There’s still another month or so of summer left to enjoy, which means that many Americans are looking for ways to cool off. But if you don’t have a backyard pool, you might think you have very few options at your disposal. Although coral reefs are home to more than 25% of all known marine fish species, you don’t necessarily have to travel to an exotic locale to go for a swim. In fact, one online platform is making it easy (and legal!) to take advantage of others’ pools, both close by and far away. In other words, you don’t have to book a plane ticket and travel through one of the national airports located within one of 31 different states just to hang out poolside somewhere. And if you own a pool yourself, you might want to think about embracing a new side hustle and rent it out for a few hours.
Platforms like Airbnb have made it possible for homeowners to make some extra cash by inviting in short-term renters. Roughly 58% of homeowners say they plan on making improvements to their properties this year, and depending on the renovations you take on, you could conceivably make a killing by renting out your home every weekend. But now, there’s a new site that allows you to simply rent out your swimming pool to users who desperately want to take a dip. Swimply, a service that lets users rent out strangers’ pools with the click of a button, might just change your whole summer.
Over the past five years, the U.S. swimming pool construction industry grew by 3.8%. But that doesn’t mean that every American is fortunate enough to have a pool in their backyard. As “the first online marketplace for pool sharing,” Swimply lets users see available pools across the nation and book them for however long they’d like. Like with Airbnb, costs vary quite a bit and listings typically have a minimum time frame for your rental. But Thrillest.com found a number of listings in different locations that cost less than $100 an hour, meaning that you might be able to book an inexpensive option to keep yourself cool. Currently, there are listings available in New York, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, and several other states. Some even have additional amenities listed, like barbecue grills and lounge seating, as well as maximum occupancies. And while there are many affordable options, there are also a number of luxury listings that can provide spa and sauna access or WiFi.
According to Swimply, the innovative platform allows users to gain access to pool locations and partake in this recreational activity while allowing owners with underutilized pools to bring in additional income, which they can then put back into the property’s maintenance.
Noted 22-year-old Bunim Laskin, founder and SEO of Swimply, in a statement: “Owning a pool can be expensive, enjoying one doesn’t have to be. We are seeking to democratize the pool experience so that everyone can enjoy an instant escape from reality, even if it’s just to another backyard down the street.”
Like Airbnb, Swimply listings also contain customer reviews. Swimply also reportedly inspects every pool for safety and hygiene concerns before the listing can go live on the site. But although the company has a support team available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it’s likely that the company would shirk responsibility if and when issues inevitably occur, as guests and hosts are usually responsible on a legal level (as is often the case with companies that operate in the “gig economy” sphere). Interestingly, pool owners in Toms River, New Jersey have completely withdrawn from the app due to concerns from the town’s Orthodox community; however, the platform seems to be working just swimmingly for others in areas all across the country.
So if you find yourself melting in the sweltering heat this month, or you’re among the nearly 20% (19.6%) of Millennials who participate in water sports, you might want to consider creating a Swimply account and seeing what’s available in your area. Even if you don’t plan on traveling, there might be a hidden aquatic treasure right in your hometown — and you may be able to swim there for $50 an hour.
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