How Asset & Financial Managers Maximize the Spa's Potential
By Judy Singer President & Co-Owner, Health Fitness Dynamics, Inc. | September 02, 2012
We all know that it is very expensive to develop, market and operate a spa. All too often, the spa is a "lazy asset" to a lodging/real estate venture. In our 30 years of business as a spa consulting company, HFD has always been a persistent promoter and advocate on how spas are profit centers in and of themselves as well as marketing tools to sell rooms, real estate, etc. I am still amazed and disheartened to see how many lodging operators are still unaware of and not committed to maximizing the spa's potential to be a departmental profit center as well as a tangible asset to the "core" business of selling rooms and/or real estate.
It's difficult to understand how people can spend millions of dollars to build a spa and not operate and market it to its full potential. Perhaps they just don't know what to do and what to expect because their experience, expertise and "comfort zone" is more with rooms and F&B than with the spa. We do know that without knowledge, expectations are low and, therefore, results are low. The spa can and should be a profitable and marketable asset, not a waste of valuable real estate or an expensive, under-performing asset that detracts from rather than adds to the overall guest experience and financial viability of the property.
On a positive note, in the last few years, we have seen a heightened focus on the spa as an increasingly important component to the overall success of the property. This is primarily due to the valuable role of enlightened asset managers and astute directors of finance. I asked 4 financial experts to answer 3 questions regarding what they do to help their clients maximize the spa's potential as both a business unit and an added dimension to the overall core lodging/real estate business. Three of our four experts are asset managers and members of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (www.ishc.com). Our 4th expert is the Director of Finance at a luxury urban hotel that does not have an outside asset manager. I am sure you will find their advice to be insightful and valuable…and hopefully easy to apply to your spa and hospitality business.
- Matt Arrants, Managing Director Pinnacle Advisory Group and ISHC Member
- Rich Warnick, Principal Warnick & Co. and ISHC Member
- Chad Crandell, President CHM and ISHC Member
- Ben Campsey, Director of Finance, CPA, MBA, CHAE The Umstead Hotel & Spa
Describe your expectations regarding the spa as a profit center and a marketing tool for lodging/real estate sales...