New store lets you test drive hot tubs, design your own fun room

TRAVERSE CITY – Eric Doll is launching a store packed with all the comforts of home, and then some.

The Easy Living Superstore, scheduled to open May 13, will feature a range of in-home and outdoor amenities that facilitate recreation and fun for families, singles and retirees, anyone looking to play at home.

Situated in the extensively remodeled former Goodwill building on South Airport, the Easy Living Superstore includes 9,000 square feet of showroom space. Lavishly displayed are a range of hot tubs, saunas, billiards tables, steam rooms, bars, entertainment centers, fireplaces and custom fireplace mantles.

In the back of the store, another 9,000 square feet will display pools, decks and upscale grills. Doll said these grills are the most unique grills built in the country; some sport TV and others have waterfalls.

The 4,000 square feet in front of the superstore will display high-end Rainbow play systems for children, including rock climbing walls and slides.

"People are spending more time at home, inside and out, and they want to do things together as a family," said Doll. "For example, billiards are increasing in popularity because people want to keep their kids at home."

Tapping into this nesting desire, the possibilities are endless.

"If you look at the easy living concept, it's not really stuff that makes your life easier, but it is something that you look forward to every day," Doll added. "It could be anything; there's an endless amount of things."

Always looking for a new way to serve customers, Doll is dedicating approximately 1,000 square feet of his space to a hot tub test drive area, called the Mood Room. This room closes off from the main showroom and includes a dressing room, bathroom and sitting area that will have a plasma screen television.

The Mood Room will have three different hot tubs for people to try out on their own (bring your bathing suit!).

"They can relax in there with their kids, we'll give them an oasis in here," said Doll, adding that the decorations, flowers and plants will enhance the atmosphere.

He will also display the fireplaces in custom-built mantles and cabinets, giving potential buyers ideas for their own homes. Doll will put a fireplace in a floor-to-ceiling cabinet, for example, that includes all the electronics, as well as a plasma screen television over it.

Another display will include a window seat near the fireplace that has a computer-generated outdoor scene playing over it, showing that possibility for homeowners.

"Instead of a plain display, I'm going to show them what they will look like in their house," said Doll, whose company, Mantle Experts, has built custom cabinets and mantles for three years in the region.

Doll has owned Spa Warehouse Outlet for nearly four years. He's been in the business of home amenities for 16 years and worked in the field for 27. He and his two brothers, Adam and Art, co-own numerous business endeavors and are always looking for a new winning idea. When Eric pitched the concept of the Easy Living Superstore, he received an enthusiastic green light.

Doll is defining and expanding the idea of easy living as he goes. His superstore will closely evaluate what people want in the region and modify their offerings accordingly.

"We'll change periodically with different products and lines," he said.

To help customers determine how their desires can merge with their current home, the upstairs of the Easy Living Superstore will have a complete design center.

This center will include a range of samples and swatches to help customers coordinate with their existing decor. A computer-aided design system in the center will facilitate integrating any purchase into a home, deck or yard. Store staff can also travel to a client's home for a free, no obligation evaluation and consultation.

Doll said the Spa Warehouse Outlet will also remain open and he also will have another showroom nearby for additional Easy Living product lines. All together, there will be 17,000 square feet of showroom space displaying catering to the easy living concept.

"When you're selling quality products at a quality price, customers have got to be able to see and touch it," said Doll.

Reach the store at 995-0600. BN