44th Annual Western Pool & Spa Show goes off without a hitch or without a truck giveaway
For the first time in more than 30 years, no one won a truck at the Western Pool and Spa Show, which took place on March 10, 11, and 12 in Long Beach, California.
That’s because there was no truck to win. Even the Western Show is not immune to the supply chain issues that have plagued the country, indeed, the world, for the last couple of years.
According to show organizer, Eric Nielson, the Western Show has a long-standing arrangement with Dodge to purchase the truck for the show’s culmination.
And in normal years, the Dodge dealership has 40 to 50 spare trucks with which to accommodate this arrangement. But this year, the national computer chip shortage put Dodge’s trucks out of commission, and they simply had no trucks to sell.
So instead, this year’s Western Pool and Spa Show grand prize winner took home $20,000 cash.
Out of 10 finalists who also left the show with a variety of valuable prizes totaling $25,000, only Frenny Pena, of Advanced Pool & Spa, in Los Angeles, California, walked away with the cold-hard cash.
Nielson said that by every indication, the show was a roaring
This year’s Western Pool and Spa Show winner, Frenny Pena, of Advanced Pool & Spa, in Los Angeles, Calif., left with $20,000 cash — No truck? No problem. success. Each day of the show saw record attendance, with more than 9,000 attendees walking the exhibit hall each day.
Seminar attendance was also high, with roughly 1,000 pool professionals attending classes on both Thursday and Saturday, and close to 1,500 in class on Friday.
Covid fears and precautions seem not to have thwarted participation by any significant margin, and the show offered free Covid testing to allay any concerns.
“I’ve never seen so many hugs — Lots of engagement and the exhibitors were happy. Everyone was just super excited about being back,” Nielson said.
The pre-show golf tournament was also well attended, garnering $15,000 worth of needed funds for the California Pool and Spa Association.
And on Friday night, Hasa hosted a memorial event for the late pool chemist, Robert Lowry during which his widow, Silvia, gave a moving speech.
“We plan to make it a tradition where we recognize someone in the industry every year and honor them with the “Bob Lowry Award,” Nielson said.
Western Pool & Spa Show crowd cheers Frenny Pena, of Advanced Pool & Spa, in Los Angeles, California, after she won the $20,000 prize.