Everything is shareable these days — classic cars, RVs, beach houses, even clothing and luggage. Now the latest addition to the sharing economy: swimming pools. If you’ve ever wanted to throw a hip-hop-video-worthy pool party but always lacked the pool part, Swimply has you covered.
Swimply’s concept is simple: the site connects pool owners with pool-lovers. Owners list their pools with relevant details like location, size, images, and pricing. The site includes indoor/outdoor, and fresh- and saltwater varieties. Amenities vary widely with some including pool toys, diving boards, waterslides, and hot tubs, while others also offer the use of bonus backyard features like barbecue grills and basketball courts. Renters can filter their search to find the pool that fits their exact needs. Upon finding the right one, they can send a booking request to the owner. Like Airbnb, each listing features reviews from past swimmers, so it’s easy to see what previous guests thought of the space.
It might sound like a strange concept until you consider the hassle and, more importantly, the sky-high cost of owning a pool. Like RVs and pricey vacation homes in Maui, the number of wanna-be pool owners far outweighs the number of actual owners. Likewise, the average pool is in use less than 5% of the year. So, if you can’t own one, why not rent one?
This is where Swimply’s founder saw potential. In an interview with Lonely Planet, Bunim Laskin said, “Owning a pool can be expensive, enjoying one doesn’t have to be.” He jokes that his childhood — growing up in New Jersey as the oldest in a family of 12 — was “more or less a living hell in summer.” So, he approached a neighbor to see about using their pool on a pay-per-use basis. In no time, the “whole block was paying her to use the pool. When my neighbor expressed gratitude for introducing the concept, Swimply was borne.”
Average hourly rates vary from USD $50 to $200. While that might sound steep, it’s easier to swallow if your family or friends don’t cheap out and are willing to split the bill with you. Right now, the site is somewhat limited to about twenty U.S. states and some of Canada. Sign up for free to browse the current listings at Swimply.com.