Spas in the News
Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa Celebrates 150 Year Anniversary in 2010
CORONA, Calif. 6/23/09 - In 2010 Glen
Ivy Hot Springs Spa celebrates its 150th anniversary.
July 27, 1860, John J. Skinker wrote a short advertisement to attract Los Angeles
residents to Temescal Sulphur Springs. Printed in the Sept. 8, 1860 edition of
the Los Angeles Star, the ad announced that Skinker had fitted up BATHS
for the accommodation of all who may desire to use them, either for health or
recreation. Although it would be almost 30 years before this Temescal Valley
establishment was re-named Glen Ivy Hot Springs, it was in 1860 that the spa of
today had its genesis as a commercial business.
A century and a half is a long time for a business to stay
successful, not that there havent been challenges along the way. However,
through several major wars, waves of migration and population growth, economic
booms and depressions, and unparalleled technological shifts, Skinkers early
hopes, or maybe visions, have proven true. The natural waters remain a vital part
of what Glen Ivy is today, but water alone has not made Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa
such a lasting fixture in Southern California culture. Unpretentious prices, good
service, and high value contribute, but the central timeless essence seems to
be the experience of wellbeing people discover when theyre there and take
with them when they leave.
in abundance is to be found in the vicinity of the Springs, and every facility
afforded for out-door amusement, wrote John Skinker. He and early guests
at the hot springs lived in a world very different from today. Automobiles and
airplanes were nearly half a century ahead in an unforeseen future. Life moved
at a slower pace. The railroad was coming into broad use, but still the fastest
many people had traveled then was on a galloping horse. The Pony Express began
mail service from St. Louis to Sacramento on April 3, 1860. Abraham Lincoln was
campaigning for President, home canning jars and the Winchester rifle had just
been invented, and the latest census showed that the United States had 31,443,321
people. Land was selling for $3 to $5 an acre, and a laborers wage without
board was 90 cents for a 12-hour workday.
What $100 could
buy in 1860 would cost almost $3,000 now. Rent was cheap one ad offered
a four room apartment for $4.45 per month! but to city dwellers, food was
a relatively high cost of living, and only available locally and in season. A
dozen eggs cost comparatively more in 1860: the 20 cent price then equates to
about $4.60 per dozen now. Charles Darwins The Origins of Species had been
out a year, Longfellows Paul Reveres Ride was printed, and Ralph Waldo
Emersons Conduct of Life was published. Golfer Willie Park won the first
British Open with a 36-hole score of 174 at the coastal resort of Prestwick, Scotland.
The Civil War was looming when Lincoln was elected President on Nov.6, 1860. There
were 33 states, only white male adults could vote, and four million people were
In 1860 it was 80 years before
the first McDonalds opened, 109 years before Neil Armstrong walked on the
moon, 111 years before the first Starbucks, 120 years before cell phones, and
130 years before the World Wide Web. So much that was wholly unimaginable then
is part of our daily lives just 15 decades later. John Skinker published an ad
that he hoped a few hundred people in L.A. might notice, and today 150,000 Glen
Ivy Spa guests receive e-mails in an instant.
seems like so much has changed, but so much hasnt. At Glen Ivy Hot Springs
Spa, the water, the sky, the earth, the sun are still very much as they were when
the first Americans immersed themselves in this sacred place, and long before
the Spanish arrived in the Temescal Valley about two centuries ago. Today some
165,000 guests come annually to Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa for health or recreation,
as Skinker put it, drawn by the Earths gift of healing waters in this natural
cathedral without walls or roof.
The mineral water bathing enjoyed by Native Americans remained
unchanged for untold centuries, but in the decades following Skinkers 1860
advertisement all would begin to evolve, slowly at first, then with greater pace.
An adobe inn was built to offer public accommodations, and later a mineral water
swimming pool enclosed in a barn-like structure. As the years passed, hundreds,
then thousands, and now millions of guests have enjoyed Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa.
Today 19 pools and spas are combined with professional body treatments and skin
care services, a unique outdoor red clay mud bath, and The Grotto, a moisturizing
body treatment, underground. On busy days the lushly landscaped grounds, extensive
indoor and outdoor facilities, and 72 spa treatment rooms absorb a thousand and
more happy guests tended to by 350 employees. I just love this place!
Jim Root, Glen Ivys CEO
and President, is well known in Spa Industry circles, perhaps most widely as the
immediate past Chair of the International Spa Association, ISPA, and as a well-traveled
leader at some of the industrys top destination spas. John Gray, founder
of the present corporation in 1977 and Glen Ivys CEO for 30 years, now serves
the company in community relations, marketing, and various special projects. Café
Solé, under the guidance of Executive Chef Bill Wavrin of Rancho La Puerta,
Golden Door, and Miraval fame and now working with Jim again for the third time,
offers simple and award-winning cuisine. Jim, John and Bill have long shared a
commitment to spa as lifestyle, and more recently began to share a deep love for
Glen Ivy, its history, and its extraordinary qualities as a haven of well being.
Though times have changed, values havent. Glen Ivys
vision, Elevating Life Experience, is practiced, not preached. Staff
camaraderie is infectious, and guests feel both at home and transported as if
for a two-week vacation in a day. As Glen Ivys sesquicentennial year approaches
and throughout 2010, there will be events and fun and food and more, but the real
celebration is an inner one about timeless truths, what was and is and is to be,
about service and nature, about life.
story continues, and Glen Ivy stands ready to offer welcome and wellbeing to the
world for the next 150 years.
Ivy Hot Springs Spa
Stretched across 12 acres of lush landscaping
and gardens, Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa features 19 pools and spas and unique attractions
including naturally thermal mineral water baths and Glen Ivys famous Club
Mud, Californias only therapeutic red clay mud bath. Celebrating 150
years of healing water and extraordinary service in 2010, Glen Ivy Spas in Corona,
Brea and Valencia welcome over 250,000 guest visits annually and employ 450 people
in Southern California. A Founding Seed Spa in the Green Spa Network and member
of the International Spa Association (ISPA) and the Day Spa Association, Glen
Ivy Hot Springs Spa was named Favorite Hot Springs Spa and Most Affordable Spa
in America in Spa Magazines 2008 Readers Choice Awards.
Spas in the News