News for the Hospitality Executive
|By J. Ragsdale Hendrie, Hospitality Performance
February 2007 - You do not need to be seer to see this next stage in the expansion for the Spa Industry. We have witnessed the evolution, originally for the indulgent, now for everyone. Health, attention, presentation, esteem, and, yes, still some indulgence – holistic, if you will. No longer that elite and remote location, Spas have partnered with or been created by hotels and resorts, providing new revenue streams and marketing advantages for Lodging operations. The next transformation is so obvious – Health Care Centers and Hospitals.
Although some may take offense, a Hospital is very similar to a hotel, other than their “guests” may prefer not to be there. To remain competitive, many Medical Centers/Hospitals are accentuating their Customer Service outreach, upgrading their food service, and making their facilities more comfortable and welcoming. They are even hiring former Hospitality Executives to bring that “touch of Hospitality” and Consumer Awareness to a fairly sterile environment. In their Mission Statements, they frequently use the term Holistic, attentive to all the senses, yet never deviating from their surgical and diagnostic raison d’etre. How do we balance body, mind, spirit and emotions? And, as a fact of life, they are always looking at means to increase revenue. A Spa, on-site, and Spa related services make great sense. Administrators, take note!
Location, location, location. Health Care Centers/Hospitals fortunately are at the heart of a community, and they anchor all major cities around the world. So, beyond where they are physically situated, they have the benefit of a significant residential density. Ergo, location and population core equal potential Spa user traffic.
Profile of this potential traffic. The audience is driven by lifestyle choices and health, particularly the “Boomers”. Gymnasiums have flourished, as have salons. We want to look and feel good. This mantra transcends any generational/social/economic difference.
Why hospitals as a base for Spas? Beyond the Mission Statement, the Location, and the Profile, hospitals are ideally situated to advantage the obvious. Their ‘Guests” have a high level of angst during their stay, and the Spa related services are an extraordinary, soothing amenity to offer. If ambulatory, the patients can visit the Spa facility; if not, should they not enjoy a facial, nail service, even a massage, bed-side. What a value-added benefit and service. Rehabilitation and recovery begins with feeling good about oneself; pampering goes a long way!
Hospitals also enjoy high Visitor traffic, family and friends to spend some time with a loved one. They might buy a magazine, some flowers, or even a hamburger before the room visit. There is always a lot of waiting time, “hanging around” for a decision, results from surgery or tests, some times just availability. There is also a high level of nerves and anxiety; the concern is palatable. “I think I shall get my nails done, before I see Aunt Maudie”. Relax! And, what a terrific Employee Benefit for your staff - a discounted membership at the Spa, supporting your message of health, and, of course, the viability of your Spa operation, too. Lastly, we have all those residents, who live and play in our vicinity. Spa Memberships and Daily Use Programs bring them in. If there were Workout/Exercise facilities, as well, you have captured the market. And, if I overdo my treadmill, Medical Staff at the alert!
This apparent synergy and integration with the Spa Industry simply makes good economic sense. Such an alliance improves a Hospital/Health Care Center’s community positioning – it makes you different, and you can market that differentiation. Secondly, this type of service is a significant amenity for your patients and visitors, alike. Lastly, it is a revenue producer, not only for the Spa Services but also opportunities for merchandising and even refreshments in the Spa locale.
Thus, we are really talking about the Experience in Health Care, which to date for many Consumers, represents high anxiety, cost, excessive time, and reckless abandon. Spas have demonstrated their value in Hospitality. Take the next step, create a revenue producing amenity that sets you apart, serves your constituency, and makes the Health Care Experience Memorable. Spa Synergy!
|Also See:||How Spas Can Increase Revenue by Tapping the Male Market / Richard Warnick / July 2006|
|Kohler Co. Makeover of Scotland's Old Course Hotel Features First Kohler Waters Spa Outside America / July 2006|
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