Pool business makes a splash - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Pool business makes a splash

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May 12, 2006

Albany -- South Georgia Swimming pool builders are backlogged, and their customers who want pools at their homes must wait for months.

The pool makers say sky high gas prices are helping their business.

Mullins Pool workers place honed limestone around this pool. Their work is in great demand. Most of the South Georgia pool making businesses have more business than they can handle, with customers getting on waiting lists that could be six months long.

Pool builder Lee Mullins said, "They told me to put them on my schedule, and it's going all the way into September and October."

Mullins said he thinks many South Georgians are deciding to build swimming pools because of rising gas prices. "It's helping me out. I'm sure the R.V. business does not like this, but the pool people do."

The Carvers had their custom pool built by Mullins this spring, because they don't plan to travel this summer. "Especially with gas prices the way they are, and air fare, we enjoy being at home anyway," Joy Carver said.

Even though the price of concrete has more than doubled in the last decade, and the price of pools is higher than ever, the demand is just as high. Judging by the pool business, South Georgia's economy is upbeat.

Mullins says he is hearing from a lot of people who have moved to Albany to work with local industries. "They are all bringing new doctors and managers in, and the first thing they do is ask their neighbor, who built your pool?"

But Mullins says most of his customers tell him they plan to travel less this summer. "I would think that gas would have a tremendous impact on wanting to stay home."

But If you are dreaming of having a backyard pool ready for the summer heat, you could be all wet. Most in-ground pools take about three weeks to a month to build, with costs starting around $18,000 for a basic model.

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