Could Climate Change Spur Pool Sales?

Eric Herman Headshot

photo of Eric HermanRegardless of which side of the Global Warming debate you fall, for some of us, this summer has been one of the hottest and muggiest in recent memory. Personally, I'd never even heard the term "heat dome" before nor have I ever seen record temps set in so many places at such a steady clip. Whatever the cause, it's been hot, humid and horrible, a genuine season of discomfiture, sticky clothes and rolling power brown outs.

Worse still, when you combine the brutal heat and humidity with the stubbornly high unemployment levels, volatile financial markets, widespread unrest abroad, growing dissatisfaction with government and high gas prices, it's fair to say that our society has become, well, collectively a bit grumpy, if not downright ornery.

I'm an eternal optimist and do believe we're all going to come through this "epoch of anxiety" just fine, but for now, it's fair to say that some thing just plain suck!

For many, one quick way to relieve these overheated doldrums is a dip in a cool pool of fresh and inviting water. Nothing else short of a stint in a walk-in freezer will do a better job of lowering the body's temp and certainly luxuriating in cool water soothes aching nerves far more effectively than complaining about the rising cost of air-conditioner repair. Think about it: Our industry actually provides the relief most people need the most, which leads me to the point here — well, sort of anyway.

Historically, when temperatures climb, the demand for pools follows suit. It's not meteorological science; we become hot and miserable and naturally the idea of finding immediate relief in our backyards is an immediate impulse. Even now, with the aforementioned economic headaches that just don't seem to want to ease up, reports from builders I know confirm that when potential buyers overheat many are picking up the phone. (Sure, many are stopped short by cranky lenders these days, but that's another discussion.)

The problem, of course, is that obtaining a swimming pool is not an impulse buy. Yes, aboveground vinyl pools might fall into that category, but in the overall context of swimming pool construction, you don't place the call on Monday and find yourself swimming by the weekend. The process takes months and by the time someone can take a dip, inevitably the weather has changed. Chalk it up to short attention spans or just that people are readily distracted, the fact remains it's easy to forget the agony of August when the cool winds of October take over.

This unavoidable climate-driven mood swing makes me wonder — wouldn't it be better if more potential buyers were prompted to think ahead rather than simply left to react to the misery of the moment? I am being somewhat facetious here, but maybe there's something to the idea of mounting marketing campaigns during winter and early spring that say something to the effect of "Remember last summer when you were hot and miserable and considered murdering your family?Don't let that happen again. Instead call your local pool builder today and beat the heat next time you feel like applying for that new job in the Antarctic."

Just a thought ... and, by the way, it's going to be 110 here in my part of southern California. I'm thinking it's time for a swim. Alas, if only I owned a pool!

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