Sunday, July 27, 2014





Farm to facial, guys welcome and other spa trends

A survey shows the industry has made gains in revenue, visits and locations


August 20. 2013 11:11PM
LEANNE ITALIE Associated Press



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NEW YORK — The farm-to-table movement has become farm to facial for some in the spa industry, with more locations offering fresh herbs and flowers from their own gardens for treatments.


And guys are being treated to pampering tweaked just for them as the number of men turning up at spas increases, according to a new survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the International Spa Association.


Overall, the industry has made gains in revenue, visits and locations, according to the survey, released at the spa group’s Aug. 16 trade show.


A look at what’s new and interesting in the spa industry:


PLANTS AND FLOWERS


Spas have long made use of local ingredients. Now, some are clipping and crushing Mother Nature’s booty right from the ground.


The Omni Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire’s White Mountains allows guests to stroll the grounds and choose their own plants as part of the full body, 75-minute “Herbal Garden Treatment” for $175.


Travaasa Austin in Texas has a working farm from which to pluck spa ingredients.


THE MEN


The spa association has tracked male guests for about 10 years, said Lynne McNees, the group’s president. Their ranks had been steady, between 30 and 33 percent, but rose last year to 47 percent, according to the latest survey.


“A lot of that has to do with spas being much more open and catering to men, changing the services menu a little bit,” McNees said. “Spas have become much more men-friendly.”


In Hawaii, Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea offers the “Alpha Male,” a 50-minute facial for $175 with green tea and green algae options.


ANIMAL FRIENDS


Along with flora and fresh produce for spa treatments and culinary experiences at resorts are farm encounters with animal friends.


Keith Moon, the head cowboy and agriculture overseer at Travaasa Austin, and his staff teach chicken-keeping at the coop that supplies the resort’s restaurant with eggs. There’s also a two-hour horse encounter free with a spa day pass. Moon and his cowboy team use horses to help guests learn more about themselves.


“You don’t ride the horse. It’s about how your interactions with the animal can tell you about your nonverbal communication and body language,” he said. “The horse picks up on your intentions. If you’re nervous and frustrated he’s going to mirror that.”


Sound highfalutin? Hop on one of the resort’s Fender Blenders instead. It’s a stationary bicycle that powers a juicer attached at the handlebars. Pick your own ingredients and have at it.


BY THE NUMBERS


The International Spa Association’s survey of more than 1,400 spas of all types in the U.S. showed a 4.7 percent increase in revenue last year at $14 billion. That’s up from $13.4 billion in 2011. Spa visits in the same time period were up 2.8 percent, to 160 million from 156 million. Locations were up slightly, to 19,960 from 19,850. Revenue per visit went to $87 from $86 the year before.




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