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oasis IN THE AIRPORT

Spa Operators Aim To Stand Out


In The Ever-Evolving Wellness Industry

By Sally Kral

After launching and growing the with consumer demands as well as spa and grooming station.
XpresSpa chain of airport spas from 2003 to technology trends. “Through the years we’ve seen and heard
2015, Marisol Binn and Solomon Crayton Spas are nothing new in the airport: passengers requesting for their spa services
saw an opportunity for a new spa venture. They’re an expected feature that travelers to be given in a more private facility,” Binn
“There was nothing fresh happening with continue to demand. But with the wellness says. “Among others aspects that have been
wellness and grooming services at airports industry frequently expanding and coming overlooked by many spa operators, we’re
that excited the interest of passengers – it up with new treatments and fads, spa also making technology a focus with iPads
was the right time for transformational operators are choosing whether to add featuring personalized sounds, relaxation
growth,” Binn says. trendy new components to their concepts and mediations apps, digital menus of
With Binn as president and Crayton as or stick with traditional services – or some treatments, and product demonstrations.”
CEO, the team is launching Spa Here in combination of the two. The company is partnering with Apple
Terminal C at Dallas/Fort Worth Business to add this tech feature.
International Airport (DFW) this spring. Staying On Trend Spa Here will also offer charging stations
The company will launch in three where guests can charge their mobile
additional airports, including one in New A key feature of Spa Here is the “privacy devices for added convenience. “These are
York City, by year-end, but at press time cocoon,” a self-contained mini spa where essentials in concessions at airports today;
Binn could not disclose the details. treatments – including massage, nail and fast and effective convenience for the
“Over time, spa industry trends keep hair care, light and heat therapy, facials, and traveler is how a business thrives in the
changing, but airport concessions need to waxing – are performed. Customers can airport,” Binn says.
provide effective, time-tested services,” choose from three different types of cocoon: XpresSpa, which has 52 U.S. and five
Binn says, adding that this informed the the first with a zero-gravity recliner or international locations, has changed its
development of Spa Here, which is focused massage chair, the second with massage services in recent years to focus on
on privacy and personalization to keep up treatment tables and the third with a salon partnerships with key companies that offer

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Dragontree Holistic Day Spa in Portland
International Airport has offered traditional spa
services since launching in 2009, with no plans
to change its offerings in the near future.
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Left: XpresSpa, which has
52 U.S. and five international
locations, has changed its
services in recent years to
focus on partnerships with
key companies that offer
unique and trendy services,
such as cryotherapy
company Nordic Edge and
the skin care line
Dermalogica.

Below: Spa Here will launch


in Terminal C at Dallas/Fort
Worth International Airport
this spring. The new
concept’s key feature is the
“privacy cocoon,” a self-
contained mini spa where
treatments are performed.

Left: Terminal Getaway Spa currently


has 10 full-service and kiosk locations
in four U.S. airports and focuses on
traditional spa treatments.

unique and trendy services, the latest of XpresSpa also recently partnered with the the spa brand to offer a holistic experience
which has been with cryotherapy company skincare line Dermalogica to bring Xpres for its guests, with things like juice bars,
Nordic Edge to introduce anti-aging Dermalogica facials to its stores nationwide. superfoods and shower facilities, which is
XpresCryo facials, localized cryotherapy and In addition, XpresSpa continues to partner what we offer in our larger spa locations.”
compression therapy at its location in with the nail polish company Essie to offer According to Moya, a more well-rounded
Terminal A of DFW earlier this year. the latest nail care services, such as Essie’s wellness package is what helps set Be Relax
“XpresSpa continues to transform to Longwear Gel Couture manicures. apart and keeps guests coming. “It’s
meet the needs of today’s travelers, and the “Spas have become a must-have for any important to respond to the evolving trends
launch of XpresCryo facials represents the medium-to-large airport in the world; in the spa industry,” she says. “For example,
advancement in healing and renewal people are no longer surprised to see over the last few years people have become
techniques available today,” says Andrew passengers receiving a massage in the more health-conscious, which is why we
Perlman, CEO of FORM Holdings Corp., terminal,” says Adeline Moya, vice introduced vegan, non-toxic nail treatments
which acquired the spa chain in 2016. “We president of business development for Be two years ago.”
feel the future of airport spas lies in Relax, which has 52 stores in North More recently, Be Relax – which serves
implementing innovative services to the America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. more than 500,000 people a year, according
traditional spa experience.” “The ‘wow factor’ comes from the ability of to Moya – added technology advancements

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to its stores with the launch of virtual Sticking With The Basics on-the-go traveler. That’s why Spa Here will
reality experiences last year. Through VR stick to the traditional treatments.”
headsets, guests can view relaxing content Though Spa Here’s focus is on certain Marko Iglendza, CEO and founder of
during their spa treatments. The company innovative design features with its cocoons Terminal Getaway Spa concurs: “We’ve
is also innovating on the retail side, selling and iPad technology, Binn notes that when experimented with our menu over the
wellness accessories in more than 150 it comes to the spa treatments themselves, years, from offering hair services to more in-
airport stores. Moya says that sales of Be the basics are best. “There are many new spa depth facials, but we’ve learned through
Relax products, such as cooling pads and treatments now that are interesting, but not experience that the basic nail services and
sleep masks, quintupled in 2017. all are right for the fast-paced airport and massages are what people are really looking

Chiropractic Services Gain Traction


Demand for chiropractic services in airports is on the rise.
Since debuting at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
in 2016, The Chiroport has expanded to a total of two inline
stores and a kiosk at MSP and will enter Hartsfield-Jackson
Atlanta International Airport this April.

As wellness treatments and services opening, and we have grown to three


continue to be popular and in demand, airport locations in less than two years,” says John
chiropractic services may soon become as Harrison, owner of The Chiroport. “We
prevalent as airport spas. The Chiroport, currently operate one kiosk and two inline
which launched at Minneapolis-St. Paul locations at MSP, with our fourth and
International Airport (MSP) in 2016, offers newest location opening in Hartsfield-
chiropractic services, including stretches, full Jackson Atlanta International Airport
spine adjustments and trigger point therapy. [(ATL)] this April.”
“I saw my first customer one hour after Harrison says that passengers are surprised to

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from travelers regarding our concept and its
look and feel are always well-received.”
Cary Cruea, president and founder of
Massage Bar, is similarly focused on the basic
spa treatments – namely chair massages –
that continue to keep guests happy. “We offer
15- and 30-minute seated massages, and 10-
minute foot massages. We have some retail
products too, but people come to Massage
Bar for massage – it’s our specialty, after all.”
Massage Bar, which debuted at SEA in
1994, is “recognized as the pioneer in the
airport industry for introducing ‘personal
care service’ as a category,” Cruea says. “At
24 years, we’re the first and longest-
operating massage company in airports.”
According to Cruea, at one point there
were 18 Massage Bar locations nationwide,
but that number has been pared down over
the years to five stores: one at SEA, two at
Nashville International Airport (BNA),
one at John Glenn Columbus
Left: Be Relax serves more than 500,000 Above: Though Massage Bar
people a year. According to Adeline has started offering some International Airport (CMH) and one at
Moya, vice president of business retail items, the focus Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT).
development, the company’s success lies remains on chair massages “Massage Bar will stay the course in terms
in its quick response to evolving trends rather than capitalizing on of offering massage therapy services,” Cruea
and demands in the spa industry. current trends or fads.
adds. “It’s our experience that customers
have always enjoyed our massages. We’ll
just keep on satisfying the airport passenger,
as well as our airport partners.”
for from an airport spa.” services like cryotherapy and more tech At Dragontree Holistic Day Spa in
Terminal Getaway Spa currently has 10 functions, we have consciously stayed away Portland International Airport (PDX),
full-service and kiosk locations in four U.S. from that and want our clients to put down massages ranging from foot to neck and
airports, including Chicago O’Hare their phones and truly relax while they’re shoulders to full body are offered at varying
International Airport (ORD), Orlando with us,” Iglendza adds. He doesn’t worry lengths to accommodate travelers who may
International Airport (MCO), Seattle- that keeping services more traditional will be strapped for time before their flights.
Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and lose him any customers. “Our numbers COO Robert Goergen notes that since
Tampa International Airport (TPA). continue to grow, and our number of repeat debuting in 2009, Dragontree has offered the
“While some spas are offering newer clients continues to grow. The feedback same services and has no plans to change
them, but he does note a worry that airport
spas in general seem to be going in a more
broad and bland direction: “Unfortunately, it
see chiropractic services offered in the airport friendly, convenience-driven model is looks like the trend is toward being more
and delighted to learn that they can be treated uniquely suited to an airport generic in appearance and service, which I
without an appointment. “There is genuine environment,” he says. “We don’t take think is to the detriment of airport spas, as
excitement when people discover us,” he says. insurance or appointments – it’s a cash- well as the clientele they serve,” he says.
“We’ve been growing steadily since opening based, walk-ins only model. Plus, our Moya says that to avoid this sort of future
and have a 30 percent return rate daily.” services only take around 15 minutes at for Be Relax, her strategy is to keep full
Harrison adds that his services aren’t the most, and our pricing is equivalent control of operations of all stores to ensure
only benefiting passengers – 20 percent of to a typical copay.” quality control. The company also plans to
his customer base consists of flight crews Simon says that his customer base has launch a new brand identity this year to
and airport employees. “We’re excited to be indicated a desire to see The Joint better reflect Be Relax’s “French DNA,” as
a part of the growing trend in airports to Chiropractic’s services offered in more its founders, Frederic and Nicolas Briest, are
offer more wellness-related amenities in all non-traditional locations, and he French, and Be Relax first opened at
areas, from food to sleep to health care. In believes demand for them specifically in Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG).
addition to expanding to ATL this year, airports will grow. “Our top priority remains to keep the
we’re in discussions with several other “The airport environment amplifies highest quality of service and keep the
airports across the country.” the pain, stresses and common issues passengers at the heart of all we do,” Moya
The Joint Chiropractic currently has more that lead people to see a chiropractor,” says.
than 400 clinics nationwide, but none are in Simon says, adding, “It would benefit
airports, which is something Eric Simon, vice both passengers and airline employees
president of franchise sales and development, for these services to be more readily
sees changing over time. “Our patient- available to them.”

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