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Private pool owners cashing in on "pool-sharing" trend amid high gas prices and lifeguard shortages

Swimply is an online platform which connects private pool owners with those looking for a place to take a dip.

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — No pool? No problem.

Thanks to a relatively new online platform called Swimply, you could be taking a dip with just a few clicks this summer.

“We were at the right place at the right time with a product and a service people really needed," said Asher Weinberger, the chief operating officer and one of the co-founders of Swimply.

Swimply is a first-of-its-kind service which connects private pool owners to those looking for a place to take a swim.

The app launched in 2019 but took off during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“People are more hyper-vigilant about hygiene," said Weinberger. "People are avoiding crowded places like a public pool or Chuck E. Cheese for birthday parties and looking for new outdoor venues.”

Now heading into a summer of sky-high gas prices and lifeguard shortages at public pools, Weinberger says the platform is seeing greater demand than ever.

“Many public pools aren't opening and it’s really a problem for people in urban areas," he explained. "In a concrete jungle, it’s all you have to escape the heat and to learn how to swim for example, which is such a crucial part of growing up.”

“With gas prices, people don’t want to go too far, they’re staying local so I’ve had really an increase of people coming and renting the pool out," said Anna Stabley of Dover Township.

She and her husband have been using Swimply to rent out their backyard since last year.

“My husband and I can’t get in the pool much because of our jobs and everything so I thought okay we’ll rent the pool out, make some extra money on the side," said Stabley. "The pool gets cleaner if people are in it."

And for the Stabley’s and many other Swimply hosts, business has been booming.

“We could be booked out every day," said Stabley. "I could see anywhere between 10 and 12 people in a week.”

The app’s creators are already working on plans to expand, but for now, they’re ready to keep giving people a way to stay cool.

“I think people are learning there’s another way to do this," said Weinberger. "Why travel 30 miles to give your kids swimming lessons at some public pool when you can do the same thing down the block in a private and focused way?"

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