Demand for renting swimming pools by the hour is surging because of the coronavirus pandemic, and one company is riding the wave of popularity as the last full month of summer has officially begun.
Swimply, billed as the Airbnb for swimming pools, has connected owners of private pools with people seeking a way to cool off, especially during the summer months, since it launched in July 2019. Pools are rented by the hour and the company offers a private and contact-free process for a "close-to-home vacation" experience, Swimply founder and CEO Bunim Laskin told FOX Business. The company now has more than 200,000 users and is available through its website and mobile app.
Laskin noted that the idea of a close-to-home vacation became more popular when the outbreak of the novel coronavirus upended traditional travel plans this summer.
In March, Laskin was concerned for the company as the implementation of nationwide lockdowns began. However, by April, the company had a surge in traffic.
To date, the company has had a 3,300% increase in traffic from 2019 and a 25% increase week over week. From July 23-30, the online marketplace had 10,000 hours booked.
The company operates in about 30 states and the majority of its bookings in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut; Californa, Texas and Florida.
The price can range from $15 per hour for a "quick escape pool" to $300 for a more luxury experience, Laskin said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that suggests the virus can be spread through water in pools, hot tubs or water playgrounds. The "proper operation of these aquatic venues and disinfection of the water (with chlorine or bromine) should inactivate the virus," according to the CDC.
To further assure guests feel safe during their experience, Swimply mandated a guest limit, which ranges depending upon the local and state mandates, Laskin said.
The company also requires a one-hour gap between reservation times. Additionally, the company will send push notifications before and after bookings to make sure owners are reminded of proper pool maintenance, sanitation and safety.
If a host violates CDC guidelines, "Swimply will take swift action and deactivate their account," the company said.
If guests are uncomfortable due to a COVID-19-related concern, they can cancel a booking and receive a full refund.