When summer hits, people will do just about anything to get in a pool. You might book a hotel down the street, make friends with a stranger, or join a community center - but what if we told you that was no longer necessary?
Meet Swimply, a new peer-to-peer rental service people are calling "the Airbnb of pools." Just like its home-rental comparison, Swimply allows private home owners to rent their backyard swimming holes for hourly rates, such as $45 an hour for an "attractive pool in Burbank" or $30 an hour for an "oak forest oasis" in Houston.
Pools are available in Los Angeles, Miami, Brooklyn, Phoenix and more. According to the Wall Street Journal, Swimply currently features 13,000 pool owners in 125 markets nationwide.
One such owner recently profiled in the Wall Street Journal says he rented his Portland, OR., pool three times in his first two hours and hosted 2,700 guests in less then a year. Jim Battan even expects to make $111,000 by the end of summer, which he said covers what he spent putting the pool in eight years ago.
According to the report, Swimply claims pool owners have made about 122,000 bookings since the start of 2020, owing much to a boom spurred by the COVID-19 lockdown, which saw many public pools shuttered during the summer's hottest months.
“We’ve seen a lot of families [and friends] rekindling with Swimply,” Swimply co-founder and chief executive Bunim Laskin is quoted by the Journal.
Of course, it's no easy walk in the water park. Owners in the piece also gripe about the work that goes into hosting and the costs of operation. One woman speaks of her hunt to find the cheapest bleach in the city, but those complaints don't seem to be slowing Swimply's rising tide.
A quick glance at Swimply shows room for immediate growth. The company is advertising a forthcoming service called Joyspace. Beneath the "coming soon" banner, owners can join a waiting list to offer up recreational spaces such as basketball courts, private gyms and home studios. With mask mandates poised for a come back in many American cities, it's easy to see the appeal.
So how about it? Do you have a pool on your backyard collecting dust? Ready to explore the custom grottos and hot tubs in your area? Visit Swimply or download the app in the Apple App Store or the Google Play store to learn more.