A Splashing Success

Presidential Pools on Arizona Business Today

NB|AZ helps local pool builder come out on top

For Tim Murphy, CEO of Presidential Pools and Spas, growing up in Arizona meant endless days of pool time fun. But rather than splashing around and doing cannonballs, Murphy found a way to turn pools into a lucrative business.

“I grew up in Paradise Valley and hung out by the pool a lot,” he says. “My parents always had me clean the waterline in our pool, so I thought, why not turn this into a business.”

At the age of 15, Murphy did exactly that. He hired friends to clean waterline tile for $.50 per foot—while charging customers $1 per foot. He named the business Sparkle Pool Tile and soon began to provide full-scale cleaning services, including acid washing and repairs. He eventually went on to consult with homeowners and builders in designing and building pools, which inspired him to apply for his contractor’s license. In 1991, 12 years after he started his neighborhood pool cleaning business, Murphy launched Presidential Pools and Spas.

“The first six months I was in business, I built five pools,” he says. “The second year, I built 27. It just kept going up from there.”

This year, the company is celebrating its 25th anniversary—a cause for celebration indeed. That’s because while Presidential Pools experienced successful growth at the beginning, the collapse of the housing market in 2008 posed a significant challenge that put his adaptability skills to the test.

“Our financing was drying up and we had to restructure the company, which included going from 350 employees to 80,” he says.

Realizing he had to “recreate” the business, Murphy developed ways to be more efficient. This included, interestingly enough, starting two new businesses: Blue Square Manufacturing, which makes in-floor jets; and Pebble Radiance, a pebble pool finish company.

“With all these changes, we realized we needed a bank to help us,” Murphy says. “We met with National Bank of Arizona late last year, and were immediately impressed with not only their products, but also the high level of customer service.”

Commercial banker Jason Mayer says he’s excited about the new relationship.

“Tim and his team are extremely responsive,” he says. “And with the new growth they’re experiencing, the opportunities are endless. We’re looking at bringing the treasury business over and helping them purchase new vehicles. I’m looking forward to seeing our relationship evolve in the years to come.”