Want to spend your summer poolside but don’t have one of your own? An Airbnb-esque platform can hook you up with someone else’s backyard pool by-the-hour.
Swimply allows pool owners to list their private getaways publicly for anyone to rent.
A search of their listings within 50 miles of Chicago shows 42 pools available for rent ranging from $25/hr in Monee or Yorkville, up to $225/hr in Winnetka.
According to a 2021 TechCrunch interview with co-founders Bunim Laskin and Asher Weinberger, the home pool rental marketplace began in 2018 with four pools in the New Jersey area. It took off in 2020 largely due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic when people were looking for local, outdoor excursions.
If the idea of wearing your swimsuit and sunning yourself in a stranger’s backyard is a bit off-putting, you’re not alone. Swimply sports a Trust and Safety Center on its website to try and address any concerns. Here they go over their commitments, such as account and list accuracy, background checks, and secure payments, along with their community guidelines to help everyone involved “feel comfortable, safe, and accepted.”
To get an idea of what’s available in the Chicago area, PR firm Colter Communications assembled a top five pools listed on Swimply.
Swimply’s top 5 listed pools in the Chicago area
Secluded Luxe family pool – Orland Park
Listing description: This pool is great for all family fun get away, corporate events, private events, photoshoot, private swim, sunbathing and etc.! You will have access to 2 fire pits a covered gazebo that sits 8 people, 2 heat lanterns, trampoline, 2 patio sets, 2 grills and 1 smoker, 3 beach chaise lounger.
Heated Swimming Pool with Slide and Diving Board – South Holland
Listing description: This south suburban Olympic style swimming pool (with whirlpool) and spa (with whirlpool) is in an upper scale community. Diving board, kid’s slide, outdoor charcoal and gas grill, fire pit, cobble stoned deck, with wooded backdrop, seats, park bench, food tables, private indoor change room with shower. Extra amenities (upon request): basketball, sports style bar w/ bar stools, pub tables, six in-wall mounted tv’s, 8-foot big screen, billiard table, game room, dance floor with party lights and mirrors, photo studio, and conference table w with twin fire places.
Three Acre Backyard Oasis – Lemont
Listing description: Truly a backyard built for entertainment and relaxation. Three acres of picturesque creek lined seclusion offering an in-ground pool (typically around 80 degrees) with diving board, 6 person hot tub, bbq grill, seating for over 30 people, night lighting around patio, pool lighting, sound system, 6-hole disc golf course, and basketball hoop.
Exclusive Pool Paradise – Crete
Listing description: Come enjoy the bliss of a pool paradise. The pool is shut off from the world by trees that keep you and your guests in intimate privacy. A detached pool house with a bath and shower grace the property for private use. A canopy shades the area for all guests in an outside living room ambience.
Luxury Indoor Pool – Long Grove
Listing description: Enjoy any celebration at this indoor pool. Great for birthday parties, evening dips, or everyday swims! Pool is heated to 85+ degrees (w/ 3 hr. min.)
Expanding beyond pools
Though the company began with pools, they have recently expanded into three other types of rentals:
- Paddle, such as tennis and pickleball courts
- Backyards, such as patios and firepits
- Hoops, meaning basketball courts
What’s more, their website states they are looking to expand into, essentially, any space such as home gyms and music studios. There aren’t many non-pools in the Chicago area with current listings including a patio with firepit for $130/hr in Glenview, multiple basketball courts, and a pickleball court in Lockport for $40/hr.