As temperatures reach sweltering new highs and housing costs alone — plus the cost of about, well, everything — grow ever more out of reach, some business-minded people are seeing signs of dollar in a backyard luxury.
It’s a luxury that will likely only become scarcer as the West’s most precious resource – water – becomes increasingly scarce.
And yes, there’s an app for that: Swimply, which has dubbed itself “the Airbnb of swimming pools.” The moniker stuck, making national headlines as the app garnered interest from publications including The Washington Post and Forbes.
In recent years, Swimply has grown in popularity, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. From 2020 to 2021, society claimed it grew by 4,000%, according to Forbes, as restless Americans sought ways to cool off in pools that weren’t public.
Only 8.7 million American homes have swimming pools, including 5.4 million that are actually in-ground, the Washington Post reported. Estimating that 96% of Americans do not have access to a swimming pool – while pool owners typically only swim there 15% of their time – Swimply saw a market that would benefit both people without pools and people privileged.
And it works. In May last year, Swimply announced that it had expanded to a total of 125 US markets, as well as two markets in Canada and five in Australia.
“The changing mindset of younger generations regarding ownership is a huge contributor to the increased growth of the Swimply market,” said Asher Weinberger, co-founder and COO of Swimply, in a prepared statement. “Swimming is the third most popular activity for adults and the #1 activity for kids, yet no other company has tackled the aquatic space to make swimming more affordable and accessible…until now.”
In total, Swimply offers more than 25,000 pools to choose from, The Washington Post reported.
And yes, Swimply is here in Utah, with listings available along the Wasatch Front and at the southern end of the state in sunny St. George. Utah prices range from $45 per hour to $125, depending on the pool.