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Retailers see rise in pool sales with public pools closed

Posted at 5:25 PM, May 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-23 19:09:51-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A dip in the pool is how some people like to start off the summer season. This year, it won't be that easy as the majority of pools in the Kansas City area will be closed this year.

Kansas City Parks and Recreation announced on Friday all of its public pools won't open due to COVID-19 concerns.

“We just knew that it was going to be too difficult to try and open them, ensure a good experience for people and safety at the same time,” said Roosevelt Lyons, Deputy Director Operations for KCMO Parks and Rec.

However, some are bringing that pool experience into their backyards. Several families were out at Family Leisure in Olathe checking out above ground pools.

“All the pools are closing. We have four kids who need somewhere to swim,” said customer Jennifer Heston from Louisburg, Kansas. She wants to have one in her backyard. “It will be something we can we can use day, night, whenever and the kids can have friends over," Heston said.

It’s these kind of sales making a big splash for Family Leisure. Memorial Day weekend is typically the busiest time for the business. With pools closed, they’ve seen a far bigger wave of customers.

“In the last four weeks, it has really exploded. Once people figured out that they’re going to be staying at home with their kids, you know, we came up with the idea of vacationing at home and having a swimming pool for you and your family to enjoy in your backyard,” said Dennis White, president of Family Leisure.

Because of the demand, if someone needs help to set one up, it make take a little bit longer.

"Now that we are backed up, we are we’re running 4-6 weeks behind. There are more and more homeowners that are taking on the project themselves because they want to be able to be swimming in a shorter amount of time,” said White.

But not everyone can afford this luxury.

“I don’t have the money right now to buy them a pool. I'll probably buy them some cups so they can throw water on each other out of the kitchen,” said Demetresse Lloyd, KCMO resident.

Without pools open, Llyod worries how to keep his four kids safe as they play outside.

“They’re going to be more kids in the hospital because of dehydration, passing out in the sun and everything else.”