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Peggy Borgman

Hospitality spas are highly vulnerable to branding disconnect. "Branding" often occurs at the corporate level, far away from a spa's employee training programs. Marketing spins gorgeous fantasies to lure customers in and Operations deals with gritty day to day realities, often completely unaware of the marketing promise. When the two contrast sharply, the brand can be badly damaged. READ MORE

Kurt A. Broadhag

Hotel fitness centers are no different than basic health clubs when it comes to decision making on equipping their facilities. Major prohibiting factors including space and budget limitations require management to make smart choices on equipment procurement. These choices are influential in determining equipment quantities and quality with defined specifications unique to each setting. Taking time to research proper selection early on in the design process will not only save money and reduce liability long-term but will allow hotel operators to develop their fitness center around the guests needs. READ MORE

Peter Anderson

Not only is payroll the largest single expense item on your profit and loss statement, but it's important to remember that spa clients generally only interface with line employees, such as their massage therapist or esthetician. If professionalism is not engrained into the fabric of your corporate culture and your employees are not truly enthusiastic about your operation, you may be setting yourself up for problems. READ MORE

Casey Olsen

The number one issue that is continually overlooked by the architects of record on spa facilities is flow. It seems that if an architect has not experienced numerous spas first hand, and by experienced, I mean actually have been a guest and used the spa services often, they do not possess the necessary experience that will provide them with all the nuances of what makes a health spa facility a success, from both an aesthetic view and an operational view. READ MORE

Casey Olsen

Hot! Hot! Hot! Condo hotels are burning hot. Across the country and around the world, the development communities have discovered the concept of the condo hotel. However, it is no longer enough to create a residential development with the standard pool, restaurant and tennis court or a hotel with little of the resort type enticements. Your market now demands much more. READ MORE

Gayle Bulls Dixon

The spa is often a leading driver for many guests as they make hotel/resort selections. In fact, consumers seek out a spa experience they feel they can trust for high quality and value. Hotels/resorts can expect an increase in average daily rate (ADR), average length of stay, food & beverage revenues, as well as in the sale of other amenities offered by the property, if the leadership and staff understand how to utilize the draw of the spa to its consumers. Here are some simple guidelines to help you start and stay on the right track of spa profitability... READ MORE

Peggy Borgman

Measuring employee productivity in the "stay" spa differs significantly from doing the same in the day spa environment. Day spas look hard at statistics such as client retention and retail ratios. Hotel spa employees work with a transient guest, who is, according to popular wisdom, less likely to return and less likely to buy. Or are they? Not all "stay" spas are the same. Understanding typical guest behavior can enable you to create realistic measurements of guest retention by spa employees. READ MORE

Casey Olsen

Resort and Spa, Resort and Spa, a fitting end to a resorts name, however, what the American spa has morphed into may have now departed from what was the luxury spa experience. As with any functional item, when a boom occurs often the classical original gets diluted in the process. This article will travel back in time when the American spa was first conceived to what we now know as a resort or luxury spa facility and endeavor. READ MORE

Peter Anderson

Today in most resorts the inclusion of a spa is no longer a luxury, but rather a standard amenity, expected and ubiquitous. Significant cross pollinating among the day, medical, amenity, and destination spas has created a competitive and comprehensive spa environment that here-to-fore that has never been experienced. This dynamic has created the phenomenon of Spa Wars, where product differentiation is subtle and the competitive edge can be paper thin. It is ironic that as the spa industry matures, distinctions between spa types are becoming blurred, resulting in subtle levels of segmentation and product differentiation that provide "options" to the savvy spa goer and "confusion" to the rest of us. Historically, hotel and resort spas have been classified as either "destination" or "amenity", meaning they were either the specific reason to travel to a remote location or they were and an added amenity (sometimes created as an after thought) for the an indulgent resort clientele. READ MORE

Gayle Bulls Dixon

What awaits the ever-more-savvy spa connoisseur in 2006 and beyond? The number of spas in the U.S. has topped 12,000, with spas offering a dizzying variety of services that address everything from weight loss to stress relief to skin revitalization and more. Looking ahead, we believe that spas will become more focused - rather than offering a little bit of everything, spa operators are going to specialize and become expert at the services they offer, whether it's Ayurveda or male specific treatments or whatever. With the number of spas only continuing to grow, spas are going to specialize and consolidate in order to survive. And diversify they will! Medical Spas, Retirement Spas, Man Spas - Oy Vey! Watch for these very interesting developments in the year(s) ahead. READ MORE

Peggy Borgman

Do you consider your most popular services your most "profitable"? Just because you sell a lot of something doesn't make it profitable. Service profit is produced by careful control of your direct costs to produce that service. Profit is never just a happy accident in a spa business. Despite the seemingly lavish price tags for services in resort and hotel spas, our expenses and overhead are equally lavish. Spa directors must be constantly monitoring the actual expenses of producing their services, as well as looking for opportunities to simplify their menu and their operation, while adding value. READ MORE

Jane Segerberg

Spas in resort and hotel properties are no longer an amenity that sets the property apart from its competitors - - spas are now a necessity and as a necessity, require more than build-it-and-they-will-will come planning. For the hotelier who is exploring the advantages of hiring a consultant or is already convinced that a spa consultant is a necessity for the project and wants to make a good choice, this article is intended to be helpful in understanding the role of the full service spa consultant and how to sort through the maize to find the right consulting firm for your property. READ MORE

Jane Segerberg

Spas are a necessity for resorts and hotels. The Spa Business is experiencing an exponential growth rate. The number of Spa Goers is growing. Spas are hotel profit centers. Great statements! Great trends! What are the realities that these trends bring? The supply of spas has grown to the point that competition and consumer knowledge has changed the face of the industry. Now it is not just "a spa" that is necessary for a resort or hotel, it is a spa with an experience that is special for each guest along with service that is so seamless that the guest is not aware of it. No matter how spectacular the architectural features, or chic the interior design, or how creative the spa menu; if the experience and service delivery falls short, then guests do not recommend or return to the spa. READ MORE

Jane Segerberg

Thirteen years ago, when I entered the Spa Industry as the manager of a new Resort Spa, the number of spas and spa-goers were few and having a spa at a hotel or resort was a novel amenity that was not expected to be profitable. Soon it was realized that there was a demand for the spa experience along with greater expectations. Hotels and resorts then began to take the bull by the horns and realize that not unlike their other retail outlets; good concept planning, management and marketing were important to the spa's success. With the change in the spa's financial expectations came spas that were managed and marketed with increasing know-how. READ MORE

Jane Segerberg

As everyone in the Hospitality Industry knows, our guests arrive with more than their luggage - - they also have their own personal baggage, which in turn interferes with their immediate enjoyment of their hotel-resort experience. Your hotel-resort spa is one of the quickest ways to help guests shed themselves of their stresses and begin to relax and appreciate the hotel-resort and its amenities. Spas are no longer a frivolous amenity to a hotel-resort. According to the International Spa Association's Spa Industry Survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, spas are a booming industry that will continue to grow. READ MORE

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Coming up in June 2020...

Sales & Marketing: Technology Rules

It is impossible for any hotel to develop an effective sales and marketing plan that doesn't include a wide-ranging digital strategy. Online platforms have impacted virtually every aspect of their business, due to major changes in how Internet users research, plan, and book their hotel visits. As a result, a successful plan includes generating traffic through the use of a hotel website, social media, email and a myriad of other digital marketing technologies. One such strategy uses data collection and automation technology to create personalized content to individual customers. The goal of personalization marketing is to engage potential customers by communicating with them as individuals - to establish a more personal relationship - as a way of encouraging them to visit a property. Video marketing is also extremely important. Showing someone authentic video from a specific location is immersive and engaging, and video is still the preferred way for customers to interact with a hotel brand. Voice and Visual Search are increasingly in demand, as consumers are moving away from typing queries into a search engine. Instead, they can simply speak their request into their phone, and find and book a hotel without ever typing a word. Similarly, other platforms allow consumers to search visually for almost any image, and find out pricing information, shopping comparisons and how-to-buy - all from the app. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming popular. The ability of chatbots to answer simple questions or fulfill requests 24/7 is undeniably appealing. In addition, A.I. seems best positioned to qualify leads that can be later nurtured and closed by a human sales expert - all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional support team. The June Hotel Business Review will examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating these innovative technologies into their operations.