In recent years, all the drama surrounding St. Charles-based Aquascape involved the collapse of the roof on its headquarters and the subsequent $13 million lawsuit with contractors. But all that will change next week when the largest pond building company in the world focuses its drama into its own reality TV show.
Aquascape CEO Greg Wittstock announced the show "Pond Stars" Tuesday night while asking city council members to partner with him and capitalize on the publicity opportunity.
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The first episode debuts at 8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 9 on the NatGeo Wild channel.
"We're totally stoked for it," Wittstock said. "It's going to, hopefully, bring a lot of business to St. Charles. We are looking for the show to create a lot of passion for water features."
Wittstock said his colleagues over at Las Vegas-based Acrylic Tank Manufacturing, who are the focus of Animal Planet's "Tanked" reality show, see up to 600 people come to their retail shop each day as a result of their show.
"Their shop is a quarter of the size of our retail shop," Wittstock said.
Mayor Ray Rogina told Wittstock he is interested in working with him to feature the city if the show is picked up for a second season. The first season is six episodes and already concluded filming.
"I'm proud, and I know the city council's proud, that this kind of business notoriety is coming to the city," Rogina said.
Wittstock explained in an interview that he's been in the business of building elaborate ponds and water features since first creating a home for his pet turtles as a kid. He has a vision to make St. Charles known as the water feature capital of the world.
The show will highlight exactly how he and his team go about transforming average private backyards and public spaces into flowing ponds stocked with wildlife and decorated with a variety of plant life.
Wittstock showed aldermen a promotional video that hinted at the many obstacles, both frustrating and humorous, that are often encountered while creating the water features.
If picked up for a second season, the show will begin filming in November, Wittstock said.
Read more about the cast and watch episode clips at the show's website.