Dan Dalton, 28, started working in the hot tub industry in 2009 as an installer and repairman for another local hot tub seller. He moved into sales and then a managerial position for two others before he “just up and decided it was time to start my own business.” Joe Stumpe Eagle Correspondent
Dan Dalton, 28, started working in the hot tub industry in 2009 as an installer and repairman for another local hot tub seller. He moved into sales and then a managerial position for two others before he “just up and decided it was time to start my own business.” Joe Stumpe Eagle Correspondent

Small Business

Idea of owning his own business bubbled up for spa-store owner

By Joe Stumpe

Eagle correspondent

August 30, 2017 04:14 PM

Dan Dalton has an update for anyone who owned a hot tub in the past.

“Anyone who had one 20 years ago is extremely worried. But they’re making them so much easier to own and operate every year.”

Dalton, owner of the Dan the Man Spa store on West Street, is trying to make the process of buying a spa easier, too.

“We’re trying to sell ourselves by being completely transparent with the customer. Our pricing includes everything they need to get started — installation, covers, all of that stuff. There are no hidden charges tacked on later.”

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Dalton, 28, started working in the hot tub industry in 2009 as an installer and repairman for another local hot tub seller. He moved into sales and then a managerial position for two others before he “just up and decided it was time to start my own business.” At some point, customers “just started calling me Dan the Spa Man.”

Dalton’s business focused solely on servicing hot tubs for several years. But in February he opened a 3,000-square-foot retail store on West Street. That process was a little more difficult than he’d imagined it would be.

“All of the prep work was something I really hadn’t thought about,” he said. “I had a good friend doing a lot of remodeling who gave me a little bit of guidance. Everything from grinding the floors to putting up our custom cash register area, we did it all by hand, and I think it really turned out good.”

Finding suppliers, on the other hand, turned out to be fairly easy. Dalton said he evaluated about 15 hot tub brands that weren’t being sold in Wichita before deciding on Cal Spas and Sundance.

“With Cal Spa, it’s more about the options. You’ll be able to pick and choose different jet packages, different horsepower on the pumps. You can build it up from basic to all-out.”

Sundance, on the other hand, “is more about reputation and quality. It’s more a custom-built feel, attention to detail.”

“We really had the opportunity to bring in what we thought was best, as opposed to what was left,” he said.

Dalton keeps about a dozen models on display and can order a couple dozen more. In the future, he’d like to expand into fire pits and outdoor kitchens.

Dalton’s business still services all models of hot tubs, whether sold by his store or not. He has two employees beside himself.

“We take a low-profile type of sales approach,” he said. “We’re not hard sellers here at all. We’re way more about allowing you to purchase the right tub, as opposed to selling you what we have.”

Now you know

Dan the Spa Man

Address: 140 S. West St.,

Phone: 316-300-3344

Owner: Dan Dalton

Employees: 3

Website: danthespaman.com