Swimply is expanding its marketplace to offer pickleball court rentals.
Swimply, a start-up that lets people rent private pools, is poised to expand into pickleball fields — and the company says it expects revenue from its new product to surpass pool rentals in just two and a half years.
On Tuesday, the company announced it would add pickleball and tennis court rentals to its growing markets.
“Given how quickly the sport has grown, there are huge constraints right now,” Swimply founder and CEO Bunim Laskin told CNBC.
Launched in New York City in 2018, Swimply plans to list rental access to as many as 300 private courses in markets including New York, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Houston and Austin, Texas.
Ruskin said he expects the number of spaces available for rent to double by late summer.
Driven by demand from stadium owners and players, Swimply launched Courts to better serve consumers looking for new ways to entertain and spend their leisure time.
Last year, 36 million people tried pickleball. Availability and access to courts has become the biggest challenge for many as interest in the sport has exploded.
Ruskin said the company beta-tested pickleball courts and found that some owners make between $1,000 and $3,000 a month, while typical court rentals range from $25 to $100 an hour.
He said because of the repetition rate of pickleball — some people play it several times a week — he expects revenue to surpass the pool category in less than three years.
“Most of our revenue in the pool category occurs between Memorial Day and Labor Day. For pickleball, in the warmer states, we see that throughout the year,” he said.
Given the rapid rise of pickleball, the number of courses being built has steadily increased.
Fewer than half of large U.S. cities offer public pickleball courts, according to 2017 public land trust, a nonprofit organization that creates and promotes the importance of parks. Today, the parks and recreation departments of most major cities offer pickleball facilities in their neighborhoods.
TPL data shows that over the past six years, the number of courses located in parks has increased more than sixfold, from 420 to 2,788.
“The growth has been dramatic,” says Linda Hwang, director of TPL’s Land and Human Lab and a pickleball player herself. “I can’t imagine it slowing down anytime soon.”
Outside the park system, privately funded courts are springing up across the country.this includes chains like Chicken Kimchi and membership clubs such as pickle club in Sarasota, Florida and Court 16 in New York City.
Pickleball courts have even begun to fill in vacant spaces left by mall retailers. For example, in Stamford, Connecticut, american pickleball The plan is to turn 80,000 square feet of the former Saks Off 5th space into 28 pickle ball courts.and Paddle Up Pickleball Club It is expected to open in St. Louis soon. It is building nine courts in the space formerly occupied by the Bed Bath & Beyond store.
invited, a leading private club owner and operator in the United States, began switching to pickleball in 2020. The company has been building courts at a rapid pace — and converting them from tennis courts to pickleball — and now has more than 400 of its 400 pickleball courts. 200 golf and country clubs nationwide.
“Pickleball is on fire,” Invited CEO David Pillsbury told CNBC. “We’ve stepped up the game of pickleball and made a huge commitment to the amateur side of the game, and we’ve also supported the professional side by having some professional competitions.”
Pillsbury doesn’t see the trend abating. “I think this is just the beginning,” he said. He cites the sport’s low barrier to entry, the fact that it attracts a wide audience and is cheap to try as reasons for its growing popularity.
Swimply court rentals range from $25 to $100 an hour.
Ruskin said Swimply has received a flood of inquiries from customers looking to build pickleball courts as an investment or as a way to earn extra cash.
Because the cost of building a pickle ball court is much lower than the cost of building a swimming pool, people can expect to pay for themselves within a year or two, he said.
“For the pool category, people are making between $2,000 and $10,000 a month,” he said. “We want the pickleball to be very similar.”