Spas and Greed Discussion
- Published: Saturday, June 27th 2009
- in Living Well
Susie Ellis, SpaFinder Insider
Have spas become too greedy? I was talking to a massage therapist the other day who said that the resort spa where he works is still busy, but the spa is dead. He thinks it’s because the prices have reached absurd levels. “Resort spas educated people about getting massage and facials” he said, “But now they get them at home instead of when they’re on vacation because it’s so much cheaper.” He thinks we’ve seen the end of the splashy new 60,000 square-foot spas, where prices are cranked up high to help pay for the fabulous facilities.
Judy Singer, a spa consultant, says people want what spas offer, but it has to be financially feasible. “Many spas have been their own worst enemy by getting caught up in the greed factor (very high treatment prices),” she writes. “This has caused consumers to re-evaluate the genuine need and ability for them to visit the spa.”
What do you think? Have spas become too greedy? Are you changing the ways you use spas?
I agree with many of the previous comments and think that Skip makes a good summary point that our spa business model is the challenge and in time, will need to change. With spas not making a lot of money, therapists not making a lot of money, and the consumer paying what seems like a whole lot of money (especially at hotel/resort spas), I don’t think that “greedy” is the right word however because that implies that someone is “wishing to possess more than what one needs or deserves” (dictionary definition). And I don’t think that is the case.
The evolution of our fast-growing business got us to this point and while there are a lot of factors that have contributed to this situation, the important thing now, I feel, is for all of us to think creatively about how this can be resolved for everyone’s benefit and for the long term.
Here are a couple of ideas that might be worth exploring:
burnout rate is much less – in fact they can be beauty therapists all of their lives. From a spa’s point of view, staff scheduling is much easier when employees are qualified to do all services. Money is saved all around because there isn’t a cost for a lot of people sitting around waiting for work, and yet there are people available when a consumer walks in and requests a last minute booking. Turnover is less which also saves money.
Re-Energizing Massage Begins with 10 minutes in the relaxation room enjoying a hydrating and refreshing summer fruit drink. The treatment begins with two 10 minute sauna sessions interspersed with a cool shower and followed by 10 minutes of cooling down with lower legs in the cold plunge. This is followed by a 60 minute massage with a custom selected special oil and then two steam bath sessions to help the skin absorb the special oil. The steam sessions are interspersed with a cool shower, and ends with a regular shower using an organic soap and 10 minutes of cooling with lower legs in the cold plunge.
Not only would this series actually really refresh a person (delivering far more benefits than simply a massage), but it wouldn’t take any more staff other than someone in the hydro/thermal area helping all the clients do their steams/saunas/jacuzzi’s properly taking heart rates and answering questions about the true health benefits of these amenities.
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