News flash. The California WellBeing Institute – a brand new concept in medical wellness – is set to open November 29 in Westlake Village, California! USA Today called it “groundbreaking”. It includes a:
Diagnostic Medical Center 270-Room Luxury Hotel (Four Seasons) 28-Treatment-Room Spa
It cost over $300 million and is the vision of health enthusiast David Murdock, chairman of the Dole Food Company, who is 83 years old.
It isn’t that we haven’t had bits and pieces of this idea before….Canyon Ranch, Pritikin, Cooper Wellness, Wellmax, Bumrungrad International in Bangkok, even Holistica (which had a similar concept when it opened but may have gotten a bit lost amid all the other offerings at the Hilton Hawaiian Village) have all offered various combinations of medical testing and spa. The California WellBeing Institute’s concept has some unique aspects that I think ensure its success.
1. It is paired with Four Seasons luxury accommodations 2. It is located near a very high-population area (L.A. County, home to almost ten million people), many of whom are affluent, aging, and in search of health and youthful longevity 3. It appears as if medical testing results can be almost immediate
I do not think the Institute’s concept will replace any of the medical/wellness combinations we already have, but it will add another option and hopefully help to spread the word that a medical spa vacation can be a very healthy choice. Some people will prefer to have their medical tests done in a destination spa environment (Canyon Ranch, Pritikin) where there isn’t as much temptation, costs will drive some to less luxurious facilities (Pritikin, Cooper Wellness, Bumrungrad), and some will want to have a golf option along with their testing (Wellmax, Holistica).
But there is one further assurance that this concept will work. After spending $300 million on a personal passion, there is no doubt in my mind that Murdock will make it work – even if it means spending a few million more.