The Sharing Economy

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The Sharing Economy

Public pools are closed, inflatable pools are sold out, but there’s a new way to find a pool to swim in this summer.

Written by: Joe Bartolotta

With public pools closed for the summer, renting a neighbor’s backyard pool for a few hours is becoming more and more common for stir-crazy families, competitive swimmers, and apartment dwellers who’ve spent months cooped up indoors. A pool rental startup called Swimply has been leading the charge in this new emerging market. Booking on Swimply works like Airbnb: You browse through pools in your area, then rent your favorite for a few hours.

While the idea of using a stranger’s pool may seem risky at first, the CDC states there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to people through the water used in pools, hot tubs, or water playgrounds. Proper operation and disinfection of pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds should kill the virus that causes COVID-19. Crowds and unclean surfaces are, however, potentially problematic, but both are easier to avoid in private settings. Furthermore, Swimply’s co-founder and CMO Asher Weinberger, says Swimply hosts have gone above and beyond with cleaning precautions, and the platform will remove any users reported for infractions.

Beyond just pool rentals, the sharing economy is also growing in other ways this summer. Private boat rentals are also on the rise in popularity, with companies like Boatsetter seeing a 40% year-over-year spike in bookings in May. And as things are going so swimmingly for Swimply, the company is launching another space sharing platform called Joyspace. Joyspace offers rentals for all kinds of unique private spaces from tennis and basketball courts to home gyms and decked out backyards.

As more people with backyard pools, private boats, and other private facilities look for ways to make up for lost income during the pandemic, we can expect to see these sharing platforms gain even more prominence as the summer continues.