In less than five months, a retired Colorado teacher made nearly $50,000 by renting out his pool during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ned Gilardino listed his pool for rent in 2019 and says he only booked one reservation. The lack of interest nearly deterred him from returning to the rental world, but everything took a turn when the pandemic canceled vacations and shut down public pools.
“We were getting phone calls coming in, emails coming in, ‘Are you going to open your pool? Is it open now?' And we decided, 'Yeah, let’s try it,'” Gilardino said.
The former Cherry Creek Schools teacher created a website for his oasis, Splashfork Pool, Gill & Grounds. He listed his pool for rent on Swimply, which is basically an Airbnb version for pool rentals.
Reservations began rolling in, and by mid-June, nearly the entire summer was booked. In 2020, Gilardino booked 500 pool reservations, which included family events, pool practice for sports and even a shoot for a music video.
“Some people will book an hour, some people will book eight hours,” Gilardino said. “They have access to the pool, they can barbecue at our outdoor kitchen, we have a fire pit.”
In less than five months, Gilardino made nearly $50,000.
Asher Weinberger, the chief operating officer for Swimply, says the platform grew tremendously during the pandemic and created a win-win situation for many.
“We helped our hosts earn income — most of them were suffering financially — and on the guest side, we helped people have a truly contactless experience that was safe,” Weinberger said.
Renovations are underway to expand the backyard, which will now include a human foosball section and provide an indoor shelter area that will help bring in extra money.
Gilardino will have his work cut out for him this summer with more than 250 reservations already in the books.
“In between all guests, we spray down all contact surfaces and all around the pool, as well as sanitize bathrooms, doorknobs, faucets, anything that would be touched or used,” Gilardino said.
Gilardino and his wife, a science teacher, want to use the money they make to fund future vacations on their bucket list.
This story was originally published by Adi Guajardo at KMGH.