For many New Jersey families, summer is synonymous with swimming. Whether your kids swim competitively, enjoy free swim at camp or just enjoy taking a dip with you at the community pool, it’s hard to imagine not getting in the water this season. Since coronavirus has caused many town pools to delay or cancel their swim seasons and many camps are shuttered, sales of backyard pools have seen a dramatic spike. If you are thinking about buying a swimming pool, you’ll want to start shopping ASAP.
Michael Panayiotou, managing partner of Pool Town in Howell, told New Jersey Family that the increase in pool sales this year has been enormous. “Usually this time of year we get around 30 calls a day. Now we’re getting 60-100 calls a day. I’ve been on the phone from 7am to midnight every day.”
Panayiotou said that customers have been telling him that with summer camps closed and parents working from home, they need an outlet. And although an inground pool can run 35-55K, Panayiotou said that the way some families think about it is that in the long run, it’s less than the cost of sending three kids to summer camp.
Even if you can afford the high price tag, putting in an inground pool is not going to happen on a fast timeline. “When you take into consideration a permit from the town, engineering, getting a crew in, it’s a 3-3 ½ month timeline,” he said.
Still that has not deterred customers from asking if exceptions can be made to speed up the installation of their backyard pool.
And while an above-ground pool may be a more cost-effective option at around 5K including the pool itself and installation, Panayiotou said some companies are having trouble even finding pools for customers to purchase (he’s still able to obtain them).
Isaac A. Keselman, founder and president of Aqua Doctor, a company that constructs and services inground pools in East Hanover, said that business has definitely been impacted by coronavirus.
“We have made operational changes to insure our team’s safety and ability to perform their jobs, but fortunately we have been able to work at full capacity on our maintenance accounts and our construction projects while keeping our team safe,” he told New Jersey Family.
Keselman said that his customers are eager to make the most of their time spent at home right now and want to make all the necessary improvements to make that possible. He said that unfortunately for families looking to get an inground pool for this season, the outlook is not promising.
“The best advice is to get the fastest possible solution to enjoy some swimming at home in the form of an above ground or portable pool,” he said.
Those looking to purchase an inflatable or metal frame above ground INTEX pool will likely find them all sold out. Another popular choice is the Minnidip, the first-ever designer inflatable pool, which comes in fun patterns like “THAT’S BANANA(LEAVE)S!” and “STOP AND SMELL THE ROSÉ” that can even be turned into ball pits. Priced at $45, they are definitely a cheaper way to still get wet and have some money left over for ice cream! Currently sold out at Target, the company said they will be restocking soon.
Another option for those looking to get in some water (and maybe some relaxation time when the kids are asleep) is a hot tub. Much simpler to install than an inground pool, a spa can be purchased from a local dealer or even a big box store such as Home Depot (currently most models are shipping in July). Plug-and-play hot tubs go for around 3K and can plug directly into a standard outlet, but won’t provide you with the same load capacity, jet power or ability to heat up as fast as a standard hot tub, which runs closer to $6K.
And if you can’t find what you want in store, there’s always eBay. Based on sales data from April 10-18, 2020, the company reported that sales of swimming pools are up 595 percent as shoppers look for ways to beat the heat at home.
“I’m telling customers, if you want a pool summer of 2021, start getting your permits now,” said Panayiotou.