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Adding On to the Bottom Line

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: March 30, 2010, from the April 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Ruby Room Guest Room

The guest rooms at Ruby Room supply a comfortable place of respite for Chicago visitors who are seeking a less structured, more free-form environment with spa services available.

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Leydon also warns that there are specific demands that come along with overnight rooms, including laws and licensing processes that vary by state. “You have to be very clear in all of your literature about what you are and what you are not. You have to be honest to the bone and be hyper-specific about what you provide so you aren’t overselling and under delivering,” she explains.

Marketing in multiple venues, such as online reservation Web sites, is also important, although it presents another line of challenges that you need to navigate. “You open yourself up to a wider susceptibility of people posting negative online reviews, so you have to do multiple things very, very well,” Leydon says.

Also, she and her husband are on-call for any late-night emergencies, and her team members manage the nuances of the rooms. Another interesting revenue stream at Ruby Room: The design and decor elements have been handpicked and are for sale.

Salt caves

More and more often in the United States, spas and wellness centers are opening salt caves, which are literally man-made caves with salt lining the walls, floors and ceilings. This concept is actually an age-old practice that originated in 19th-century Eastern Europe and is based on speleotherapy, a respiratory treatment enjoyed in old salt mines. The inhalation of salt particles from the salt cave environment is claimed to help alleviate respiratory afflictions, as well as various inflammatory complaints.

Timeless Spa & Salt Cave, Naperville, Illinois. Timeless Spa opened the doors to its Himalayan salt cave in August 2009. Owner Jody Buckle was inspired to take on this venture after enjoying another salt cave’s benefits, and after receiving her landlord’s approval—and his construction help because he is a commercial builder by trade—she did a lot of research about how to build the most unique and beneficial cave. “I always want to offer something different that clients can’t get at every spa. As a small business owner, you have to get people to come to you for something different, and then they can see what else you offer,” says Buckle.