Backyards Built to Inspire

Shasta Pools
Written by Ryan Cartner

Shasta Industries is a family of multi-faceted pool divisions headquartered in Arizona. Shasta specializes in the design, construction, repair, remodeling and manufacturing of pools and spas for homes and commercial customers.
The company was established in 1966 by brothers Bob and Ed Ast. The pair realized that having a pool could positively affect the lives of families and friends and that there was a need for a quality pool construction operation in Phoenix. They aimed to provide a service that could bring the backyard pool experience to customers while beating the competition with superior products and a faster, more reliable service.

“We’re focused not just on building a great product,” says Jeff Ast, president of Shasta Industries, “but on the overall goal of enhancing the lives of families and bringing people together.”

The company grew quickly on the merits of efficient planning, innovative processes, and sheer hard work. By the end of its first year in operation, Shasta Industries had built 222 pools. That number more than doubled over the next year, and by 1969, the company had built nearly one thousand pools throughout its operating territory. Shasta Industries became the number one pool builder in the state of Arizona and has held that title since. Today, the company has built over 84,000 pools, which is more than its ten closest competitors combined.

In the beginning, the company focused solely on building new pools. By the end of 1966, having established a reputation for its work, it became involved with an international network of pool building companies called the Master Pools Guild. A company must meet a very strict set of qualifications to be eligible for membership; entry into the guild is by election only, and very few companies are selected. Shasta Industries had established itself over its first year as a very capable player, and to this day, it has remained the only Master Pool Guild member in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.

In 1972, the company expanded its offerings with the addition of its customer care division. Through this branch, the company offered service and repair solutions for existing Shasta pools. It also made these services available for remodeled pools and pools installed by competing companies. In 1978, the company expanded again by taking on its own remodeling projects. Since then, Shasta has remodeled more than 34,000 pools.

A&A Manufacturing, a division of Shasta Industries that manufactures intelligent pool systems and ancillary parts, was founded in 1981. The systems developed by A&A are state-of-the-art, self-cleaning, energy-efficient, and eco-friendly. The company partners with pool builders and suppliers globally to provide the best pool products on the market. A&A is a global leader in intelligent pool systems.

By the mid-1980s, Shasta was forming partnerships with area homebuilding companies such as Shea Homes, Pulte Homes, and Del Webb. This approach allowed Shasta to work alongside the developer as a home is being built so the homeowner can add the cost of the pool to the first mortgage. Building the pool at the same time is also advantageous in that it eliminates many of the challenges that can come with adding a pool to an existing backyard. Damage to concrete, landscape, and tight access issues are all problems that can arise unexpectedly, increasing the cost of the project, and building the pool alongside the home prevents these problems from occurring. Shasta was one of the first companies to implement this approach, and it has been a very successful aspect of its business ever since.

In 1988, Shasta established its commercial division, which focuses entirely on large commercial pools for water parks, resorts, hotels, unique water features, and more. Shasta’s commercial division builds the vast majority of commercial pools in Arizona but has also designed and built projects in Texas, California, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, and Mississippi.

Shasta established a concrete overlay division in 1994 in response to growing demand from customers for decorative concrete surfacing. This branch of the company is called Xcel Surfaces, and it offers a wide range of colors and patterns for any interior or exterior application.

As Shasta’s services continued to expand, its expertise evolved along with it. The company created a specialized training division to support that growth in 1999. This branch of Shasta Industries was launched to provide employees, subcontractors, and others a place to receive training not only on pool-focused areas but also on personal development and leadership. Rick Mortensen, who led the training division, received his certification through the renowned leadership training organization FranklinCovey. That group recognized Mortensen as its facilitator of the year in 2000.

Finally, in 2016, the most recent division of the Shasta Industries family of companies opened its doors. The landscape division enables Shasta to provide a full backyard, bringing the company full circle to its founders’ vision of enhancing the lives of its customers. Shasta offers a full suite of services that can improve the lives of families and friends.

Today, Shasta Industries employs approximately three hundred people throughout its divisions. It also has three sales offices and a corporate headquarters that includes the home bases for A&A Manufacturing, Xcel Surfaces, and customer care, as well as a warehouse, a maintenance shop, a testing pool for A&A products, new pool construction, general inventory, and accounting. From these facilities Shasta Pools serves primarily the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, although Xcel Surfaces works throughout the United States, and A&A offers its products internationally.

Shasta Industries began as a family business and remains one to this day. “We strive to keep a family-focused culture,” says Ast. “Our customers are our family.”

The company’s mission has always been to bring people together, and that philosophy goes further than just a commitment to its customers. Shasta Industries is dedicated to fostering a culture of collaboration within its workforce, making the Shasta team a family as well. By encouraging each other, positivity is carried into the work and ultimately into the customer experience. “If we live our purpose, then we achieve our mission to create distinctive pools, innovative products, and astonishing services through tenacious execution and process improvement,” says Ast.

The company holds to a foundation of values that it considers fundamental: communication, integrity, teamwork, professionalism, honesty, continuous learning, and dependability. Together, these have helped the company build a portfolio of high-quality work that is unmatched by any competitor in the markets it serves.

As a full-service company, the level of expertise it has is extensive. The company performs approximately half of its swimming pool construction with in-house crews rather than calling in help from subcontractors. “These crew members have worked with Shasta for many years, and we’ve seen generations retire at Shasta and start again,” says Ast. “This gives us more control with schedules and quality assurance and reiterates our commitment to family.”

When subcontractors are brought in, Shasta calls on long-standing partnerships that span up to thirty years with some of the best companies in the region. These relationships are just as solid, transparent, and productive as those with in-house crews.

In 1966, Shasta was a pool builder, but today, the company creates complete backyard spaces that enrich the family experience. Shasta Industries has worked on more than 120,000 new pool and remodel projects, and each one was an effort to improve lives and bring people closer.



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