First - thank you all for the help. 1.5 years into happy spa ownership thanks to the sage advice of this forum.
Now we have a minor problem. The vinyl cover that came with the spa is shot - living in the high desert of NM we have a very high UV index so I'm really not surprised. The spa is in the sun all morning, not getting any relief until latter in the afternoon.
While this time I convinced the dealer to get it covered under warranty - now I'm going to have to find some type of solution. I'd guess that the vinyl would cost in the $400 range and that is a bit pricey to do every year or so.
The dealer recommended 303 protectant, which seems to have some good reviews on the internet. We used it for the first couple of months of ownership, however maintenance fell by the wayside. That makes me wonder if using it at the beginning and stopping somehow decreased the life of the cover? Should I be able to reasonably expect to get 3-4 years out of one of these things?
Thanks all, I look forward to your feedback...