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Skin Inc. magazine's First Annual Best of the Best Awards

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: June 9, 2008, from the December 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Massage-a-Thon/Raffle and Pink Panther Party. In this example of cause marketing, Spa Gregorie’s raised money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The spa has been doing this since 1998, and the timing revolves around the annual Orange County Race for the Cure, which attracts more than 30,000 people. The activities included a Massage-a-Thon at the race, goody bags, a raffle and silent auction, and a gala reception called The Pink Panther Party. Innovative marketing methods of this event included a silent auction on eBay and an Arabian Nights-style tent at the race. Spa Gregorie’s has raised close to a quarter of a million dollars for the foundation throughout the past eight years, and it believes there is great benefit in giving to a cause that touches its client demographic so closely.

Wellness Rocks. Trend marketing was used to promote this menu of services, lectures and activities that endorse healthy lifestyles and anti-aging practices among Spa Gregorie’s client base. The series includes healthy service menu items, such as acupuncture; monthly activities, such as yoga on the beach; and monthly seminars, such as couples “how-to” massage. Unique marketing methods included hosting an Anti-aging Festival that featured the spa’s wellness experts and community partners. Because of the facility’s efforts, the series is profitable, has received much press and has helped more than 200 people, so far, to become healthier.

Top Spa Mentor: Maureen Vipperman, spa directory, Spa at Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort, Dana Point, CA

Although Maureen Vipperman recently has accepted the position of spa director at The Spa at Pacific Palms at the Pacific Palms Resort in Industry, California, scheduled to open in February 2007, she left an indelible mark on her former place of employment and continues to inspire the industry. Within the Spa at Laguna Cliffs, Vipperman mentored and counseled her own staff, as well as four college interns per year, in order to motivate those who want to learn more about a career in the spa industry. Her expertise has been tapped by many publications on a variety of topics, and she always encourages the pursuit of education and advancement within the profession. Vipperman is the co-chair for the Orange County Spa Director Roundtable, and she holds a seat on the International SPA Association’s (ISPA) Marketing Committee. She passes down her unique blend of marketing and client relations to her team, setting a standard for excellence throughout the spa and the industry as a whole.

Most Employee-friendly Spa: Rejuvenation Spa, Madison, WI

True to the motto that there is no “I” in “team,” staff members at Rejuvenation Spa must be some of the most envied in the industry. Combining a unique pay philosophy with a constant focus on teamwork, this spa comes out on top. The following benefits slowed turnover and helped it continue to increase client retention, as well as total sales by 25%. No team member has left the spa to work for a different facility during the past year.

Team-based pay. Almost five years ago, Rejuvenation Spa switched from commission-based pay to team-based pay, which is hourly plus bonus. If and when the spa hits a profit, 15% of the net profit is paid out to the staff. It completes reviews every four months to analyze employees’ performances. The staff also conducts a management and benefit evaluation. Wellness days are provided, which can be earned by working three consecutive months without calling in sick or coming in late.