Sad news. Canyon Ranch Living Chicago, which was in the design and pre-sale phase, has been cancelled. This article, “End of the Trail”, gives some of the details. From the few mentions I could find on the web, it appears that there were insufficient sales of condos and that it fell victim to the current market crunch. Too bad. The design seemed really inspired and I love the idea of “wellness condos.”
But timing is a big factor in these kinds of things. What would have worked several years ago – and may very well work several years from now – is struggling amidst bad economic news. Who knows, it may have been the size of the project, the price point, the location, or maybe the marketing plan that didn’t work. And I can’t help but wonder if the condo project was kept alive longer than it might have been because of its unique spa aspect.
One thing I am convinced about, however, is that the idea of spa lifestyle real estate is here to stay and it will find its ideal expression as time goes on. Canyon Ranch Living in Miami looks to be a successful project – as does Miraval Living in New York. Red Mountain keeps building more residences because of the demand and our spa real estate section on Spafinder.com keeps growing.
This situation reminds me a bit of the time when the internet bubble burst. Remember? The bubble grew from approximately 1995 – 2001 and then it “burst” and share prices fell dramatically. The pendulum swung from being gung-ho regarding the Internet to doom and gloom. I remember noticing only one person during the “down” time who kept saying, “don’t worry about it. The future of the Internet is still so amazing that even with this “correction” there will be huge upsides and the Internet world will continue to grow exponentially.” That person was my husband. In time, he was proven correct.
Alas…I feel the same way about setbacks in the evolution of spa lifestyle real estate. To me it is a two steps forward and one step back kind of thing. The fundamentals are just too compelling: aging baby boomers who are reaching retirement age, who value their health and well-being above almost anything else and who have money (much of it inherited) to spend. We also have a younger generation embracing the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) lifestyle and wanting to raise their families in a healthy environment.
Real estate with spa components is here to stay.
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