- day world. For Wolfgang and Neil, an evening in the hot tub is a chance to be outdoors, to lounge under the stars, to feel the breeze in your face.

 

The population around Taos may be getting older, but it isn’t getting any less active. And Neil sees the benefits of a hot tub as fitting right along with this demographic in Taos.

 

“Taos is the perfect location for a hot tub, especially on a cold, starry night after a full day of skiing or snowboarding,” he said. “Baby boomers tend to be very active and a good hot tub will melt away their aches and pains. A hot tub also creates an intimate setting away from television, noise and problems. “And, a soak in the evening also promotes deep sleep,” said Neil.

 

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1

 

By Andy Dennison.

 

Over the last 13 years, Wolfgang Collins and wife Jennifer Friesen have been the owners of Wolfgang’s Spa Works — selling maintaining and repairing hot tubs all over the Taos area.

 

At the start of 2014, it became a father-and-son business. “My son Neil, who has been working for me for eight years, bought out my wife Jennifer Friesen on Jan. 1 of this year,” said co-owner Wolfgang Collins. “Neil’s been the manager since 2006, so it was an easy transition.”

 

For Wolfgang, the shift means that he can enjoy working with his son during the day and then go home to his wife for some quality time together — and likely time in a hot tub of their own.

 

“Neil has really upgraded our social media presence, with our website and Facebook,” Wolfgang said. “As a result, we are getting sales and responses without people coming into the store.”

 

This move is the latest in a long line of business decisions that have helped Wolfgang’s Spa Works grow and succeed in the twists and turns that is the Taos market. It started with a partnership between Wolfgang and Carl Fritz under the name of A-1 Spa and Pool, primarily offering maintenance and repair on hot tubs … with an occasional sale of new ones.

 

2“We were storing hot tubs in my backyard,” said Wolfgang with laugh. A serendipitous repair call brought Wolfgang and Jennifer, a Loyola law professor, together. They married, ditched Friesen’s law career and started Wolfgang’s Spa Works in rented space at the Kachina Lodge, where Wolfgang’s Spa Works survived and flourished.

 

“It was little tough at first, only selling one container of chlorine the first month,” he said. “We decided to be the go-to repair and maintenance service for all brands of hot tubs, even those we didn’t sell. People who bought their tubs in Albuquerque found they couldn’t get timely service. They called us, we went out and did the job in a professional manner. So, when it came time for them to upgrade, they called us. I call it ‘customer evangelism.’”

 

The business grew enough to build our own building at a new location, 1210-J Salazar Road, near the intersection with Paseo del Canon West, which provides much more showroom and storage space. Before 2008, Wolfgang’s Spa Works had plenty of business supplying hot tubs for all the new homes that were going up in the Taos region.

 

But as the recession sunk in, Wolfgang and Jennifer decided to reach out to customers in Angel Fire and Red River.

 

“We got enough business out of there to be able to hire a new service employee,” he said.

 

There are now six people on the payroll and, true to Collins’ progressive nature, all of them receive a living wage and access to benefits.

 

In the post-recession, new world order, Wolfgang and Neil have broadened its goods and services to capture as much business as they can. That means adding wet, infrared and custom-made saunas from Finnleo and Aquatic Fitness Swim Spas home fitness centers. And it means making sure that their range of prices make hot tubs and spas affordable to the largest number of Taoseños as possible.

 

“We appeal to a wide spectrum, what I call the Volkswagen, Toyota and Lexus categories,” said Wolfgang.

 

The Taos market may be getting older, but it isn’t getting any less active. And Neil Collins sees the health and fitness advantages of a hot tub as fitting right in with this demographic.

 

3“Taos is the perfect location for a hot tub, especially on a cold, starry night after a full day of skiing or snowboarding,” Neil and Wolfgang say. “Baby boomers tend to be very active, and a good hot tub will melt away their aches and pains. Some customers report that regular soaking relieves the discomfort of arthritis. A hot tub also creates an intimate setting away from television, noise and problems. I know one couple that never makes a major decision until they are fully relaxed in their hot tub. A soak in the evening also promotes deep sleep.”