A hot business opens
Kewaskum man in the industry for more than 25 years

By AMANDA VOSS - Daily News

July 16, 2014

Hot Tub Factory Outlet owner Ron Kusters sits in a display hot tub
at the store on Tuesday afternoon in West Bend. The store opened on July 1.
John Ehlke/Daily News

WEST BEND - Kewaskum resident Ron Kusters took his 25-year experience in the hot tub and pool industry and opened the Hot Tub Factory Outlet on July 1 in West Bend. 

“We’re going to specialize in new and used hot tubs,” Kusters said. “Really without a big overhead. More of a distributor, so we’re going to have more factory type pricing.”

Kusters’ store, at 1120 W. Washington St., offers pool and spa supplies and service. Kusters also takes used hot tubs as trade-ins and refurbishes them.

“There’s a market for the used hot tub. You can get into a nice hot tub for $2,000-$3,000 instead of spending $7,000-$10,000,” Kusters said.

Kusters has been in the industry since 1988 after he graduated from high school. He saw a job posting for summer help at a pool and spa store and he’s never left the industry.

“I’ve worked for manufacturers on the road,” Kusters said. “But being in this for 25 years I wanted my own store - work for myself.”

A look at the exterior of the Hot Tub Factory Outlet. 
John Ehlke/Daily News

Jeana Kusters, Ron’s wife of 15 years, has been helping Ron with the new business and she said she was very excited when Ron told her he wanted to open a store.

“I feel like now is his time,” Jeana said. “This is something he’s wanted to do for as long as I have known him.”

Ron said he noticed the building was for lease and the square footage met his needs to feature tubs on the selling room floor. The building also had an overhead door and a built-in garage to bring in the hot tubs.

He said he chose West Bend as a location because it’s busy, it’s central in the county and it’s closest to where he lives.

“I think it’s a good destination town for shopping,” Ron said.

Ron Kusters said he can help customers figure out who will use the hot tub and why.

“If it's just strictly for therapeutic reasons or just for family fun or a combination of both,” he said.

One of the seats in a Royal Spa on display at the Hot Tub Factory Outlet on Tuesday afternoon in West Bend. The Hot Tub Factory has been in its W. Washington Street location for close to a week.
John Ehlke/Daily News

Ron Kusters said he might even to go a customer’s home to figure out a location for the hot tub - usually on a patio or a deck. The hot tub is delivered and put in place, and he will install accessories like steps to get in and out or a lifting mechanism to lift the cover up and down.

Ron Kusters said the market for hot tubs is growing. They’re easier to take care of than a pool because they’re less susceptible to the weather.

“Three to 4 percent of every household in the U.S. has a hot tub, so there’s a lot of room to grow,” Ron Kusters said.

Jeana Kusters said one reason for the growing market is that more people are investing in their home life rather than in traveling.

Ron Kusters said the challenging part about opening a business is the financial output and building a client base.

“There’s some freedoms of owning your own business, but yet the time consumption is involved forming your own business also,” he said.

Jeana Kusters said her husband has worked in every aspect of the business.

“He really knows his stuff. He wants to be able to match his customers with the hot tub of their dreams,” she said. “He’s so friendly and knowledgeable. He’s not just out there to make a buck. He honestly enjoys what he’s doing.”

The Hot Tub Factory Outlet is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays.

Ron Kusters said it’s a seasonal business and hours will be shorter in the heart of winter.

For more information call 353-9677.