I bought this tub from Costco in Sept '06 and I have to say that I absolutely love it. There is one thing that I would say I am not thrilled about, but for the most part...I love it.
My main issue with this tub is the mode and the cost of operating the thing. I'd like to see this dollar a day operation. Sleep mode shuts the thing down completely. I live in Ontario and placed it in sleep mode when I went on vacation. I came home to a tub at 56. Needless to say, more hydro to heat it to 102.
So I kept it on standard mode to maintain the heat at 102. My hydro bill jumped from $60/month to $160. I chalked it up to heating from 58 to 102 and ample usage. Same bill the next month so I went and put some more insulation in the cabinet to keep the heat in better. Not sure if this has really helped. So I called the company and asked to speak to a technician. The secretary decided she could help me. She said put it on economy mode, crank the heat to 104, and close all diverter valves. So I did that. Went away for a day and I found my tub at 85. The temp over the past 2 days has averaged -14 celcius and high of -9C. So now I am back to Standard Mode cause tonight I can't get in it as it's too cold!!
So essentially, what I am saying is that it needs to be on Standard mode to maintain it's heat. Maybe summer will be better and I will do other things for trial and error to see if I can rectify this for winter. Maybe this isn't a cold weather tub, maybe if I upgraded the cover, who knows...and if there is anyone who does know, I would like some insight!!
On the positive side...I love the jets, I love the stereo and waterfall, and everything else about the tub. It is easy to operate (except the whole mode thing) and I love seeing it on the deck! The cost of the tub fit my budget and I had to rent a trailer and get some neighborhood guys to help get it into the backyard. Had an electrician hook 'er up and away I went. No problems at all if you follow the start up directions properly.
One thing I noticed is that if it is on your deck and your deck is anchored to your house, you may notice pump come on. When the cycle goes on at night, I can tell it comes on (for 5 minutes). It is more of a slight hum, but not anything loud enough that jolts me out of bed. Well depending on how closely you sleep to it! I'm upstairs on the other side of the house from the tub and I barely notice it. In the living room with the tv on..I didn't hear it tonight. If I do hear it, At least I know it is working properly!
As for the cover lifter...I have had no troubles at all. It is awesome to have and it gets darn cold here too and my wet hands have never stuck to the metal. It isn;t that difficult to pull the cover onto the tub and I do it alone all the time. Very nice to have.
Every penny was worth it for me. A little extra hydro isn't that painful for the enjoyment that I get out of it. If you want the all inclusive pkg of delivery, electrician, the upselling of local tech service and you don't mind paying an extra few thousand dollars or more, then don't buy from Costco. But I am SO glad I did!!