Business: Pool Boom

A dip instead of a trip

As gas prices climb and lines form at the pump, more and more harried motorists are taking the plunge. Not off the nearest cliff—but into their own new swimming pools. One of the byproducts of the petro woes is that sales of backyard pools are expected to top 115,000 this year, up 20% from 1978.

The average in-the-ground pool is 18 ft. by 38 ft. and retails for $8,900, a little more than the price of a quality midsize car, but bigger and fancier models cost as much as $30,000. Even sales of above-ground kiddie-type pools, which...

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