As we say goodbye to Summer in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic continues to place public pools out of reach for many. This presented a unique challenge for one small start-up. The company, Swimply from Valley Stream New York, is like an Airbnb or VRBO because it employs a similar strategy, only for pools.
Just 2 years old, the company exploded with 2,000% growth this summer, according to co-founder Asher Weinberger. Prices range anywhere from $15 to $300 per hour, depending on the type of pool you want, the location and if amenities are offered. Some of the rental pools have hot tubs. Swimply works with homeowners to provide portable restrooms if they want.
Swimply’s website booking and payment process takes 15% of the rental as a fee. Owners are allowed to deny any renter application, as long as it is not based on race or sexual orientation. Owners can mandate the maximum number of swimmers allowed during any rental booking.
Back in February, there was concern that pools were unsafe, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted:
“There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of recreational waters. However proper social distancing should be implemented even while in the pool, as well as other safety measures to prevent contagion.”
All listed pools on the site are inspected, and renters must sign a waiver that indemnifies the pool owner should any accidents occur. The pool owner can decide how many people are allowed at one time and if alcohol may be brought onto the property. There have been some complaints from neighbors, but Weinberger said owners who don’t abide by company rules are taken off the site.
Similar to Uber, there is also a renter rating on each pool. Right now demand is soaring from people desperate looking to swim before the weather gets colder. It’s also soaring from homeowners who need extra cash.
The system is contactless, owners do not have to interact with the guests at all, and there is very little cleanup, as renters have to bring their own towels and toys. via CNBC