By Marielle Mohs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The pandemic has kept several public pools and beaches closed this summer. Some just reopened, but with limits of 50% capacity.

This has led to a spike in home swimming pool sales.

As soon as the pandemic began shutting things down in March, Gary Kitzmiller, of Blaine, knew he had to take action for his son.

“My son is special needs, he’s autistic. All he likes to do is swim,” Kitzmiller said.

He began the process of installing the pool in March, and just now in July it is ready to be installed next week. Kitzmiller knows he’s lucky to even get one this summer.

“In June, when we finally made the final payment to pay for the pool, they were totally sold out of pools is what they were telling people,” Kitzmiller said.

Patrick Henry has owned Prestige Pools in St. Paul for over 40 years and he says they’ve seen a huge increase in daily inquiries for pools.

“The interest is crazy. It’s off the charts for sure,” Henry said, “Generally speaking you get maybe a couple [inquiries] a day this time of year. Right now we’re receiving about 15 a day.”

Henry says if you try to order one now, you’ll have to be very patient until you’re actually swimming.

“I don’t turn people away, but some people don’t warm up to the idea that you can’t start the thing until October,” Henry said.

Even to get a basic kiddie pool is difficult right now. Katie Stromberg and her husband wanted to buy a small inflatable pool for their deck in Northeast Minneapolis to cool off in this summer.

They just found one on Facebook Marketplace, but Stromberg says it was not easy.

“We looked at Home Depot, Lowe’s, all the hardware stores, Target, Walmart and couldn’t find anything anywhere for pick up,” Stromberg said.

Stromberg said she also tried to order an inflatable kiddie pool on Amazon, but it was triple the price of Target or Walmart.

WCCO checked Amazon and found it going for around $130.

Marielle Mohs

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