Pool sales explode, supply runs dry | news

Mike Mieldazis, a Warrior Run resident, is happy he was able to order an above-ground garden pool in March before pool sales skyrocketed and supplies ran dry.

With temperatures over 90 degrees and many events canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said his family was enjoying the pool this summer.

He and his wife Christina have two children, Mike, 18, who is about to begin his first year at Misericordia University, and Lindsey, 15, who is in 10th grade at Hanover Area High School.

Like other students, they were stuck at home when schools closed and school events were canceled. The family also canceled a summer vacation in Ocean City, Maryland, and Mieldazis said he was glad they got a pool.

“There is no place to go. There is nothing to be done, ”he said. “Everything is canceled.”

Mieldazis is among a growing number of people who bought pools this year as part of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He bought it at Aqua Leisure Pools and Spas in Wilkes-Barre. Installation was delayed when Governor Tom Wolf shut down construction.

Due to the delays, Mieldazis said the pool wasn’t ready until early this month, but “it worked out fine because it’s a hot summer.”

“We wanted my son to use it before he went to college because that’s where he’ll sleep for it to work,” Mieldazis said.

Deb Hritzak, manager of the family-run Skovish Pools & Spas in Lucerne, said backyard pool sales boomed as more people were stuck at home during the exceptionally hot summer.

“It’s so hot and people don’t want to travel and spend time in their own backyards,” she said.

Above-ground pool supplies ran dry because manufacturers closed or worked with smaller employees when the pandemic broke out across the country, she said.

About a month ago, Hritzak said they had been told they couldn’t even get above-ground pools and didn’t expect them until next year. Then they were able to get nine pools from a local vendor and she said they “sold like hot cakes.”

Last week she said they could get five more pools and sell three immediately and buy the other two soon.

Pool supplies such as linings and heaters were also out of stock but were able to source pool chemicals. Every hot tub in her showroom is also sold out, she said. When people order hot tubs, delivery could take 28 weeks.

Skovish Pools & Spas has also been booked out with the installation of pools in the ground. Hritzak said the first step would be a gardening consultation with owner Mark Skovish and he was fully booked every day.

Wilkes-Barre-based Raul Ramirez, chef at McDonald’s restaurant in Wilkes-Barre, said he could get the last pool at Walmart for his 8-year-old autistic son, Aiden.

“I got it for him because I was planning to take him on vacation to Ocean City this summer, but I couldn’t take him on vacation due to COVID-19,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez said he used some of the money he received for his stimulus check to buy the pool and all equipment, and that his son enjoys the pool in hot weather.

“He’s having a great time and he deserves it,” he said.

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