One of the crucial issues in spa marketing is to create a promise to the client that can be fulfilled by the spa, so that expectations are aligned with reality. In recent years, I’ve visited two spas that exemplified this concept, and I was unexpectedly delighted with both.
It might seem like being the only spa in a small town would help ensure your success. But what if that town was a mining town in the high desert, filled with pickup trucks and empty storefronts? My first pleasant surprise of the week occurred at just such a place. I enjoyed a facial performed with the expert hands of a well-trained esthetician, snacked on a variety of interesting dried fruits that are also available for sale, shopped in the well-stocked and merchandised boutique, and enjoyed the teamwork of a tightly-knit group of women who are setting the bar for their town, and it will be a hard act to follow for anyone else. In fact, this spa is so delightful, it recently won recognition for being one of the best spas in all of Wyoming.
Escape Day Spa & Boutique has an “island” vibe, which adds to its allure as a fun retreat amidst the soaring skies and western vistas of this part of Wyoming. The spa is located at 430 Broadway Street in Rock Springs, Wyoming. The treatment rooms are referred to as “cabanas” with names such as “Oasis,” and feature island references such as rolled bamboo ceilings and the gentle sound of waves in the background. But there are no neon palm trees here, all decorating is tastefully done. There are no locker rooms, but two changing rooms, one with toilet and shower, that are each fully equipped with every creature comfort, and are spotlessly clean. The spa has been through one expansion and the owner is now planning to move it into a much larger space two blocks down the street. Being the first on the scene, the owner and her staff have had to work hard to educate their clients about what to expect from spa services and products, but they’ve obviously been successful.
My next stop was the Skana Spa at the 1200 acre Turning Stone Resort Casino in upstate New York. This bustling complex features five separate hotels, casino and event space, a sportsplex, numerous restaurants, and two spas. While being a half-hour east of the city of Syracuse is not exactly the middle of nowhere, it is certainly not a “metro” area, and I was taken by surprise by the entire experience. The line checking into the hotel on a Sunday afternoon was reminiscent of Las Vegas.
The Tower hotel offers Ahsi Spa, but I elected to venture through the casino, over the walkway and into the tranquil and upscale environment of Four Diamond award-winning Lodge to have services at Skana. This spa offers 12 treatment rooms, salon, full men’s and women’s locker rooms with steam, sauna and whirlpool as well as a large co-ed whirlpool, and a Spa Café. The treatments were expertly done, and I enjoyed the facility which supported the menu of services based on Oneida Indian culture, but did not call overt attention to itself.
Both of these excellent spas illustrated the point that you don’t need to be front and center in the spa universe to be successful or to provide a top-notch experience for your clients. But you do need to have an identity and vision, to communicate that clearly in your marketing materials, and then be able to deliver on your promise to your guests. As the army says, “Be the best you can be.”
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