GET SPA BUSINESS
magazine
Yes! Send me the FREE digital editions of Spa Business and Spa Business insider magazines and the FREE weekly Spa Business and Spa Business insider ezines and breaking news alerts!
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Business analysis
Change management

Lisa Starr takes a look at different types of spas which are adapting their business practices and models to succeed post-pandemic


Lapinha Wellness & Integrative Medicine Center
Brazil
Lapinha has added a farm to table business and is promoting its ‘home office’ image

Destination spas are among the most challenged facilities as a result of coronavirus. Typically, these are complex, sprawling properties, often located in remote areas with a large number of employees.

Additionally, many of their clients visit from a distance, including from other countries, so even moderate capacity allowances haven’t helped these businesses to rebound.

The Lapinha Wellness & Integrative Medicine Center, located 90km south-west of Curitiba, Brazil, is a prime example. Founded in 1972, Lapinha was the first medical spa in Brazil, situated on a farm with a focus on organic produce in the midst of a sub-tropical forest.

At the onset of the pandemic, Lapinha employed 160 people and the owners trimmed the ranks by putting 80 on furlough. They kept on 40 staff for maintenance and working the farm and set up a leadership team of 12 who “worked together as an intensive support community, thinking, dreaming and daring on new possibilities for Lapinha’s future,” according to owner Margareth Brepohl.

When Lapinha reopened on 21 June, it did so with a number of fresh initiatives and approaches on top of enhanced health and safety protocols.

New, flexible pricing schemes have made stays more appealing. There’s now the option for people to first choose the programmes they need (stress management or detox for example) and then pick the accommodation they can afford based on room size. There’s also a progressive discount promotion according to the length of stay, to go with a decades-old loyalty scheme which enables guests to receive up to a 40 per cent discount. To tap into this market further, it’s promoting a ‘home office’ image with its comfortable rooms and beautiful views. Some guests are now on their fourth week at Lapinha and average stay has jumped from 7.1 to 8.2 days.

The growth of domestic travel has been a welcome side effect of the pandemic. Lapinha is continuing to adapt its omnichannel communications to appeal to the home crowd, which represent a younger clientele – since the pandemic, the average age of guests has dropped from 54 to the low 40s. A group of 12 young adults that intended to have a self-knowledge and awareness journey in Bhutan, for example, visited Lapinha, just an hour away from where they live instead.

Lapinha is now launching a Spotify channel to keep front of mind for the younger guests with curated playlists focused on stretching, moments round the fire and self-reflection. In addition is has a ‘vibrant calendar’ of 42 theme weeks lined up for next year focusing on everything from ayurveda and local gastronomy to hiking and sound healing. 

New markets have been opened up by partnering with a fertility clinic so couples can destress before treatment. And it’s created an extra revenue stream by launching an e-commerce site and becoming a ‘farm to table’ business, delivering same-day, fresh food to customers in Curitiba, a city with 3 million inhabitants.

With all of these initiatives in place, Lapinha estimates if it removes the three months of closure, it’s experiencing a 20 per cent increase in the number of guests this year to date and a 30 per cent rise in revenue.

Growth of domestic guests, who are younger, has been a welcome side effect
Float
Texas, USA
COVID forced Float owner Jeremy Jacob to take a deep dive into business financials / ©Natalia Sun

In June 2020, the Texas-based floatation company Float had its most profitable month ever. The firm was set up in 2016 by ex water filtration salesman Jeremy Jacob and his wife after finding that San Antonio was the largest city in the US without a floatation centre. A year later, they had a total of six.

In February 2020, the original centre took over a 3,000sq ft store next door and added a couples massage room, infrared sauna, salt cave and additional services to its five floatation tanks. COVID forced Jacob to scrutinise financials to discover areas of efficiency and additional revenue streams.

Reopening in May, after a two-month closure, Jacob switched from using independent contractors for massages (who barely covered the costs of the room), to an employee model which has resulted in higher calibre therapists and returning clients.

To broaden Float’s appeal, he also invested in a Pandora Star – a device which projects an array of colourful LED lights on the face to stimulate different regions of the brain to promote relaxation, cognitive function and creativity. Combined with the other additional services this has enabled Float to add a number of day spa packages, provided ample inspiration for creative marketing campaigns and grow membership, which currently sits at 220. Jacob says the centre is now running at full capacity on the weekends and 60 per cent in the week.

He likens his approach to a lake with tributaries, with different cash flows feeding into it. Float now offers 12 different services and in some instances can do as many as three in one room. In September, figures were 50 per cent ahead of the same month last year, and growth continues.

Float has invested in new services, such as Pandora Star, to create extra revenue streams
©Natalia Sun
Sloco Health + Wellness
California, USA
Natasha Prybyla expects business to fully recover next year

Massage therapist Natasha Prybyla set up her own practice in the college town of San Luis Obispo, California in 2010, growing into a spa in 2014. The six-treatment-room day spa was busy but three years ago she ‘did the math’ and started adding treatment options that weren’t reliant on a therapist. First an infrared sauna, then a cryotherapy tank, Somadome meditation pod, dry salt therapy room and a photobiomodulation bed. When the pandemic struck, the company found itself ahead of the game when it comes to contact-free services.

Business was slow when it initially reopened in August. However, small changes Prybyla made since have had a big impact. Clients needed a lot of education on the complementary experiences and she created marketing campaigns, along with video content, to promote their cellular health benefits. “We’ve been practically twisting people’s arms for the past year to try services like cryotherapy and no one was interested, but now they’re loving it,” she says. Sloco has just added a recovery lounge featuring two NormaTec compression therapy systems which “have been booked up every day”.

By simply rebranding the facility from ‘spa’ to ‘health and wellness’ she’s capturing many more consumers via internet searches – from as far away as 100 miles. “Because most people don’t expect to find the answers to autoimmune conditions and severe chronic pain relief in spas, we were being eliminated when people were searching,” she explains.

By simply rebranding the facility from ‘spa’ to ‘health and wellness’ we’re capturing many more consumers via internet searches

Prybyla has also introduced a ‘self-care gym’ membership where clients can experience the modalities as often as they need to for a monthly fee of US$199 (€165, £149) to US$499 (€414, £374). Out of the 150 members, about 45 clients converted from the previous spa membership to this new plan, and were “game to try something new”. At the moment, the push is on to communicate these changes to the database of 12k clients and to continue to build membership. Revenue, which was on a 35 per cent growth rate until mid-March, is currently less than half of what it was pre-pandemic. But with the recent partnership with a chiropractor, providing guest access for referrals for therapeutic treatments, and the new model and pricing structure, Prybyla expects Sloco to be fully recovered at some point within 2021.

She concludes: “The pandemic has modified my vision for Sloco in a major way. Just a couple of months ago, we had plans to remain a peaceful spa that focuses on massages and facials while offering these unique, alternative modalities. Now, we’ve become a lively community of people trying to support each other on this wellness journey. And our projected net profit is significantly better than anything we could’ve ever dreamed with the old way of doing things.”

Contact-free, automated services have put Sloco in an advantageous position since COVID / ©Madison Lorenz
Clients need a lot of educating about alternative experiences / Somadome by Nick Pavlakis @nickyp_pics

Lisa Starr is a contributing editor at Spa Business | [email protected]

FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Esthetica’s Shirodhara Massage Bed honours Ayurveda’s ancient traditions
The Shirodhara Massage Bed is Esthetica’s multipurpose massage table solution, designed for both oil and dry massages. [more...]

Book4Time teams up with Gantner to offer spas access control solutions
Book4Time has recently announced a new partnership with hardware-based, access control company Gantner. [more...]
+ More featured suppliers  
COMPANY PROFILES
Dröm UK Ltd

Dröm UK specialises in the design and installation of luxury, bespoke spa and thermal wellbeing area [more...]
Spa Supply Solutions

Spa Supply Solutions was founded in 2014 by Julie Bevilacqua, who is qualified in spa management an [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
 

+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

Book4time at ISPA 2022 in Las Vegas
Book4time had a blast catching up with spa and wellness industry leaders at ISPA 2022 in Las Vegas. It was a joy catching up with current clients and being able to meet face to face with buyers looking for a new spa software solution. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

29-30 Nov 2022

International Wellness Tourism Conference

Eden Roc, Cap Cana and Melia Punta Cana Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
29-30 Nov 2022

World Halotherapy Global Symposium

Virtual, United Kingdom
+ More diary  
 
ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
 
SPA BUSINESS
SPA OPPORTUNITIES
SPA BUSINESS HANDBOOK
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2022
News   Products   Magazine
Business analysis
Change management

Lisa Starr takes a look at different types of spas which are adapting their business practices and models to succeed post-pandemic


Lapinha Wellness & Integrative Medicine Center
Brazil
Lapinha has added a farm to table business and is promoting its ‘home office’ image

Destination spas are among the most challenged facilities as a result of coronavirus. Typically, these are complex, sprawling properties, often located in remote areas with a large number of employees.

Additionally, many of their clients visit from a distance, including from other countries, so even moderate capacity allowances haven’t helped these businesses to rebound.

The Lapinha Wellness & Integrative Medicine Center, located 90km south-west of Curitiba, Brazil, is a prime example. Founded in 1972, Lapinha was the first medical spa in Brazil, situated on a farm with a focus on organic produce in the midst of a sub-tropical forest.

At the onset of the pandemic, Lapinha employed 160 people and the owners trimmed the ranks by putting 80 on furlough. They kept on 40 staff for maintenance and working the farm and set up a leadership team of 12 who “worked together as an intensive support community, thinking, dreaming and daring on new possibilities for Lapinha’s future,” according to owner Margareth Brepohl.

When Lapinha reopened on 21 June, it did so with a number of fresh initiatives and approaches on top of enhanced health and safety protocols.

New, flexible pricing schemes have made stays more appealing. There’s now the option for people to first choose the programmes they need (stress management or detox for example) and then pick the accommodation they can afford based on room size. There’s also a progressive discount promotion according to the length of stay, to go with a decades-old loyalty scheme which enables guests to receive up to a 40 per cent discount. To tap into this market further, it’s promoting a ‘home office’ image with its comfortable rooms and beautiful views. Some guests are now on their fourth week at Lapinha and average stay has jumped from 7.1 to 8.2 days.

The growth of domestic travel has been a welcome side effect of the pandemic. Lapinha is continuing to adapt its omnichannel communications to appeal to the home crowd, which represent a younger clientele – since the pandemic, the average age of guests has dropped from 54 to the low 40s. A group of 12 young adults that intended to have a self-knowledge and awareness journey in Bhutan, for example, visited Lapinha, just an hour away from where they live instead.

Lapinha is now launching a Spotify channel to keep front of mind for the younger guests with curated playlists focused on stretching, moments round the fire and self-reflection. In addition is has a ‘vibrant calendar’ of 42 theme weeks lined up for next year focusing on everything from ayurveda and local gastronomy to hiking and sound healing. 

New markets have been opened up by partnering with a fertility clinic so couples can destress before treatment. And it’s created an extra revenue stream by launching an e-commerce site and becoming a ‘farm to table’ business, delivering same-day, fresh food to customers in Curitiba, a city with 3 million inhabitants.

With all of these initiatives in place, Lapinha estimates if it removes the three months of closure, it’s experiencing a 20 per cent increase in the number of guests this year to date and a 30 per cent rise in revenue.

Growth of domestic guests, who are younger, has been a welcome side effect
Float
Texas, USA
COVID forced Float owner Jeremy Jacob to take a deep dive into business financials / ©Natalia Sun

In June 2020, the Texas-based floatation company Float had its most profitable month ever. The firm was set up in 2016 by ex water filtration salesman Jeremy Jacob and his wife after finding that San Antonio was the largest city in the US without a floatation centre. A year later, they had a total of six.

In February 2020, the original centre took over a 3,000sq ft store next door and added a couples massage room, infrared sauna, salt cave and additional services to its five floatation tanks. COVID forced Jacob to scrutinise financials to discover areas of efficiency and additional revenue streams.

Reopening in May, after a two-month closure, Jacob switched from using independent contractors for massages (who barely covered the costs of the room), to an employee model which has resulted in higher calibre therapists and returning clients.

To broaden Float’s appeal, he also invested in a Pandora Star – a device which projects an array of colourful LED lights on the face to stimulate different regions of the brain to promote relaxation, cognitive function and creativity. Combined with the other additional services this has enabled Float to add a number of day spa packages, provided ample inspiration for creative marketing campaigns and grow membership, which currently sits at 220. Jacob says the centre is now running at full capacity on the weekends and 60 per cent in the week.

He likens his approach to a lake with tributaries, with different cash flows feeding into it. Float now offers 12 different services and in some instances can do as many as three in one room. In September, figures were 50 per cent ahead of the same month last year, and growth continues.

Float has invested in new services, such as Pandora Star, to create extra revenue streams
©Natalia Sun
Sloco Health + Wellness
California, USA
Natasha Prybyla expects business to fully recover next year

Massage therapist Natasha Prybyla set up her own practice in the college town of San Luis Obispo, California in 2010, growing into a spa in 2014. The six-treatment-room day spa was busy but three years ago she ‘did the math’ and started adding treatment options that weren’t reliant on a therapist. First an infrared sauna, then a cryotherapy tank, Somadome meditation pod, dry salt therapy room and a photobiomodulation bed. When the pandemic struck, the company found itself ahead of the game when it comes to contact-free services.

Business was slow when it initially reopened in August. However, small changes Prybyla made since have had a big impact. Clients needed a lot of education on the complementary experiences and she created marketing campaigns, along with video content, to promote their cellular health benefits. “We’ve been practically twisting people’s arms for the past year to try services like cryotherapy and no one was interested, but now they’re loving it,” she says. Sloco has just added a recovery lounge featuring two NormaTec compression therapy systems which “have been booked up every day”.

By simply rebranding the facility from ‘spa’ to ‘health and wellness’ she’s capturing many more consumers via internet searches – from as far away as 100 miles. “Because most people don’t expect to find the answers to autoimmune conditions and severe chronic pain relief in spas, we were being eliminated when people were searching,” she explains.

By simply rebranding the facility from ‘spa’ to ‘health and wellness’ we’re capturing many more consumers via internet searches

Prybyla has also introduced a ‘self-care gym’ membership where clients can experience the modalities as often as they need to for a monthly fee of US$199 (€165, £149) to US$499 (€414, £374). Out of the 150 members, about 45 clients converted from the previous spa membership to this new plan, and were “game to try something new”. At the moment, the push is on to communicate these changes to the database of 12k clients and to continue to build membership. Revenue, which was on a 35 per cent growth rate until mid-March, is currently less than half of what it was pre-pandemic. But with the recent partnership with a chiropractor, providing guest access for referrals for therapeutic treatments, and the new model and pricing structure, Prybyla expects Sloco to be fully recovered at some point within 2021.

She concludes: “The pandemic has modified my vision for Sloco in a major way. Just a couple of months ago, we had plans to remain a peaceful spa that focuses on massages and facials while offering these unique, alternative modalities. Now, we’ve become a lively community of people trying to support each other on this wellness journey. And our projected net profit is significantly better than anything we could’ve ever dreamed with the old way of doing things.”

Contact-free, automated services have put Sloco in an advantageous position since COVID / ©Madison Lorenz
Clients need a lot of educating about alternative experiences / Somadome by Nick Pavlakis @nickyp_pics

Lisa Starr is a contributing editor at Spa Business | [email protected]

LATEST NEWS
l’Orange Bleue to launch 450 new gyms and day spas in next five years
José Nercellas, CEO of l’Orange Bleue, is planning to open 450 new European gyms and day spas over the next five years to make an 850-strong network.
CIDESCO International and Wellness for Cancer create Oncology Wellness Diploma
Leading spa and beauty organisation CIDESCO International has partnered with cancer education charity Wellness for Cancer to launch a new global qualification.
Fit tech – 10 of the best Black Friday deals
Black Friday, which falls on 25 November, will be one of the busiest retail days of 2022, marking the start of this year’s Christmas shopping season. Now extending into ‘cyber week’ and finishing on Cyber Monday, it's a time when shops and companies offer significant discounts on their products.
Therme Group plans US$200m urban wellbeing resort in South Korea
Thermal wellbeing organisation and developer Therme Group has partnered with the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) to create a year-round wellbeing destination in the South Korean city of Incheon.
Raffaella Dallarda launches new book showcasing best of Italian spa culture
Spa industry personality Raffaella Dallarda has launched her first book called E-SPAnsive exploring Italian spa culture and highlighting the country’s top spa and wellness destinations.
Geothermal bathing sanctuary Alba Thermal Springs & Spa opens in Australia with 30+ pools
A new hot springs facility and day spa destination has opened in Victoria, Australia, complete with a 3,500sq m two-level spa and 31 thermal pools.
New study investigating leadership in global health and wellbeing industries launched by Wisdom Works
Wisdom Works Group (WWG) has launched a study into leadership across the global wellness economy, as well as the adjacent industries of healthcare and human potential and development.
Thermea Spa Village | Whitby served with $5m lawsuit by customers affected by staph outbreak
On 6 October 2022, thermal spa operator Groupe Nordik opened one of North America's biggest spas in Ontario after a 10-year project. More than a month later, the new Thermea Spa Village | Whitby has been served with a civil lawsuit following a staphylococcus (or staph) outbreak in its saltwater pool.
Oslo’s historic public baths brought back to life as Sommerro unveils urban wellness retreat
Nordic Hotels & Resorts’ newest luxury hotel in Oslo, Sommerro, has announced the grand opening of its wellness space Vestkantbadet to guests, locals and members.
SHA Wellness founder launches global real estate development firm, AB Living Group
Alfredo Bataller, founder of established Spanish destination spa Sha Wellness Clinic (SHA) has launched a real estate development firm called called AB Living Group (AB Living).
First glimpses revealed of flagship Blue Zones Centre in Miami
The first Blue Zones Center is set to launch in Miami, Florida, and showcase the next generation of longevity medicine.
Health and wellbeing are in retreat, stalling the UK’s economy says former Bank of England economist
The declining health of Britons is stalling the nation’s economic growth. This is the key message from Andy Haldane, chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and former chief economist at the Bank of England, who spoke at The Health Foundation thinktank's annual Real challenge lecture.
+ More news   
 
FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Esthetica’s Shirodhara Massage Bed honours Ayurveda’s ancient traditions
The Shirodhara Massage Bed is Esthetica’s multipurpose massage table solution, designed for both oil and dry massages. [more...]

Book4Time teams up with Gantner to offer spas access control solutions
Book4Time has recently announced a new partnership with hardware-based, access control company Gantner. [more...]
+ More featured suppliers  
COMPANY PROFILES
Dröm UK Ltd

Dröm UK specialises in the design and installation of luxury, bespoke spa and thermal wellbeing area [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

Book4time at ISPA 2022 in Las Vegas
Book4time had a blast catching up with spa and wellness industry leaders at ISPA 2022 in Las Vegas. It was a joy catching up with current clients and being able to meet face to face with buyers looking for a new spa software solution. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

29-30 Nov 2022

International Wellness Tourism Conference

Eden Roc, Cap Cana and Melia Punta Cana Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
29-30 Nov 2022

World Halotherapy Global Symposium

Virtual, United Kingdom
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2022

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS