A Historical Narrative
It all began in 1955....when two professional carpenters, Jim Behlman and Bill Reiss partnered to specialize in home building. They formed Behlman & Reiss, Inc. in 1956.
Behlman and Reiss provided the Carpentry for the first "Home Show" home inside the old Milwaukee Arena. In those days, the home was given away to a lucky winner, and after the show, it was dismantled and re-erected on the winner's lot.
Reiss left the business in 1958, and Behlman ran the business alone as a carpenter contract firm. In 1963, work for the Home Building Trades was slow, very competitive, and not very profitable. Behlman decided to apply his construction skills to a relatively new consumer product - the In Ground Swimming Pool.
Service had always been a large component of their business as Carpenters, and that tradition continued in the Pool building business. Helping clients find the In Ground Pool best suited to family needs and budget was familiar operating territory.
The earliest pools were, believe it or not, constructed with wood walls! Then came Spartan galvanized steel wall pools, Fox pools, and currently the Sentry Galvanized Steel/ Epoxy coated steel wall.
In 1970, after several years of doing a blend of pool building and carpenter contract work - including complete indoor pool rooms - they decided to devote all their energy to pool building, and changed the business name to Aqua Fun Pools, Inc.
During the mid-70's, fence contracting, a natural fit with the In Ground Pool operations and code requirement, brought new partner Jim Coughlin to Aqua Fun.
In 1981, Aqua Fun opened its first full service Retail Store where it still stands today, in Sussex. Located just South of Silver Spring Dr. on State Hwy 74 (also known as Waukesha Ave. and formerly as State Hwy 164) the showroom features 10-14 hot tubs on display, chemicals, supplies and parts for Pools and Spas, and Above Ground Pools displayed outdoors.
Also in 1981, Aqua Fun displayed the first portable hot tub - or spa - at the Home Show at State Fair Park: a 'Mr. Spa' model. Most people asked: " ...how can I fit this into my bathroom?! " We've come a long way since then!
In August, 1983, the Sussex Retail store building was struck by lightning and completely destroyed by fire. For the next 10 months business was conducted from a construction trailer in the parking lot. By June of 1984, a new, larger Showroom was complete and Aqua Fun's Retail Store was open once again.
In 1985, Jim Behlman officially retired.
In 1993 Aqua Fun Pools & Spas was recognized as one of the Aqua 100 - a recognition given by the Pool and Spa Industry trade publication Aqua Magazine, to growing, well-managed industry businesses.
May, 2000 marked the opening of a second Retail Store in the Big Bend/Vernon area at the Southern end of Waukesha County. Located on National Ave. and Enterprise Dr., this store offered a closer option for those in the Southern 1/2 of the County.
In 2002, an outdoor display area was constructed at the Sussex Store. This display includes two above ground pools and a Swim Spa.
Aqua Fun Pools & Spas was honored to be a partner with Manufacturer Marquis Spas and the Make-A-Wish Foundation to fulfill “Joshua’s Wish”. Joshua received a Wish Model Spa donated by Marquis. Aqua Fun provided the labor to get the spa to Joshua’s home.
Vita Spa presented Aqua Fun Pools & Spas with their “2003 Dealer of the Year” award. This prestigious honor is given to one dealer out of 250 nationwide.
In 2010, Aqua Fun again teamed up with The Make-A-Wish Foundation to help grant “Taylor’s Wish.” Aqua Fun provided a generous donation towards an above ground swimming pool, making Taylor's wish a reality.
Also in 2010, Aqua Fun Pools joined the fund raising team of the Special Olympics of Wisconsin. An 18' x 30' Soft Sided Pool and Ladder from Aqua Fun holds the water for the Whitewater Polar Plunge. Aqua Fun provides the set up and take down of the pool each year for this event with help from some local volunteers. In 2012, the program was expanded to include the pool and Aqua Fun at the Kenosha Polar Plunge event, as well.