App allowing home pool rentals makes a splash in the Ozarks

KOLR10 Daybreak

OZARK, Mo. – Can’t get exercise, fresh air or tan at your place? Ozarks First reporter David Chasanov met a man who would be happy to let you rent out his pool. Andy McHenry is just one person among thousands who use the app, ‘Swimply.’

“This whole thing was mostly out of just curiosity,” McHenry said. “I was like, ‘Huh?’ So I just decided to check it out, downloaded the app, and mostly I just kind of wanted to see what everybody else had going on in their backyards too. And then it just led to actually getting reservations and having people come out. Extra side cash helps pay for chemicals or anything that is incurred in taking care of stuff back here.”

Swimply allows people to rent out a private pool by the hour. The cost depends on who is hosting. McHenry charges $20 per hour for his tiki-themed pool, while a woman in Springfield charges $30 for her ‘Mini Maui’ setup.

McHenry says he doesn’t have trouble getting his place ready for guests.

“There’s not really much I need to do,” McHenry said. “It’s pretty much ready back here. I’ll just kind of cleanout tables, make sure towels are ready because I do have towels available for guests. Make sure the pool is clean and ready to go, which it usually is.”

So far, two people have reserved his pool. McHenry says there haven’t been any issues.

“First-person was a mom and her two kids,” McHenry said. “They came and hung out for a couple of hours. A couple of hours after that, I had another couple come in and swim for a couple of hours. They picked up after themselves. It went real smooth. It wasn’t bad. After they left, I got a message saying, ‘Thank you again for everything.’ It’s been a good experience all around for me and the guests that I’ve had so far.”

McHenry stays in his house while people are over. He allows them to use his speakers, Wi-Fi and grill. McHenry admits he sometimes worries about people being messy.

“That was a little bit of a concern I had,” McHenry said. “But if it starts becoming an issue, I just figured I would delete the app and just kind of stop if I have a bad experience. But until then, I’ll just kind of keep going with it. I would recommend it to other people as well.”

He says cleaning up after guests leave has been easy too.

“It doesn’t really take that long,” McHenry said. “I’ve got a pool robot that goes through the bottom, and just goes around and cleans the bottom. I’ve got the filter and pump that run half the day pretty much, and that takes care of the rest of it. It’s really not that bad; it’s just keeping up on chemicals.”

After talking to family, friends and co-workers about his positive experiences, he notices a trend.

“They have no idea what I’m talking about,” McHenry said. “They’ve never heard of it. I don’t think many people know about the app. But when I heard about it, they were saying this is a fairly new company that has grown 4,000% in the past year. And it all happened because of COVID and people wanting more private settings versus being out in public around a lot of people. So I think that works out good for that whole issue.”

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