While record numbers of foreclosures continue to wreak havoc on home prices and the economy as a whole, one unlikely group seems to be benefiting immensely.
Young skateboarders looking for an empty pool to practice and refine their tricks in are finding it increasingly easy to find that perfect spot as more and more homes become abandoned.
According to an article in the NY Times, some are using real estate websites and Google Earth to track down homes that have been foreclosed on, and then toting water pumps and buckets, draining pools and diving right in.
In fact, pool skating is seeing a resurgence in places like hard-hit Fresno, California, as skaters have more empty pools at their disposal than they know what to do with.
And though they risk trespassing charges for skating in abandoned pools, those who drain the pools are actually providing a service, as dirty standing water can become a breeding ground for West Nile virus.
In California, an estimated 5,000 abandoned pools can be found in Sacramento County, some of which are subject to fines up to $1,000 a day for pools left with filthy standing water.
Of course, on the other end of the spectrum are the pool builders, who have seen orders drop precipitously, leading to widespread layoffs and closures.
In scorching Phoenix, AZ, a swimming pool mecca, residential pool permits were down about fifty percent from 2007, while the company that once sponsored the famous pool at Chase Field where the Diamondbacks play went bust.