Fitness Center Spas as Wellness Resources

Your fitness center's spa has the potential to be a wellness vehicle.

Whatever your definition of wellness (and goodness knows there are plenty out there), all agree that it goes beyond mere physical well-being. Your fitness center's ability to address the physical dimensions of health goes without saying. Less obvious, but just as important (and likely profitable), is the potential of a fitness center's spa as a wellness vehicle. In an increasingly stress-filled life, members experience more demands on their time, energy and coping ability than ever before. Time for frivolous self-indulgence is hard to find, and your fitness center can offer members that in a convenient way.

Follow the research

Recent research on the spa industry by the International Spa Association and others points the way toward a new and significant role for a spa in the life and mission of fitness centers. Some highlights include the following:

1. While the resort spa-goer is looking for a peak experience and authentic, indigenous treatments, the average day spa user (who uses spas near home or work) is seeking more "bread and butter" services like massage, facials and nail services.

2. Spa users now see spa treatments as an integral part of their efforts to achieve both long- and short-term well-being, instead of just a deserved perk.

3. Studies suggest that the hype built around the latest wraps, scrubs or hydrotherapy treatment is aimed at attracting the attention of the core spa user (read: "spa junkie") who represent a small percentage of the overall spa customer base.

4. Introduction to spa services often comes as the result of "evangelism" by friends or loved ones, and price is a major consideration for the spa neophyte -- dubbed the "periphery" user by researchers.

What to offer

Taken together, these observations argue for several types of spa service packages, and point the way toward a defined role for the fitness center spa as a wellness resource. Consider these options:

Series treatments.Series treatments are often anti-aging skincare or microdermabrasion treatments that are designed to bring results over several sessions during a two- to four-week period. Another example is anti-cellulite treatments that offer temporary results. Like skincare treatments, several sessions are given to achieve the desired result.

Bundled services.Bundled services are a coordinated series of personal training and spa appointments aimed at achieving a particular result. For example, a "Get Back Into Shape" package for postpartum women, or an injury or post-surgical rehabilitation series. How about a package of spa and fitness training services for the New Year's resolution crowd?

Multiple service gift certificates.Spa gift certificates might include sampler packages designed to introduce the recipient to a full range of services the spa has to offer. Another example is a "six pack" of massages sold at a discount, which will give the recipient an experience of massage as a habitual activity.

The appetite for a broader fitness center experience among members is growing. Already the members' choice for exercise, your fitness center is the natural choice for services that contribute to members' efforts to manage stress and find a broader sense of well-being.

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