Romantics, water lovers get bubbly over hot-tub cruise rentals on the bay
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 09/17/14 - 03:16 PM | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Taylor Rhodes, company president of Hot Tub Cruisin, shows off the unique rental feature that is catching on for water lovers, romantics and adventurers at Mission Bay. 	        Photo by Dave Schwab
Taylor Rhodes, company president of Hot Tub Cruisin, shows off the unique rental feature that is catching on for water lovers, romantics and adventurers at Mission Bay. Photo by Dave Schwab
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Young entrepreneurs are bringing something new to the recreational mix of water sports and entertainment on Mission Bay.

Along with boating, jet skiing and paddleboarding, ocean users can now go Hot Tub Cruisin.

That’s the name of a company launched recently by the Rhodes brothers, who are originally from Washington State. The family-owned and operated business has set up shop in San Diego after launching the first pontoon-style hot-tub boat ever to ply Mission Bay.

“My brothers and I grew up in Spokane sailing cold mountain lakes, and the running joke with our dad was always, ‘Why can’t you just put a hot tub on the boat?’” said company president Taylor Rhodes. “When my brothers and I graduated from college and wanted to start our career paths and take on some endeavor, we loved this idea.”

So the Rhodes family’s triplets did some background research putting together a design and business plan — and Hot Tub Cruisin was born.

The company, which started this summer, subleases its hot-tub boat operation out of Mission Bay Sport Center at 1010 Santa Clara Place in Mission Beach. It rents its pontoon-style craft seating up to 10 guests for a flat rate of $215 an hour for up to four hours.

There’s a barbecue and an 18-gallon deck cooler onboard, and guests can bring their own food and drinks. The craft is also equipped with a Bluetooth-capable sound system with wrap-around seating to take advantage of the views.

Hot Tub Cruisin’s pitch is that clients can “enjoy the bay any day,” whatever the reason — a birthday or special event, a date, a company outing or just a summer night spin to catch a fireworks display.

“We’re hitting every demographic: college students and young professionals all the way up to families and businesses going out together on groups on a Friday afternoon,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes said no one has yet asked to get married on his Jacuzz cruise, “but we’ve reached out to some wedding planners and they’ve made suggestions to people,” he said.

The hot-tub cruise, however, has attracted a fair amount of bachelor and bachelorette parties because of its attractive and unique venue for such fun-oriented excursions.

So far, Cruisin’s skipper hasn’t done much advertising. He hasn’t had to.

“It’s a floating advertisement,” Rhodes said. “While the boat is out, we get four of five calls from people who’ve seen it going by, asking, ‘What’s the deal? Is it really a hot tub?’”

Rhodes said Hot Tub Cruisin, for a variety of reasons, usually isn’t a tough sell.

“It’s a unique, luxurious experience,” he said about partying and dining in a hot tub out on the ocean.

He said the hot tub is drained and refilled after every excursion.

“We fill it back up with water at a temperature of 104 degrees,” he said, adding the temperature can be adjusted at the customer’s request.

Is this the start of something bigger?

Rhodes said he doesn’t want his company to get too far ahead of itself.

“Now that summer’s over, we’re going to take a step back and consider things,” he said. “There’s a ton of interest to bring this to other venues.”

For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.hottubcruisin.com, or call (619) 905-5100.
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