We at Shasta Pools are ecstatic about celebrating our 50th anniversary as Phoenix pool builders. Those that have been with us since the beginning could never have imagined what a long, winding road our journey would be. Back then, 2016 seemed like a distant, unimaginable vision, albeit one full of promise. And while our cars do not fly yet and we still struggle with some of the same problems of yesteryear, we have seen a lot of people and industries grow up, including our own.
Along the way, we have expanded our services greatly to include offerings like outdoor living structures and advanced poolside features like fire pots. We have also learned so much. Modern technology can help us do amazing things that we could have never hoped back in our humble beginnings a half century ago.
Yet, some things have not changed. Our values always remained constant. We still love giving Phoenix residences, businesses, facilities and schools the best pools possible installed with the utmost attention to detail. After 50 years, the big smiles on people’s faces and the animated stories they tell about enjoying their pools with friends and families are still what gets us up in the morning.
So, we want to take this moment to thank you, Phoenix — not just for the business you have given us, but for the opportunities to make someone happy and for the unforgettable memories. Of course, you have also enabled our line of work so that our employees can put bread on their table and send their kids off to college. For all these reasons, our half-centennial celebration is as much about each one of you as it is about us. Let’s celebrate together.
When we first opened our business in 1966, Phoenix had just gotten over some growing pains. The population had exploded by nearly 400 percent since 1950. Office skyscrapers and high-tech industrial facilities alike popped up along the desert horizon like cactus blooms after the rain. With these new jobs came tens of thousands of new Phoenix citizens, who aimed to live comfortably in their desert paradise within the new subdivisions that arose out of the desert almost overnight.
Naturally, part of living comfortably in these new homes meant having a pool to cool off from the desert heat. Thousands of new homeowners were taking advantage of developing consumer pool technology that made ownership more affordable and low-maintenance than ever before. While sturdy timber frames were being raised, almost as many holes were being dug so that all the new homes would have a glistening backyard oasis to make their luxurious lifestyle complete.
Recognizing this unprecedented demand, our founder Ed “Skip” Ast saw an opportunity. He used his prior knowledge of construction and an eagerness to learn the trade of pool engineering to carve out a business niche. Quickly absorbing the techniques and best-practices of the trade, Ast and Shasta’s other founders aimed to go deeper by researching the latest materials, technology and building practices that could help them improve the quality, performance and longevity of the pools they provided.
This dedication of going beyond mediocrity into true expertise quickly earned Shasta a reputation in the area for some of the best pools in the Southwest, perhaps even the country. Residents, businesses and even public facilities began clamoring for Shasta contracts, so that each could earn the benefit of a cutting-edge pool system that looked and performed like a dream. Within two years, Shasta was the #1 pool builder in the Phoenix area.
By the late 70s, Shasta had established itself as one of the most advanced and versatile pool installation contractors in the entire country. Their installations were not only well-designed, but the technology they used and the talented staff they employed were capable of installing pools seemingly overnight. Putting these skills to the test, Shasta’s build team broke a world record in 1981 for building an entire pool — from ground breaking to fill-ready — in just under eight hours. While others were no doubt impressed, Shasta aimed to do better. In 1989, they cut the completion time in half to four hours.
As the boom of the late 80s and 90s hit, more developers and businesses than ever were flocking to Arizona. Shasta became the go-to builder for commercial and residential pools alike for contracts of all sizes across the Valley.
Not content to rest on their laurels, the Shasta team funneled much of their revenue back into innovation. Their cutting-edge design and construction capabilities allowed them to win international pool design awards. Their capability of installing industrial-sized swimming facilities allowed them to earn huge contracts, such as the 450,000-gallon municipal Aquatic Center for Buckeye, Arizona.
Shasta adopted green technology both in their installations and in their business. By 2008, most of the Shasta business offices were entirely paperless. Shasta also pursued virtual reality systems, developing their own form of AutoCAD to quickly visualize a pool installation in minutes. Dubbed “ShastaCAD,” this program’s licenses would later be requested by renowned pool installers across the world.
Today, like Phoenix itself, Shasta remains evolved yet unchanged. Our dedication to family-owned values and cutting-edge technologies has helped us keep pace with the breakneck growth of the Phoenix Valley and the world in general.
We are not quite sure what tomorrow will hold for us, but we do know that there will still be people wanting high-quality pools for their homes or businesses. And Shasta will be there — like we always have — to deliver on their high expectations.
Thanks for 50 incredible years!
The Shasta Crew