It’s our 40th Anniversary!
It’s amazing to think back over the years I’ve been part of Olympic Hot Tub. I started with the company in May 1995. By then, Alice Cunningham and Blair Osborn, who started the company in 1977, had been in business 18 years and built a dealership that had many times emerged as the #1 retailer for Hot Spring Spas.
Last August, Alice & Blair completed the sale of Olympic to me. Now, I’m in the hot seat to continue their amazing legacy, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
It couldn’t go without saying that in no way could I be where I am today without Alice & Blair. I’ve told many people over the years that they are two of the most brilliant people I’ve ever known—and it’s absolutely true. Alice continually amazed me with how much she knew! Every time I sat down with her I would hear about a new film I needed to see, a book she’d just read that had really excited her, some data regarding online marketing…I could go on and on. When folks were trying to “figure out” the whole Internet thing, Olympic had one of the first websites in the hot tub industry. It launched the day I started with Olympic in 1995—a year before Hot Spring Spas launched their site! She wrote an unbelievable number of blogs about hot tubs, saunas, health & wellness that still get comments from folks worldwide.
Blair was absolutely the strategist of our company. He had a very keen financial acumen and was very focused on making sure our company was fiscally healthy. Before they started Olympic, Blair was a professor at the University of Washington. When they first started out, Blair’s analytical mind was at work making sure the round wood hot tubs they installed were the best out there. Some 25 years later we would still get calls from customers still using their wood tubs!! Amazing.
Through the years I worked with them, we did a lot of exactly that: work. But, at the end of the day, many times we would reflect on various challenges and victories. Alice would usually say, “But aren’t we having fun?” The answer was always “Yes!” Our mutual respect and admiration for each other, and our passion for what we do, made it a pleasure to be part of a company like Olympic.
So…this little reflection is a chance for me to publicly say thank you to them. I’ve expressed it a number of times over the years, but I cannot say enough how much they’ve influenced, enriched and changed my life.
Olympic has an exciting chapter ahead—and we have Alice & Blair to thank for it.
Don Riling, President
Author: Don Riling
Don Riling is the President of Olympic Hot Tub and has been an active member of the hot tub industry for over 20 years. As the company’s owner since 2016, he has continued Olympic’s legacy of promoting health & wellness through hot water & sauna therapy.