ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) -- For many, Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, often includes hanging out at the pool or lake with family or friends. As many public pools remain closed due to COVID-19, one industry is seeing an unexpected spike in sales.
Showroom manager at Prestige Pools & Spas, Chad Moentenich, said calls are up about 75 percent this year.
"People looking for hot tubs, swim spas, in-ground pool, above-ground pools, you name it. Everybody is looking for some body of water that they can have at home this year," said Moentenich.
Moentenich said in-ground pools can typically be installed in about eight months if there is good weather, but they're now estimating it will take until next spring or summer due to the increase in demand.
“The recession of 2008 really hit the pool industry hard across the United States so there was a little bit of that fear that maybe this was gonna be the same thing, but I think the huge difference is the fact that so many people are home. They’re not going on vacations this year. They’re getting refunds for their vacations, so where can we put the money? Let's put it into something we can spend time at home with," said Moentenich.
Emily Bowdern and her husband, Tim, recently installed a pool in the backyard of their Chesterfield home and are thankful they are not among many people on a waiting list.
“It’s been amazing that this worked out the way that it has because we have three kids and now we can spend the summer swimming in our own backyard and staying safe," said Bowdern. "I can see why more people would be wanting to put a pool in their own backyard to be safe and social distancing with some people not having the option of the public pool like they’re used to.”
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said he hopes to reopen public pools by June 15. In St. Louis City, Mayor Lyda Krewson said she does not think public pools will be able to reopen due to low lifeguard staffing.