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Breaking a Sweat, Spa Style

By: Kim Peiffer
Posted: June 29, 2009, from the July 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
woman and fitness ball

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It helps that Exhale offers classes for a wide range of individuals, from teens to baby boomers and everyone in between. “Participants in our classes are of all ages, shapes and sizes; really, we cater to anyone who is looking to enhance their overall well-being and life,” Levy says.

Built-in value

Other spas also agree the economy does not seem to be hurting all aspects of their business. Instead, clients are just looking for true value in their spa experience. “In this economy, people want something that is affordable and a service that makes them feel good all around,” says Jim LeSage, director of New Life Hiking Spa in Killington, Vermont. His spa is a fitness camp featuring a variety of classes—everything from yoga and hiking to tai chi—accompanied by spa treatments.

“What we think people are looking for is value for their money,” LeSage says. “What we have is an excellent, balanced program of stretching, strengthening and cardio.” LeSage notes that unlike prior spa experiences where clients wanted an over-the-top experience, they’re now looking for simplicity and balance instead. “Fluff is out,” he explains, marking perhaps one of the most important reasons why spas with fitness components are gaining in popularity.

In that regard, turning to fitness offerings can really invigorate a spa that may not have a lot of room in the budget for that caviar facial or hydrotherapy tub, but can benefit from a yoga or cardio fitness class. Even if none of these exercise programs seem to fit your own business, there are plenty more you can offer clients, allowing them to find something to cleanse their mind and challenge their fitness levels at a price point they can afford, bringing about a complete spa experience.