- Having no specific pattern, purpose, or objective. Thought - Application
of mental attention; consideration. thefreedictionary.com
ISPA Media Event
I attended the16th annual ISPA Media Event in New York City in August. ISPA released their latest study, the 2010 U.S. Spa Industry 'Big 5' Statistics. There were no surprises. In 2009, spa visits were down by over 10% from 2008, revenue was down by 4.3%, locations were down by 3.2% and square footage was down by 5.2%. The saddest was the employment data which probably explained the disparity between the drop in spa visits and revenue. Clearly, the staff took the hit. Full-time employees dropped 12.7% and contract employees dropped 19%. Part-time employees increased by 22.2%. In my opinion, this is an industry that does not have its head screwed on right with the way it treats its employees. It's a wonder that any of them can make a living by working for a spa. It appears that the situation has only gotten worse.
On the positive side, I got to reconnect with many of my spa friends and acquaintances and catch up on the news from the 12 spas that had booths at the event:
The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa - Executive Spa Director Jaime Huffman told me that President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and two other couples enjoyed a weekend of presidential relaxation & rejuvenation at the
Grove Park Spa this April and that 10 U.S. Presidents have chosen the historic Grove Park
Inn Resort and Spa for their presidential vacations. The spa offered mini versions of the Presidential Relaxation Vacation at their booth - a grand and stately relaxation experience of Mountains, Water, Sky and Heaven. I tried Sky, which incorporated energy work and aromatherapy - very relaxing. It was a great way to start the event!
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group - The NY Spa Director, Denise Vitiello, and Communications Director, Alexandra Wensley, explained that the Mandarin Oriental spas in New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Miami, Las Vegas
and Bermuda will all participate in the "Spa for a Year" promotion supporting October Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Evelyn Lauder's Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). Raffle Tokens will be available for purchase at all U.S. spas during the month of October. At the end of the month, one lucky winner in each city will receive Mandarin Oriental's Signature Spa Therapy treatment every month, for an entire calendar year. The "Spa for a Year" prize is valued at more than $6,000 per hotel. All proceeds from the Raffle Token sales are donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Rancho La Puerta - Roma Maxwell, Director of Public Relations, passionately spoke about the new Amala products being used at Rancho La Puerta and her visit to Amala's offices in Germany. The products are all formulated with 100 percent whole plant ingredients, sustainably sourced from a global network of fair trade farm partners. Ingredients are organically grown in their native habitats, custom distilled to ensure they retain their full therapeutic value, and are completely pure and natural with zero preservatives, chemicals, parabens, or artificial fragrances. All of this aligns perfectly with Rancho La Puerta's green practices.
The Lodge at Woodloch - I was invited to sit down for a mini personal Shamanic Dreamwork session, in which I could describe a dream or waking dream-like incident, and receive immediate insights and intuitive feedback from Dream Coach, Paula Scardamalia. I don't remember my dreams, so Paula was able to give me some ideas about how to remember them. It was a lovely discussion.
The Lodge at Woodloch is having a Dreams as Oracle Weekend, Nov. 12th – 14th, 2010 that combines dream-workshops, journaling, drumming and more. The event is limited to just 15 participants.
Jean Kolb, Spa Director at Kohler Waters Spa explained what was being demonstrated at their booth was a Stretch and Flex Treatment that used a combination of Thai massage, orthopedic and myofascial techniques to release muscular tension, flex the joints and improves circulation. I wanted to hear more about their new Signature Water Therapy Rooms. I was fascinated by the KOHLER Fountainhead VibrAcoustic Bath that provides a unique blend of sound vibrations from
underwater music that results in an experience that is both invigorating and
relaxing. I can't wait to try it!
The Spa at Trump demonstrated the "balancing diamonds" intention journey which incorporates a warm neck pillow, aromatherapy well-being inhalation of lavender, ylang ylang and geranium, hand soak with balancing gemstones, tea service, music and a hand cleanse/massage with Shiffa balancing diamonds blend. I was interested in hearing more about the new Trump SoHo ™ New York SOHO that had just opened a few days before the media event - particularly about the Hammam. I look forward to experiencing it (soon, I hope!).
Mohonk Mountain House demonstrated The High Heeler and Man on the Go: Real Relief for Calves and Feet treatment.
Aspira, The Spa demonstrated a Wild Chamomile and Ancient Cedar Pedissage.
Lake Austin Spa Resort demonstrated Warm Bamboo Massage.
Miraval demonstrated Qi Grounding, a blend of acupuncture and cranio sacral therapy.
Massage Envy demonstrated a Healthy Skin Vitamin C Infusion Facial that utilized Murad products.
In July 2009, a spa study of Dubai predicted revenue to fall by over 50% before a recovery in 2010 and spa visits to to decrease by 33.7%. A new study (done by a different company), says that revenue for hotel spas in Dubai has risen by 45.5% for the first quarter of
2010 and more hotel guests are utilising spa facilities during their stay, ranging from
60-62% of guests compared to the 48-58% range witnessed during 2009.
Is it a sign of recovery? Only time will tell.
One of the spas that has made a big change is
Brownes & Co. in Miami Beach, Florida. As of September 1, 2010, the entire store -
retail, salon, yoga studio and spa is now located on the second floor of its current address at 841 Lincoln Road. It used to occupy both the first and second floors.
I visited Brownes & Co. in 2003. It was an odd experience. It was one of the few spas in which I simply felt unwelcome (no, they didn't know I write about the spas that I visit, but I doubt if it would have made a difference if they did know). I chalked it up to poor management and didn't think much about it until they were featured on the reality show Tabitha's Salon Takeover last year (season 2, episode 6). Frankly, I was surprised they were still in business. The show revealed a train wreck, but it verified my quick root cause analysis of the problem - poor management. The owner blamed all of her business woes on her staff. The staff was in fear of the owner. The clients were the ultimate victims of this disfunction. You can watch part of the show by clicking the link above and the windows below.
In our SpaQuality courses we teach that because the staff works in the Spa’s system of interconnected processes, it is difficult to determine individual performance. Data shows approximately 95% of what happens – good or bad - is caused by systems and how the systems are managed. Individual performance contributes only 5%. What a Spa measures drives staff behavior and the behavior creates the culture. Sadly, I have been to oh-too-many spas where the owner/director/manager is simply a tyrant and the culture is toxic. I hope for the sake of the clients, staff and business that the recent change at Brownes & Co. is more than just cosmetic.
These are my random thoughts at this moment. Thanks for "listening." Share yours with me at jar@DiscoverSpas.com.