In a previous blog entry, I mentioned how much I enjoy learning about the history of various spa brands. I love finding out whose idea it was to build the spa, why they built it, how the spa got its name, how much it cost, how the brand developed, etc. So as I began my research into the various brands for the Spafinder.com branding page, it seemed appropriate to begin with the one that stands apart from the rest: Canyon Ranch.
Many people know the story of the Zuckermans who founded Canyon Ranch, but few are familiar with the origins of the name “Canyon Ranch.” Someone at the company said he would ask Mel Zuckerman himself for the story. Here is a quick synopsis:
More than 27 years ago Mel Zuckerman had an experience that changed his life and sparked the creation of the world-acclaimed Canyon Ranch. At the time Mel was overweight and dealing with various health problems. So he went to a California spa for help. During this visit he had what he calls an A-ha moment when he realized how great he could feel simply by staying active, eating right, and living healthfully. He and his wife Enid, who was already a health enthusiast, soon made a commitment to build a haven for wellness and “living younger longer.”
They would build a revolutionary health-oriented resort in Tucson, Arizona. In 1977, they found the spot, the grounds of the old Double U Ranch. As soon as they saw this 70-acre oasis in the Sonoran Desert, they knew they’d found the place where their dream would come to life. Naming their baby took a little longer.
The property was just down the road from spectacular Sabino Canyon, in the Catalina Mountains. Mel had developed various properties in Tucson and always used “Sabino” in his subdivision names. They went with tradition at first, and the original legal papers referred to “Sabino Health & Fitness Resort, Inc.” A consultant was hired, and logos were being developed with that name. Enid, however, had grown tired of “Sabino,” and Mel agreed with her. Besides, this exciting new venture deserved a name of its own. After many hours of discussion, they simply joined the last words of Sabino Canyon and Double U Ranch to create Canyon Ranch.
Who knew then that the name would become a brand synonymous with life enhancement (currently encompassing two destination spas, three SpaClubs, and three Canyon Ranch Living communities). And, I hear, there’s more on the drawing board!
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