There’s No Business Like Spa Business
With some rec centers and health clubs adding or converting space for spas, how do you plan a successful place for pampering?
By Jenny E. Beeh
Once the decadent relaxing playgrounds of the rich and famous, spas are now popping up everywhere—including rec facilities—and catering to everyday people in search of a little pampering.
|ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF GRAHAM|MEUS ARCHITECTS|
|The spa facilities at Boar's Head Inn, a Sports Club, |
Resort and Spa in Charlottesville, Va.
"It's a stressed-out world," says Bob Calvo, vice president of construction for Town Sports International, based in New York, which owns 120 health clubs including Boston Sports Clubs as well as its counterparts in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Stress relief is what spas are all about.
"Spas are a major growing trend in the United States," adds Francis Acunzo of Sage Spa, a consultant specializing in the spa industry and owner of two spas located in health clubs. "One of the largest growth segments is the club spa category—spas within or part of health and fitness clubs." He sees health club members as a good match for spas. "There's and obvious symmetry between the markets," he says.
Proximity helps, too.
"The No. 1 driving factor in the purchase of spa services is convenience," Acunzo says. "[With health clubs], you have a captured audience.
And that audience increasingly knows what it wants.
"Consumers are driving the demand for spas, and they are becoming more and more educated about the value of a spa experience," says Lynne Walker McNees, executive director of the International SPA Association (ISPA). "When someone goes to a health or fitness center they want to do more than workout—they want a one-stop shop, a place where they can also get a massage or a facial. People have less time, they want to spend their time wisely—health and fitness centers adding a spa component is a perfect fit for busy people."