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Personal Pool Phenomenon: Stores Sold Out as Families Desperate for Summer Fun

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WOODWARD, Iowa — It doesn’t matter where you look, from an inflatable kiddie pool to a semi-permanent above ground pool large enough for a party, they are all wiped out. It’s a booming business this summer and even has families turning to do-it-yourself (DIY) solutions.

“For a pool that looks halfway decent above ground, we thought it was a good idea,” Danielle Gohr, a mother of three from Woodward, Iowa said.

The Gohr’s summer will look a little bit different than most, laughing and splashing in a stock tank.

“We barely filled it the first day and we had to peel them out like six hours later because they were having so much fun. They’re in it almost every day that it isn’t raining,” Gohr said.

Having trouble finding pools in stores or at an affordable price, the Gohr family decided to hop on an online DIY trend to turn livestock equipment into a back yard oasis.

“Between COVID-19 and the thought that most pools won’t be opening this summer, I know people were in a race to get to a pool,” Gohr said. “What we wanted to do is, you know, give a little bit of economic stimulus, give back to the economy, but also maintain social distancing and give our kids something to do while we’re at home all summer.”

They aren’t the only ones. WCI Pools and Spas owner Chad Higgins said the demand is something they’ve never seen before.

“In a typical year right now we would be getting maybe 10-12 inquiries about an above-ground pool each week. The last couple weeks, we’ve been getting 40-50 [inquiries] a day,” Higgins said.

Installation for WCI Pools and Spas in-ground pools are years out, booking for the year 2022. For above-ground pools, they’ve already sold twice as many as they did in all of last year.

“Honestly [we] could have sold triple, but they’re gone,” Higgins said.

The main manufacturer out of New York had to shut down for months, leaving stores without the product, and even more families trying to find solutions to this summer’s woes.

“Supply is non-existent and demand is through the roof,” Higgins said. “There’s no way we could have expected that. In fact, I expected just the opposite. When things started to happen in March and things started shutting down, I really thought people would pull back and be holding on to their money. That was true for a couple of weeks, but once we kind of got to early to mid-April and it started become apparent that there weren’t going to be pools probably opening this summer and a lot of things were going to be canceled, that’s when it really started to get busy.”

Higgins said for those still wanting a semi-permanent above-ground pool for this summer, he suggests reaching back out in late July or early August. That’s when he expects the manufacturer to catch up and have more pools in stock.

Gohr, who has over 5,000 followers on Instagram thanks to her podcast about moms called “Catch This Mama,” said she got almost 100 questions from people on social media asking about where and how she created her stock tank pool. Many who then ran to the store couldn’t find any more stock tanks in stock either.

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