Olympic Hot Tub Celebrates 7th Annual “Honoring Heroes” Event
April 1st, 2023 – Seattle, Washington – Olympic Hot Tub is proud to announce the launch of its 7th Annual “Honoring Heroes” event, which aims to support charities that serve military personnel, police officers, firefighters, and teachers. This year, the beneficiary of the event is Fisher House at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
“JBLM Army Fisher House is a crucial resource for our servicemen and women and their families. It’s an honor for us to support this exceptional cause,” says Don Riling, President of Olympic Hot Tub.
Fisher House offers a nurturing and secure living environment for military service members and their families while they receive medical care at Madigan Army Medical Center. It is a comfortable “home away from home” designed to keep families together during times of medical need.
One testimonial on the organization’s website reads, “They offered food, supplies, and even my family was amazed by the amenities and most importantly the convenience of being in such close proximity to Madigan hospital. Fisher House is doing a tremendous job by assisting us, the families of military personnel while they find themselves in pain, and for us, the parents trying to find a way to stay close to them.”
To support Fisher House, Olympic Hot Tub will donate a portion of every hot tub or swim purchase made between April 1st and April 30th. The goal is to donate a minimum of $18,000 to help support Fisher House.
For more information visit Olympic Hot Tub’s website at www.olympichottub.com or stop by one of their seven Puget Sound locations today.
About Olympic Hot Tub:
Olympic Hot Tub has been in business 46 years and has seven retail locations, Seattle, Everett, Issaquah, Lacey, Auburn, Woodinville, and Sequim, as well as a warehouse/service center in Auburn. The company will be opening its 8th showroom in Tacoma in June 2023. The company supports military service members through ongoing product discounts and has several vets on staff.
The company is credited by The Seattle Times as introducing hot tubbing to the Pacific Northwest. Olympic Hot Tub focuses on health and wellness through water.
About JBLM Fisher House:
Joint Base Lewis-McChord Fisher House provides a comfortable, nurturing, and secure home-like environment to the families of active and veteran service members who are receiving extended medical care at Madigan Army Medical Center.
The house has seven guest rooms with private baths, a huge well-stocked kitchen, and a dining room seating 16-20 people. All amenities from toothpaste to laundry detergent are supplied and meals are often provided by community volunteers. There is no cost to the family to stay at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Fisher House, and all donations go directly toward the operation and maintenance of the house and the well-being of the guests.
The passing of Blair Osborn, one of Olympic Hot Tub’s Founders
November 8th, 2022 – Many of our customers had the good fortune over the years to interact with one of our company’s founders, Blair Osborn. It’s a very sad day for me, as I’m here to share the news with you that Blair passed away over the weekend of October 28th.
Blair and his wife, Alice Cunningham, started Olympic Hot Tub in 1977. When they started Olympic, the idea of having a hot tub was nowhere near commonplace. As it started to take hold on the west coast, Blair and Alice opened their first shop on Northlake Way on Lake Union in Seattle. They were credited by the Seattle Times for bringing hot tubs to the Northwest. In fact, for many years our company’s tagline was “The Northwest’s Original Hot Tub Company”.
Olympic became one of Hot Spring’s very first dealers in 1982. Over the years our company became a key player in Hot Spring’s success as the brand it is today. So much of what Blair suggested was implemented in the product. Any time anyone needed counsel or thoughts at Hot Spring, they always turned to Blair and Alice. When Hot Spring created its Locksin Thompson Award in 1992, to recognize the single best dealer worldwide, Olympic Hot Tub was the first company honored. And, when they retired from the industry in 2016, Hot Spring created a Ring of Honor Award to recognize their indelible mark on the brand and a lifetime of achievement.
You may not know this, but Blair was a Professor at the University of Washington prior to starting Olympic. With a PhD in engineering, you can bet he was a thinker. Always known within Olympic as the “back of house” guy, he was more than content to let Alice be the face and voice of the company. They had the perfect dynamic relationship. As I said to someone who interviewed me last week for a memorial that was shared with Hot Spring dealers worldwide, he never met a spreadsheet he didn’t like.
I learned more from Blair than I can ever recount. The day I arrived at Olympic in May 1995, I knew that both Blair and Alice were to have a pivotal impact on my life. As the years wore on and I took on more critical roles and responsibility at Olympic, they were both always right there to mentor, guide, sometimes chastise, and always praise what I helped them achieve.
I am blessed to now lead Olympic. It’s not always been easy. I do the best I can as an infallible human being to always do what’s right for our employees and customers. They left a weighty legacy to continue.
In closing, I’d like to share some of what Hot Spring’s key leaders over the past 40 years shared about Blair.
Mike Dunn, recently retired from the role of Executive Vice President: “People looked to them – not just at Watkins but industry-wide – as the ultimate in quality dealers. Blair was brilliant at handling the finance and operations side of the business. We often say that selling hot tubs is the easy part, but the hard part is fulfillment. Blair did that job as well as anyone I ever met. He was a great strategic thinker, and incredibly generous about sharing his knowledge and experience.”
Steve Hammock, recently retired from the role of President after 40 years, remembered Blair as a brilliant man who could always make you laugh. He noted that Olympic was one of the first dealers to exclusively sell hot tubs – starting off with wooden hot tubs and shortly after becoming an exclusive provider of Hot Spring spas. “He was one of the pioneers who knew this product could stand alone!”
Scott Iverson, who is now Hot Spring’s National Sales Trainer, originally served as Olympic’s regional rep for Hot Spring since the early ‘90’s. “I remember when I was 24, Blair and Alice took me under their wing. Blair believed this business could be elevated long before anyone else did. He and Alice understood that their people were doing something more than selling hot tubs. He created a team of true believers in the wellness benefits.
Hot Spring’s business was catapulted based on their example. Blair and Alice were so generous at sharing their best practices and the things that were helping. They established a culture of sharing among the dealers. Now there are groups inside our organization that meet regularly and share their successes. I believe they led that movement and made that the norm, not the exception.
It was so unusual – he was so comfortable in his own skin that he was always fully there for anyone he was with. Everyone who knew him was struck by that. This man was a living legend. Both he and Alice changed the trajectory of our industry, and if they hadn’t been there, the business might be very different today.”
Blair, thank you for everything. Rest in peace, my life-changing friend.
Olympic Hot Tub 6th Annual Founders Event
October 7th, 2022 –
Olympic Hot Tub, retailer of hot tubs, swim spas and accessories, kicks off its 6th Annual Founder’s Event. The event honors founders Alice Cunningham and Blair Osborn and their legacy of giving. This year, Olympic Hot Tub is raising funds for three organizations that provide emergency and/or affordable long-term housing for those in need: Compass Housing Alliance serving the Greater Puget Sound region, Serenity House of Clallam County, and Housing Hope of Everett, serving Snohomish County.
“Alice & Blair, both brilliant businesspeople, were passionate about a number of worthwhile causes. They shared a concern about the ever-growing plight of hunger and homelessness in our region and they recognized the importance of giving back,” said Olympic Hot Tub President Don Riling. “We are so pleased to help Compass Housing Alliance, Serenity House, and Housing Hope in their missions to empower struggling individuals and families to end the cycle of homelessness.
Olympic will donate a portion of each Hot Spring Spa, Vita Swim Spa, Freeflow Spa, and Covana Automated Gazebo sale toward the Founder’s Event goal of $18,000. This donation to Compass Housing Alliance, Serenity House of Clallam County, and Housing Hope will go directly to those providing critical housing and support services and helping those in need build better lives.
Olympic encourages community members to donate directly to Compass Housing Alliance, Serenity House of Clallam County, and Housing Hope, or a local charity of their choice. “Our company has always been focused on the health and wellness of our customers—one of the reasons we’ve adopted Better You…Better Life ™ as Olympics’ mantra. We think that everyone, regardless of their situation in life, deserves a chance for change. We’re hopeful our customers will agree and make our 6th Founder’s Event a significant contributor to Compass Housing Alliance, Serenity House of Clallam County, and Housing Hope to help those in need,” said Riling.
About Olympic Hot Tub:
Olympic Hot Tub has been in business 45-years and has seven retail locations, Seattle, Everett, Issaquah, Auburn, Lacey, Woodinville, and Sequim, as well as a service center in Auburn. The company is credited by The Seattle Times as introducing hot tubbing to the Pacific Northwest. Olympic Hot Tub has a focus on wellness and the health benefits of water.
About the 3 local housing providers:
Compass Housing Alliance
Everyone Deserves a Home.
Through the development and operation of permanent affordable housing with supportive services, expansive 24/7 enhanced shelter programs, and a robust emergency services hub, Compass helps low-income and unhoused individuals and families in our community end the cycle of homelessness.
Founded on the heels of the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic, Compass began more than 100 years ago in Seattle’s Pioneer Square as a haven for those who were working in the region’s earliest industries. Today, Compass’s range of service offerings includes a hygiene center, mail, and banking day services, 222 enhanced emergency shelter beds, and 684 affordable studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units in 20 affordable supportive housing locations. Unique to CHA is our ability to provide shelter and stability to our neighbors in need, regardless of where they may be on their journey to home. From offering vital emergency services and shelter to the more than 6,000 individuals in King County living outside, to providing families, seniors, and Veterans with a permanent, supportive place to call home, CHA strives to create an equitable and dignified environment and experience for all of our guests and residents. Compass touches the lives of thousands of individuals and families each year.
About Compass Housing Alliance:
- King County’s Health through Housing recently selected Compass to expand our emergency services operations/leadership to our neighbors in Auburn
- Locations throughout King County include programs in Shoreline, Bothell/Kenmore, Renton, Sea-Tac, Auburn and a hub of locations throughout the City of Seattle.
Serenity House of Clallam County
Operating since 1982, Serenity House of Clallam County is an independent nonprofit organization and the lead housing agency for very low-income clients in Clallam County. Officially designated as the Clallam Continuum of Care Provider by HUD and the Consolidated Homeless Grant Lead by WA Commerce, we are responsible for the majority of homeless housing activities throughout the county.
Serenity House provides shelter to families and single adults. We also operate a number of programs through our housing resource centers located in Port Angeles, Sequim, and Forks. These programs include case management services that teach life, finance, relationship, and work skills; intervention programs that prevent homelessness from occurring and facilitate drug treatment; employment training for clients 16 years and older; and YES! Youth Entry Services for youth and young adults. We also conduct street outreach to unsheltered and sheltered youth and adult homeless aimed at enrolling them in programs that lead to housing and employment.
Serenity House owns and operates four housing complexes with 45 adult and 16 family units. We provide placements with case management for another 10 privately owned units, and we master lease a housing complex to another agency to provide 16 units of housing on the West End. In addition to this, we work with over 100 local landlords for private housing placements with rental subsidies and limited tenant damages reimbursement.
Finally, Serenity House is the Washington Commerce regulatory compliance provider with other non-government county service agencies providing housing related services and we maintain the state and federally mandated HMIS system in Clallam County. We sub-grant county CHG Funding to three other agencies – Healthy Families, Fork’s Abuse & NORVHN.
In 1987 a group of concerned citizens gathered to form a task force in North Snohomish to look for ways to address the immediate crisis of homelessness and proposed the formation of a nonprofit agency with the expertise to leverage community resources for real housing solutions. They incorporated Housing Hope on September 30, 1987 and envisioned it as a housing development corporation. They recognized that that the provision of housing was not enough in and of itself. Each family facing homelessness was also facing complex personal, familial, and societal issues that would require longer term attention. The concept of service enriched housing became integral to the agency mission.
Today Housing Hope owns and operates 541 service-enriched, affordable units at 23 locations throughout Snohomish County and has helped 328 households attain homeownership through our sweat equity Team Home Building program. We continue to address the county housing shortage with a 5-year pipeline of housing community projects in various stages of development that will serve our community members in need with affordable housing.