SAN DIEGO — People are finding a new, private way to stay cool in the heat — and some pool owners are making extra cash at the same time.

The app Swimply allows pool owners to rent out their space.

“We just love to see people come in, enjoy the surroundings,” said pool owner Rick Ventimiglia, who’s been using Swimply for three years.

The app is sometimes called the “Airbnb for swimming pools.” Pool owners and guests are using the app to book pools for hours at a time.

“I don’t mind bringing strangers in,” Ventimiglia said. “I don’t mind meeting all these new people. We’ve even made new friendships out of the people that come through here.”

Ventimiglia and his wife, Monique, started hosting their pool in August 2020 for up to 25 people. The couple said it’s been nonstop bookings ever since.

“Immediately got a booking, the same day I signed up for the app. That kind of set a precedent like, people do want to find a use for a pool,”  Ventimiglia said.

Swimply hosts can not only rent out their pool, but also offer other amenities, such as pool toys or a fire pit, at a cost or for free.

At the Ventimiglia’s, they offer just about everything inside their half-acre backyard, including the pool, grill, bathrooms, plenty of seating and a barn for guests to enjoy the Ventimiglia’s chickens and tortoises.

The Ventimiglia’s said they never leave the property during their bookings.

“Everybody seems to really love it. When they come, leave with a smile, kids want to come back. I’ve had many repeat customers: ‘Oh my daughter had her birthday here last year,’ … So it’s those kinds of things that keep us going,” Ventimiglia said.

Guests can rent pools for a variety of reasons, such as hanging out with family or friends, birthday parties, events and much more.

Simply takes 15% of a host’s bookings. The service includes liability up to $1 million, which can cover from a minor incident to a possible drowning accident.

The Ventimiglia’s said it’s been a smooth process juggling work from home while hosting their backyard.

“We just decided to keep this rolling and enjoy the people coming, haven’t had any issues at all,” Ventimiglia said. “There is a little bit of a tradeoff, you’re not leaving and doing things outside the house as much. But through COVID we’ve mastered the art of staying home and enjoying ourselves here.”