Celebrating 80 years of excellence
An interview with Marvin Betz, Past President, Betz Pools
Jolting to attention in the driver's seat of your car while barrelling down Highway 401 is without a doubt one of the worst ways you can wake up.
In 1973, Marvin Betz was running Betz Pools on his own, trying to keep up with the demand for swimming pools by working 14-hour days during the week and going on sales calls at night and on Saturdays and Sundays.
"It turned out that falling asleep was my wake-up call," Marvin says. "My business was growing like crazy and I just wasn't hiring to keep up with the demand. The very next morning I hired my first sales person."
1960's era Betz dry Gunite pool with white marbelite, white coping and brushed concrete deck.
Today Betz Pools employs 130 people plus subtrades. Marvin laughs, "One day things were so busy at the office I called home and asked my wife Sandy to come in and help answer the phones. She ended up working with us for 20 years."
That kind of longevity is not unusual at Betz. "Turnover here is exceptionally low. We have lots of people who have been with us for 30 or 40 years. And tons who have been here for over 20 years," Marvin says.
The company itself has been in business for over 80 years. In fact, in 1952 Yellow Pages in Toronto created its first swimming pool listing for what was then known as K.W. Betz Construction.
"My dad was a custom home builder. Ironically, Betz Pools grew out of my dad not wanting to build a swimming pool for one of his clients. His client persevered and ended up talking him into it. And then the next client insisted on getting a pool put in as part of his contract too. And here we are 80 years later."
Ken Betz with sons Keith and Marvin, the early days. The dry Gunite machine behind generator truck.
Today, the company's client list includes a Who's Who of central Canada's celebrity and business elite. Marvin can trace at least some of this clientele to an experience with another demanding client.
"We were asked to put a pool in for a guy who has to be one of the most difficult people in the world to deal with. Very wealthy, very successful, but very hard to deal with. It was quite an experience let me tell you, but he ended up being delighted with what we put together for his property. And he was so infamously difficult people said, 'You did HIS pool? And he's happy? Where do I sign?' And, you know, it was surprising how many people this guy knew. Being able to use him as a referral sold us so many pools it was unbelievable."
So what is Marvin most proud of at Betz Pools? "Definitely the Betz calibre of workmanship. The quality of our work is why we have such happy customers and why our pools stand up to the test of time: some of them are over 50 years old now. Real estate agents know that naming a Betz pool in a property features list is a selling point. So I'm very proud of that."
1960's era backyard luxury, a Betz dry Gunite pool with flagstone deck and ledgerock retaining walls.
With its eighty years of expertise and customer service, Marvin sees a bright future for Betz Pools. He is especially excited about the company's talent for creating comprehensive backyard designs.
"I have to give credit to our design team. They put together truly amazing designs that transform ordinary properties into extraordinary leisure and entertainment centres with features like cabanas, firepits, tiered decking, TVs, sound systems, waterfalls, and eye-popping multi-level landscaping. Concepts that most people just can't even imagine for their properties. This is my new passion and the direction I see our business heading in now."
Equipped with a full complement of skilled and experienced staff, and a select team of subcontractors, the road to continued success for Betz Pools looks a lot more promising, and much less harrowing, than it did through the windshield that long-ago night on the 401.
After 80 years, Betz Pools have become specialists at designing and building all-encompassing luxury backyard environments.
Looking for reliable company to help create your backyard paradise? Feel free to get in touch.
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