Spa’s Take In Record Revenue

Spa visits and the money they generate reached record highs last year in the U.S. with $18.3 billion in revenue driven by 190 million pampering trips, according to the International Spa Association. The leading industry group for spa professionals recently held its 25th annual event for media to show off trends and services among its 2,300 members. Garrett Mersberger, the association’s board chairman, broke down a few highlights for The Associated Press: ___ LESS MAY BE MORE, AFTER ALL Some spas have been slimming back the services they offer as they focus more on customization, said Mersberger, who is also the director of sales, marketing and spa for Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. “The idea is to reduce that menu to make it all about the individual guest at that exact moment in time,” he said. “When I book, I don’t want to have to cruise through 50 different services. I want to pick one easily, and when I get there, I want it to be all about me at that moment.” A one-size-fits-all menu of facials, massages and other treatments doesn’t lend itself as easily to different skin types and ingredient preferences, or even seasonal changes between the time of a booking 30 or 60 days out to arrival, Mersberger said. The Mandarin Oriental group, he said, has “gone down to just one focused massage and one focused facial to really make it about customization. We’re trying to do a similar thing at Blue Harbor,” Mersberger said. Allowing technicians and therapists on-site to help clients decide what their skin and body might need enhances the experience, said ISPA President Lynne McNees.

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