This summer, everyone is getting their feet wet with pool sharing

Take a dive into the hottest new industry of our no good, very bad pandemic summer.


June 17, 2020

As the weather heats up, a new type of sharing economy has taken hold — and Americans are diving in headfirst.

Meeting them in the deep end: A 2-year-old pool rental startup called Swimply. The company first made a splash back in February and March, when its app saw bookings jump 1,200% — as we all became shut-ins.

Now, as spring madness melts into summertime sadness, demand for Swimply pools is 4x the supply. Backyard pools and hot tubs are sold out everywhere, so we have no choice but to rent a good time.

My personal pool brings all the neighbors to the yard

Booking on Swimply works like Airbnb: You toggle through pools in your area, then rent your favorite for a few hours.

You get the whole backyard area to yourself — and for privacy, some hosts promise to keep their window shades drawn while you practice your cannonballs.

Prices depend on where you are: $35-40 will book you an hour in Scottsdale, Arizona, but in New York City, you might have to pony up $50-100.

Once you’re done, the hosts clean the pool and kick it over to the next guest.

The summer sharing economy is inflating

Boat rentals are also jetting off right now. The startup Boatsetter told Vox its bookings were up 40% in May compared to last year. 

And things are going so swimmingly for Swimply that the company is launching a sister marketplace, called Joyspace, that offers up rentals for tennis courts, basketball courts, and hot tubs.

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