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Designing for Dollars

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: January 30, 2009, from the February 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
drawing of a dollar bill

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None of this makes any impression on your clients, however, unless you tell them about it. Clodagh advises, “Make sure people know the efforts you’re making for the environment. Figure out a delicate way of saying that you are mindful.”

Needing help

If your spa recently invested in a nonrevenue-producing enhancement or an expensive addition to your space and you are feeling the burn because of a decreased cash flow due to economy, don’t give up. There are several ways to take this lemon and make lemonade.

If you invested in a design with large, exotic spaces that don’t have any direct revenue tied to them, consider creating ways to make them pay for themselves. “You’re going to have to design some services that can be done in that area, but because they are usually public spaces, it can be a challenge,” says Jones. “Consider using some interesting draping to draw a curtain around a table in that public space for a cabana effect.”

Perhaps the space can be made into a self-serve spa experience, suggests Robert Dean Langdon, founder of Da Vinci Design Associates International, an international spa design and consulting firm. Langdon recently introduced this concept at the P Hotel and Spa in State College, Pennsylvania. “You have one attendant, and the client walks in and goes to the steam room for a 10-minute steam, then into a deluge shower for 10 minutes, a soaking tub with bath salts, a cold plunge and ultimately ends up in a tepidarium, a lounge with a heated lamp. The client does it at their leisure for a small fee, and it is geared toward someone who would not normally purchase a spa treatment,” he explains.

By adapting this method to fit any water-based communal space, a spa could not only garner additional income from providing a self-serve experience, but it also might entice an unsure potential client into trying a full-on spa experience. It could be the perfect opportunity to reach out to a loyal client who would like to bring a loved one in who may be uncomfortable with the spa atmosphere.