Monday, May 16, 2011

Are Spas the New Starbucks?

I live in an urban centre and I had arranged to meet someone a few blocks from where I live, at a nearby Starbucks, just the other day.

As you can probably imagine, almost no matter where you may live, it wasn’t hard for me to find a “nearby” Starbucks, because there is one every two or three blocks, everywhere, not that I’m complaining.

However, what I noticed for the first time that day, as I was walking to my appointment, was just how many spas I passed along the way.  And then, in the last few days as I have been in various parts of my city, I found myself noticing just how many spas I passed in what seems like every district of my city, and I know that this is not unique to where I live.

Spas are not new to me, nor did they pop up overnight, but I realized that I have become immune to what seems like the weekly occurrence of yet another spa opening and they have grown to the point of saturating the city to such a point that it occurred to me that there may now be as many spas in any given city as there are Starbucks.

I can remember when we first started to introduce spas into hotels and there were some people who questioned whether or not we were chasing a fad or temporary trend that would be over before it really got started.

I did the research in one of my hotels to demonstrate the significant impact that adding a spa would have on revenue for that property, and even though the argument was compelling on a number of levels, the project was turned down.  I left a couple of years later after having pitched the idea a couple more times over those years, only to have it turned down repeatedly.

About three years later, they used that same proposal of mine to justify the addition of a spa to the property, after several other hotels in that market had introduced spas and were puling market share as a result.

Now, just about every hotel of any significance has a spa within its walls, unless for some reason it just isn’t feasible, due to physical building limitations, or, something of that nature, and certainly any hotel spa that I have been in is leaps and bounds ahead of the multitude of day spas that have popped up on virtually every street corner, but there is no denying that the demand is there, not just for hotel guests and/or the travelling public, but for the residents in these various neighbourhoods.

Spas, as we all know, are here to stay.  As we find ourselves downsized, working harder, smarter, longer, we will continue to look for ways to escape, to pamper ourselves, if only for an hour or two at a time.

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1 comment:

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