When people think of Coleman, they think of roughing it at a campsite with the company's lanterns and portable stoves.
But now a local manufacturer will make Coleman products that epitomize the opposite of roughing it - a line of luxury hot tubs.
Pomona-based LMS Inc., one of the leading hot tub manufacturers in the country, will produce seven hot tubs under the Coleman brand this year. LMS unveiled the first models in April.
Coleman of Wichita, Kan., has been selling hot tubs under its name for about 20 years. But the tubs designed by LMS will have such amenities as cup holders, mini-waterfalls, foot massagers, even an iPod dock with speakers. The tubs come equipped with energy-efficient heating and filtering systems.
"We like to think of it as a premium product," said Shiva Noble, LMS' executive vice president and one of the people who helped design the Coleman line.
The tubs retail for $4,000 to $8,000, depending on size and features, comparable with other tubs on the market.
LMS' 300 employees make more than 50,000 hot tubs a year under different brands. Some models even come with 42-inch television screens and stereo sound systems.
LMS is hoping that the Coleman name results in a boost to business. The hot tub industry is down an estimated 20 percent to 30 percent thanks to the recession and the dismal state of the housing market.
But now that there are signs the economy is rebounding, Noble said she expects consumers to dip their toes back in the water when it comes to buying hot tubs.
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