Making a business out of relaxation

Taylor Wright, the manager of Leisure Time, says that one thing that makes the company stand out is the knowledge and expertise of the service department. Several of the members of the team have more than 25 years of experience. Monte LaOrange /

For Devon Jones of Idaho Falls, a trip to Leisure Time is the start of something he’s been looking forward to for a long time, owning a hot tub.

“Clear from when I was little, I wanted a hot tub,” Jones said. “My neighbors had one, growing up and I was always so jealous of that. Now that I’m older, I’m in a position to get one for myself, I can’t wait.”

Leisure Time specializes in selling hot tubs and fireplaces. It also sells electric, pellet, wood and gas stoves and fireplace inserts. It opened in 1974 and is owned by Gary Olsen. Leisure Time is the largest retailer of spas and hearth products in Idaho. A second store location was opened in Boise in 1993.

Store manager Taylor Wright said over the years the store has gone through a few transitions.

“We’ve sold some different things here over the years,” Wright said. “In the past, we’ve sold boats as well. Primarily, now though, we focus on spas and fireplaces.”

Wright said in addition to selling quality products, the store focuses on customer relations. The business also handles installation and maintenance for its products.

“We really pride ourselves on serving our customers,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how good your product is, if you have bad customer relations, people aren’t going to come back to your store if they’re not treated right.”

At Leisure Time, a business transaction doesn’t end once the customer walks out the door. Wright said installation technicians and repairmen continually work to stay current with industry trends.

“Our technicians attend regular classes, to make sure they’re keeping their skills up to date,” he said. “They also stay up to date with the latest changes in the industry and product information.”

Wright said the thing he enjoys most about his job is seeing satisfied customers, leave the store.

“When we can help someone get exactly what they’re looking for, that’s a great feeling,” he said. “

Robb Hicken of the Idaho Better Business Bureau, said it’s important to get as much information as you can before making a large purchase such as a hot tub.

“You really want to be sure you know what you’re getting,” Hicken said. “I’ve talked to people who made a rash decision then ended up regretting it. You’ve got to make sure this is something you really want, and that you get a product that meets your needs and that you’re going to be happy with.”

The 35-year-old Jones is following Hicken’s advice and hasn’t finalized the purchase of his hot tub. Still he knows when the time comes, he’ll buy from Leisure Time.

“I’m still trying to figure out which brand and size of hot tub I want,” he said. “But I can’t wait to get it, I’ve been in here a few times talking with people about my purchase and I feel like they’ll always be there to help me.”