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Fitness

WTS International 2019 Trend Report

As a worldwide spa, wellness and lifestyle consulting and management company, we are consistently identifying new trends in the leisure market. We are pleased to share the following trends with you.

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1/ Medically based fitness centers will offer comprehensive health “prescriptions.”
Fitness centers will add medical staff, including exercise physiologists, physical therapists, and nutritionists, to work alongside personal trainers. After accessing a client’s health, the comprehensive care team will work together to provide medically based exercise and lifestyle regimens to promote overall wellbeing.

2/ Spas will provide holistic therapies that go way beyond facials and massages.
Spas will offer an integrative approach to reducing stress and balancing the body. Ancient treatments that are still outliers to most spa menus will become mainstream. You’ll see Ayurveda consultations, cupping, Reiki facials, crystal healing, and craniosacral therapy seamlessly incorporated into spa packages.

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3/ Pools will be transformed from splash zones to floatation therapy studios.
Floatation therapy will be used to promote relaxation and allow the mind to take a break from sensory overload. Coupled with guided meditation, floatation can help with stress, pain relief, and better sleep.

4/ Wellness retreats will focus on balancing Zen with fun.
Wellness retreats will not be about limiting yourself to yoga, spa services, and kombucha. New retreats will offer plenty of group ex but also adrenalin-pumping hikes, clean cocktails, and live music. Also, many getaways will focus on meditation, happiness, and finding purpose.

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5/ CBD oil will appear in massages and facials and be infused in everything you drink.
CBD—cannabidiol, derived from hemp plants—is one of the buzziest wellness ingredients. Although it doesn’t generate an actual buzz (CBD doesn’t contain THC), it can be used internally and externally to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and reduce inflammation.

6/ Recovery treatments (think deep stretching and foam rollers) will become key to boosting performance.
Off days will become as important as workout days. Structured recovery sessions can help reduce soreness, loosen tight muscles, and increase range of motion. Boutique stretch studios are opening that focus solely on manually stretching clients. Also, gyms will offer sessions with trained staff to provide active stretch therapy to help enhance recovery and fend off injuries.

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7/ Guests will expect highly personalized experiences.
Tailor-made spa experiences can include everything from tea types to a preferred aroma, music choice and customized Ayurvedic oils. Workouts will also meet individual needs and desires. Facilities need to transition from a passive location to an active space where guests can control their experiences.

8/ “Spirit” will take priority over mind and body.
The number of people suffering from anxiety and depression has increased. Wellness treatments and exercise can make a positive impact on mental health. Adding guided meditation, yoga, and therapeutic massage therapies can help people cope with stress and teach techniques to promote mental wellbeing.

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9/ Salt therapy will be used to boost the immune system and slow the aging process.
Salt therapy (or halotherapy) has many known benefits. Facilities are adding salt chambers to further relaxation, improve overall health, and improve the appearance of skin. Halotherapy is also known to counteract the exposure to pollutants and helps detoxify the lungs.

10/ Human wellness will be connected to the reduction of the carbon footprint at each facility.
People have started to connect their personal wellness to the health of the planet. With more facilities offering nature-based programs, a direct correlation between green space and how their gym or spa affects the environment is more important. Facilities that decrease their water consumption and their waste stream see it’s good for business and supports their clients’ personal wellness and sustainability goals.

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11/ Mashing work and working out.
Work-place wellness increases productivity. Companies in high-stress industries have integrated relaxing elements into the workspace, including soothing spaces, meditation apps to help disconnect at breaks, fitness club memberships, and short workouts to schedule between conference calls.

12/ Large fitness centers will act like small boutique studios.
Small classes are the trend, and big gym brands are responding. You’ll see big spaces creating small studios offering barre or cycling to cater to all kinds of clients. This approach caters to the customer rather than what was most efficient to the fitness center.

This trends report was developed by these WTS industry experts:
Katrina Morrison, Spa Director, [email protected]
Marko Dmanjanovic, General Manager, LivingWell Washington Hilton
Kim Matheson, Senior Vice President, WTS International
Henry Gudelsky, Corporate Operations Director, WTS International
Wayne Brouhard, General Manager, Millenium Family Fitness
Diane Serrano, Spa Director, Spa at Trump Waikiki
Kaitlin Novello, Activities Manager, Eau Spa
Caroline Wilmot, Spa Director, mySpa Miami
Mary Winter, Spa Director, Westin Sarasota
Marina Mitkovic, Spa Director, Lorien Hotel & Spa
Ben Batista, Spa Manager, Baccarat Hotel
Jeremy Aniciete, Fitness Director, Fitness Club at the Spa at Trump Chicago
Lisa Simmons, Spa Director, Blue Harmony Wyndham Bonnet Creek
Jenna Laramee, Corporate Operations Director, WTS International
Jamie Wolf, Corporate Operations Director, WTS International
Katie Rozinski, Spa Director, Spa at Trump Chicago
Kealy Teatum, Spa Director, Oceana Bal Harbour
Vanesa Paz, Spa Director, Eau Spa
Colleen Beck, Lifestyle Director, Affinity Community
Saige Robb, Fitness and Tennis Director, Eau Spa
Chris Griebe, Senior Vice President, WTS International
Charlotte Housego, Operations Manager, Eau Spa
Alison Colbert, Spa Director, Pallavi Luxury Spa
Stella Gustafsson, Executive Director of Spa Operations, Crystal Life Spa
Laura De La Rosa, Spa Director, Spa at Trump Doral
Katherine Brookshire, Director, Park Grove Wellness Center
Rachel Vague, Spa Manager, Sonoran Spa Westward Look Resort

For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact us at [email protected]al.com.

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WTS International Works With Metro Development Group to Create a Slice of Paradise in Pasco County

WTS International, the spa, fitness and lifestyle consultancy and management firm, has won a contract to manage the watersports and community lifestyle programming for the Epperson Community, on behalf of Metro Development Group at America’s first Metro Lagoons by Crystal Lagoons.

Located in Wesley Chapel, Pasco County, Florida, the seven-acre, purpose-built lagoon, with its crystal clear blue waters, forms part of the Epperson master-planned community, the first ‘smart gigabit’ community in the U.S.

Epperson is part of the Pasco County Connected City Corridor, which has been built from the ground up on a framework of the fastest internet and WiFi speeds available, for the very best 21st-century live-play-work model.

The Metro Lagoons by Crystal Lagoons offers residents the opportunity to live a coastal lifestyle inland, in a development which includes private cabanas, a swim-up bar, yoga lawn and family beach.

Commenting on their work together at Epperson, Eric Wahlbeck, MD of Metro Development Group, says: “I’m very excited to be working with a trusted firm like WTS International on Metro Development’s first Metro Lagoons by Crystal Lagoons, where we’re offering a slice of paradise to residents.

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We’re collaborating toward a common vision to create a dynamic lagoon lifestyle that will bring an elevated level of luxury experiences to our resident families of the Epperson community. With over 45 years of leisure experience we couldn’t think of a better partner with which to embark on this new endeavor.”

WTS first engaged with Metro Development Group in 2016 to provide design review and programming consultation services and, earlier this year, agreed to provide pre-opening and management services for Epperson’s Metro Lagoons by Crystal Lagoons.

Describing the collaboration, WTS’ Corporate Operations Director Amy Gallogly, says: “WTS is thrilled to have been selected to pre-open and manage Metro Development’s first Metro Lagoons by Crystal Lagoons’ community. The Epperson Lagoon is a unique place and we’re delighted to be a part of this ‘first’ in the U.S.”

The facility recently held its grand opening celebration to mark the completion of the Crystal Lagoon and with global ambassador and Olympian Michael Phelps in attendance, showcased its offering to thousands of residents and guests, including swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding and small boat sailing.

Gallogly adds, “Our newly-established partnership with Metro Development and Metro Lagoons will allow us to showcase this world-class amenity to prospective home buyers in the South Florida market. In addition to running the day-to-day operations of this 7.5 acre lagoon, our highly-skilled lifestyle team will be implementing a wide variety of events and programs that will demonstrate all that the Epperson Lagoon community has to offer.”

For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact us at [email protected].

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Chris Griebe Brings 20 Years of Health and Wellness Experience to WTS International

WTS International, the spa, fitness and lifestyle consultancy and management firm, has named Chris Griebe as the new Corporate Operations Director for the Recreation and Fitness Division.

A veteran of the public and private health and wellness fields for some 20 years, Griebe has worked as a personal trainer, fitness director, general manager and regional director.

His success in managing multi-site wellness centers, including private clubs and national fitness resorts and his expertise in large-scale, multi-site operations and new business acquisition is an ideal fit for WTS.

In his new position Griebe will support WTS sites by focusing on providing exceptional customer service training and developing innovative, results-driven wellness programming, with the aim of building membership and income-generating activities within the recreation and fitness division.

Gary Henkin, President of WTS International, said of Chris, “We’re delighted to welcome Chris Griebe to our corporate team, in his role as corporate operations director for our Fitness and Recreation Division. Chris brings to us a wide experience in all aspects of health/fitness and wellness facility operations, including membership promotion, program development and daily management. We’re fortunate to have him representing our firm.”

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Griebe’s new role will also see his direct involvement in assuring the company’s continued success and growth through business development and outreach.

With an eye for exceptional service and wellness, Griebe is especially keen to set the standard in recreation and fitness management, by combining WTS’s reputation for delivering outstanding service with the company’s health and fitness programming, in order to improve outcomes for WTS clients, residents, members and communities.

“In my new role, I’m most excited to work with sites nationwide to provide comprehensive wellness programs that will positively affect the health of individuals and the community,” said Griebe.

For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact us at [email protected].

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WTS International Client Wins Prestigious Gold Award for Lifestyle Program

WTS International (WTS), the spa, fitness, lifestyle consultancy and management firm, is celebrating a longstanding client’s recent accolade.

Connerton Community, a master-planned community near Tampa, Florida, has won a prestigious national Gold Award at the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) National Sales and Marketing Awards gala for Best Lifestyle Program in a Community.

Known as ‘The Nationals,’ the awards honor the best in the building industry for their determination, integrity, creativity and endurance.

Extending over 4,800 acres, Connerton is Pasco County’s largest master-planned, mixed-use community, where WTS currently manages the community’s 10,000 square-foot clubhouse, Club Connerton, and its lifestyle programming.

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Commenting on the company’s involvement, WTS Corporate Operations Director Amy Gallogly said: “WTS has had a wonderful partnership with Connerton for the past 12 years. In 2007 we were engaged as design consultants and to deliver pre-opening services for Club Connerton. Once it opened in 2008 we began managing the amenity center and still operate it to this day.

“In 2017 we added management of the Welcome Center, exposing and educating prospective buyers and realtors about all that Connerton offers and the numerous benefits of this growing community.”

Connerton combines community living with life enrichment and social programs for all ages, together with the beauty of natural, protected spaces with parks and miles of nature trails and boardwalks for biking and hiking.

In addition, its clubhouse, with resort-style pool and fitness center, serves as the community’s social hub where families gather for a day of sun and splashes, or make use of the Fit & Flourish room with all the latest exercise equipment, and yoga, and other group fitness classes.

There’s also a Kidz Zone club for children and the Conner Town Café for snacks and beverages, as well as three tennis courts, a sand volleyball court and basketball court adjacent to the pool. An outdoor amphitheatre and stage for concerts, bands and watching fireworks completes the mix.

Under the guidance of WTS, Connerton offers more programs, events and activities than any other community in the area, enjoyed each day by more than 1,500 residents. As Gallogly explains: “The WTS team is comprised of a general manager, lifestyle director, welcome center manager and a large support team of camp and café attendants, group exercise instructors and personal trainers.

“We plan a variety of programs, camps and activities for all ages to enjoy. Our signature events have become yearly traditions and are enjoyed by generations of Connerton families.”

These include the ‘Noon’ Year’s Eve, a gala celebration for younger residents, Eggstravaganza, the annual Easter egg hunt and Nation Celebration, an Independence Day gathering open to the public. All these, in addition to Hometown Harvest and Winter Wonderland, are eagerly anticipated by residents year after year.

In addition, adults can enjoy weekly and monthly activities such as fitness classes, Parents Night Out, Men’s Brew & Poker Nights, Scotch and Cigar Nights, Ladies Design with Wine, Margarita Madness and Girls’ Night Out.

There are also family-specific events like the Polar Bear Plunge, Dive-in Movies, Star Party & Camp Out and Jingle Bell Rock.

At the resort-style waterpark with its big splash pool, kids can enjoy the Wiggles and Giggles fitness classes, music classes, arts and crafts events, poolside snow cones and cotton candy, Social Sandbox, Kids Fearful Factor and Lil Campers’ Summer Camp.

Connerton celebrated its hallmark event of 2017 with Operation Finally Home, a cooperative effort that awarded a deserving veteran and his family with a mortgage-free home in the community.

As Connerton resident Connie Maas attests: “One of the main reasons we moved here was because of the community lifestyle. There are monthly activities planned for residents and families and when our friends visit they are always awed by how beautiful Club Connerton is. Our grandchildren call it water world! It’s the best!”

The only leisure management team in place since Connerton’s inception, WTS provides the community with numerous opportunities to recreate, socialise and have fun. “We’ve grown smaller programs into signature events over the last 10 years with upwards of 600 resident families attending,” says Gallogly. “Our largest and most popular event is Connerton’s Nation Celebration, now in its fourth year with some 8,000 attendees last year. It works to expose the community to prospective buyers, allowing them to mingle with Connerton residents while enjoying a fireworks show, food truck rally, carnival games, DJ, mini golf, craft market, beer garden, bouncers and slides.”

Commenting on the enduring relationship between WTS and the Connerton community, Homeowners’ Association Board President of property developer The Gibbons Group, W. Stewart Gibbons, said: “Connerton contracted with WTS International over 12 years ago and our relationship has never been stronger. In our view WTS is the most professional and competent company in its field. From the bottom of the market collapse to record-setting sales in 2017, WTS has been a constant and loyal partner. Their team of professionals helps form the soul of Connerton and are beloved by our residents. We couldn’t do better.”.

For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact us at [email protected].

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WTS International 2018 Trends Report

WTS International Forecasts an Exciting 2018

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I would first like to wish everyone a very happy and healthy new year. At WTS International, we are off to a flying start with many new projects throughout the US and overseas. These include new spas, fitness and wellness complexes and multi-use athletic facilities. This past year we added significant infrastructure in creating new positions, widening and diversifying our program offerings and implemented new systems to better train and support our staff. We fully expect 2018 to be a year in which WTS is continuously striving to improve in all areas related to the design, opening and operation of leisure and lifestyle facilities. We will also widen our reach to hotels and resorts, residential projects, private clubs and real estate developments throughout the world.

Below is our annual Industry Trends Report. You will find useful forecasts and trends from leading journals, organizations and publications. WTS is always striving to be a leader in the newest products, treatments, equipment and programming. I hope this might give you some inspiration and knowledge to help move your goals forward.

Of course, we are wholly dependent on our staff who represent WTS both on a corporate basis and on site. We have the finest and most experienced staff in the world, and we are grateful for their talents and knowledge. Thank you to all of our clients and to those who work with our company as we look forward to a highly successful year ahead.

GARY HENKIN, PRESIDENT

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2018 Industry Trends Report

American Spa Magazine
2018 Spa and Wellness Trend: The Rise of Regional Spa Associations
By Julie Keller Callaghan. Originally published in American Spa Magazine, December 2017

The size and scope of the spa and wellness industry is truly astounding— last reports from the Global Wellness Institute value the global wellness economy at a staggering $3.7 trillion. But what is good for tropical spas in Hawaii may not quite fly for the round-the-clock wellness approaches of a spa on the Las Vegas Strip. That’s where regional spa associations come in and are thriving like never before. Penny Kriel, chair for Washington Spa Alliance (WSA), says she thinks these regional groups give local members a sense of community that they crave.

Major Trends
American Spa Magazine Webinar – January 29, 2018

Crystal Craze
Marijuana
Environmental Protection for Skincare
Green Beauty
Animal Magnetism
Genetics Skincare
Guilt-Free Skincare
Regional Spa Associations
Hotels Without Spas Promoting Wellness
Intentional Beauty

Additional Trends
Women’s Co-working Clubs
FemTech
Women’s Empowerment
Facial Rollers

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Hotel Management Magazine
Klaus Kohlmayr, Chief Evangelist with IDeaS Revenue Solutions, believes non-room-related revenue systems will be growing this year. “Function space, spa, F&B are all areas that are still underdeveloped,” he said. “At the same time, room rates have reached a ceiling in many high-demand markets. Implementing revenue-management principles across other revenue areas will help hotels generate incremental revenues.”

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ISPA
2017 U.S. Spa Industry Study, ISPA

Survey respondents were asked to give their views on what they believe will be the next big new trend that will shape the spa industry over the next year or so. The following is a summary of their responses.

Wellness, health and fitness remained the most frequently cited trend affecting the spa industry, mentioned by almost one in three spas (32%), including 42% of respondents in the resort/hotel sector and 25% of day spas. As noted by one respondent: “Wellness continues to trend, along with more integrated spa options and programs.”

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American Council on Exercise
8 Fitness Trends for 2018
By Peter McCall. Originally published on ACE, December, 2017

2018 Will Make a Rediscovery of Functional Training
After years of high-intensity interval training reigning supreme, 2018 will make a rediscovery of functional training that emphasizes movement quality over load and intensity. Lashaun Dale, vice president for content and programming at 24 Hour Fitness who specializes in being a futurist for the fitness industry, suggests that class programming will shift toward an emphasis on what she calls “conscious movement,” as opposed to simply pushing the intensity of a workout to reach the point of exhaustion.

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American College of Sports Medicine
Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends For 2018
By Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM. Originally published by ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, November/December 2017

For 2018, HIIT is back to being ranked number 1 after falling to number 3 in 2017.

High-intensity interval training. HIIT typically involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest or recovery and typically takes less than 30 minutes to perform (although it is not uncommon for these programs to be much longer in duration).

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Global Wellness Institute
Global Wellness Summit 2018 Global Wellness Trends Report

Each year, the Global Wellness Summit (GWS) identifies new trends that will have a meaningful impact on the $3.7 trillion wellness industry. Significantly, this is the only wellness forecast that draws from the insights of the 600-plus executives who were delegates and presenters at the 2017 Global Wellness Summit. In addition, the GWS Forecast is the sole trends report based on the perspectives of renowned economists, medical and wellness professionals, academics, and leaders across all sectors of the wellness industry.

8 Major Trends
1 Mushrooms emerge from underground: Whether “magic” or medicinal, shrooms’ superpowers come to light
2 A new era of transformative wellness travel: Circuits, sagas and epic storylines
3 Reframing the first 1,000 days: Pre-conception and paternity enter the health question
4 The wellness kitchen: Kitchens catch up with healthy eating
5 Getting our “clean air act” together: Taking personal responsibility for the air we breathe
6 Extreme wellness: Hacking our way to better brains, bodies and overall well-being
7 Wellness meets happiness: The conversation becomes more important
8 A new feminist wellness: From a surge in women-only, wellness-infused clubs and co-working spaces – to a storm of FemTech “solving” for women’s bodies

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IHRSA
2017 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report

10 Key Findings
1 The total number of health club members and consumers as well as the penetration rate reached an all-time high in 2016
2 The under 18 and 65-plus age groups have experienced the most growth in membership
3 The average annual household income (HHI) for health club members was $80,300 in 2016
4 Members who’ve completed postgraduate studies used the club for an average of at least 113 days in 2016 and belonged to a health club for nearly 6 years
5 Consistent with historic trends, treadmills remain the No. 1 attraction at health clubs, claiming utilization by 44% of total members
6 Roughly 13% of health club consumers used a personal trainer in 2016
7 Roughly 26% of health club consumers engaged in small group training in 2016
8 Core health club members, who attended the club for at least 100 days in 2016, accounted for nearly 44% of total members
9 Average membership tenure for core members is 5.8 years, one year longer than the average for all members
10 Slightly more than one out of five members belonged to more than one club (22.1%), while one out of four consumers used more than one club (25%)

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The Spa & Wellness Center Opens at The Blake at Taos Ski Valley

WTS International (WTS), the spa, fitness, lifestyle consultancy and management firm, is celebrating the opening of the Spa and Wellness Center at The Blake at Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico, for which it provided design consulting, pre-opening services and now daily management services.

Taos Ski Valley Resort was founded by German skiing pioneer, Ernie Blake, in 1955 and was influenced by Native American culture and Spanish Colonial history. Recognizing the importance of respecting these cultures, WTS collaborated with the hotel design team to incorporate elements of local Pueblo and Navajo tribes’ identities into the new spa’s design and layout.

The property showcases a collection of original art to give a true gallery feel, while original Pueblo pottery is on display in the relaxation lounge.

Mary Lynn Mellinger, Director of Planning and Design at WTS International, said: “There’s a real sense of place at the resort. We were tasked with making suggestions for ways of integrating the rich history of the region into the look and feel of the spa and wellness center. The spa menu’s services and treatments also draw on these traditional influences.”

The spa has four treatment rooms with one functioning as a couples’ room, and a relaxation space and mixed quiet room with a water feature.

An express treatment area offers chair massage sessions for guests who need immediate support after coming off the slopes.

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Innovative treatments developed for the spa include the Intentional Aromatherapy Massage, during which guests are invited to the aroma design bar where they work with an alchemista to create a custom blend of aromatherapy oils for use during the massage.

The choice comes from the finest organic- and therapeutic-grade essential oils from Body Bliss.

The spa also offers the Earth Elements massage during which hand-carved, organic salt stones, are warmed and incorporated into the massage experience to elevate it to another level.

The Earth Elements massage was developed in partnership with Saltability.

Steven Rose, Director of Hospitality at Taos Ski Valley said: “We’re delighted to have WTS International as a collaborative partner at The Blake at Taos Ski Valley, helping us develop our wellness programming, spa treatments, products and amenities.

“The design and feel of the spa is intended to honor and recognize the many cultures that make this region unique,” added Rose.

The fitness center provides equipment to suit guests who come to the region all year round. It also includes specific pieces of equipment designed for skiers’ needs.

Susan Shanmugham, Project Designer for fitness at WTS explained: “At this facility there will be a focus on recovery, to help skiers get back to optimal performance. For example, we’ve included Normatec Pulse Recovery Systems, which are dynamic compression devices to target the muscles which skiers use and to cater for guests who are looking for additional recovery after a day on the slopes.”

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Other key pieces of equipment in the fitness center include a SkiErg, an upright machine which mimics the motion of cross-country skiing and helps build strength and endurance by working the entire body in a rhythmic motion.

EAST-related spa treatments focus on cooling and rehydration, such as the Sole Renewal, while EAST fitness programs revolve around recovery clinics for the mountain sport enthusiast.

The SOUTH is associated with water and purification, with treatments such as Yoga and The Blake Signature Massage, while the WEST is connected to fire and is the most energetic of the directions, with spa treatments and fitness programs which build vitality and energy, such as the Peloton bike workout and the hot salt stone massage.

At the heart of all treatments is the Golden Center, which nourishes and supports the other directions and represents a state of optimum balance. Spa treatments and fitness programs focus on balancing the body’s energies and include small group circuit training and sports massage.

Andrea Dubois, Senior Project Designer for spa at WTS, concluded: “We want guests to sample a piece of Native American culture, even if it’s a ritual incorporated into a treatment. Local customs are very focused on the spiritual world and healing. We want guests who come to the spa and fitness center to experience that healing process.”

For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact us at [email protected].

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WTS International Builds on Success of 2016 for an Exceptional 2017

WTS International (WTS), the spa, fitness and lifestyle consultancy and management firm, is reporting a strong forecast for 2017, following a record year in 2016.

Last year was an exceptionally busy one for WTS and saw the firm expand its position as a global leader in the industry, with the delivery of 80 design projects and 22 new spa, wellness, fitness and corporate fitness openings around the world.

With some 2,500 members of staff worldwide, a corporate team of 65 employees and an executive committee of 20 people, WTS operates in over 30 countries and currently manages over 100 sites worldwide. It’s currently overseeing design projects in locations as diverse as Dubai, Switzerland, America and India.

With every project, WTS spends time consulting with clients to fully evaluate their needs, ensuring plans are firmly based on the company’s principles of excellence in both service and performance standards. Innovation is a key priority as WTS approaches every project with the aim of being relevant and cutting edge.

Of the many projects in the pipeline for 2017, Oceana Bal Harbour, Florida, a condominium paradise with unobstructed views of the South Florida beaches, is significant for being the first building in the area to be LEED certified. WTS will manage the on-site spa and fitness facility, ensuring a five-star service to residents and guests.

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The spa and fitness facility at the brand new MGM National Harbor luxury resort on the banks of the Potomac River in Maryland features a full-service spa and salon with men’s Barber Lounge and fitness centre. WTS designed the spa concept and handled all the pre-opening and ongoing management.

WTS will also provide ongoing consulting services for the destination and day spa within Trump International Hotel Washington, DC and the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Vancouver, where guests can benefit from signature treatments, as well as full lifestyle programmes. WTS has been involved in the development of the new spa concept for Trump Hotels, and has provided design consulting services throughout the development of both properties.

Other new openings for 2017 include VERDURE, a luxury wellness facility in Amarillo, Texas, for which WTS provided design review services, including operational feasibility, interior design review, equipment sourcing and layout, together with pre-opening services such as finance reviews, staffing, organisation and training, and program development, plus on-going management.

All aspects of the facility’s operations, from its luxurious amenities, exercise equipment and resort-style pools, to its personal training services and world-class spa treatments, are designed to encourage a healthy lifestyle and wellbeing with an uncompromising commitment to service.

The development is also intended to serve as a selling point for prospective residents and a value enhancement for current residents.

Building on over 40 years of spa, leisure and lifestyle consulting and management experience, WTS’s mission is to provide exceptional services to clients, and 2017 will be no exception.

For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact Mary Simpkins at [email protected].

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How to Spot and Hire Top Talent: WTS Featured in Pulse

WTS International is thrilled to share a recent article in Pulse, a magazine focused on business issues and trends in the spa industry. The feature, “Wanted: Rockstar, How to Spot and Hire Top Talent,” quotes Henry Gudelsky, WTS’ Director of Training and Development. Henry comments, “It does not matter if the person is a director, attendant, service provider, or host, everyone contributes to the guest experience and performance of the spa. Having rock star performers within our team enables us to consistently deliver the level of service that keeps customers coming back.”

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To read the entire article, download it here.

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WTS Launches Corporate Charity Initiative, WELLness Begins with Water

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WTS International has launched its 2016 corporate initiative, WELLness Begins with Water. The initiative will include a number of charitable components in support of charity: water and also in partnership with the Green Spa Network and Global Wellness Day.

The initiative’s mission: to deliver clean, safe drinking water to developing nations. It costs the organization approximately US$10k to install a community well and WTS is aiming to raise this amount in partnership with its managed facilities, as well as corporately and through partnerships with selected preferred vendors.

Gary Henkin, president and CEO of WTS said: “We take our plentiful supplies of clean water for granted and our spa industry is founded on it, yet many people in the developing world do not even have access to clean drinking water.

We believe this is a basic human right and here at WTS we’re committed to working with charity: water and also our partners and clients, to raise funds to improve the lives of people who are without safe water, by empowering them to take charge of their own water supply.”

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In a related initiative, WTS will also work with the Green Spa Network on the development of protocols and recommendations aimed at significantly reducing the number of plastic water bottles and cups used at WTS-managed spa, fitness and lifestyle facilities.

The Green Spa Network will track and compare usage in WTS-managed facilities to show the improvements made, while an implementation guide will be created by WTS and distributed among both its own managed properties and those associated within the Green Spa Network.

The guide will provide solutions for reducing the carbon footprint created by plastic, as well as providing affiliated spas with suggestions on how to run their Global Wellness Day fundraising events. WTS has also made a policy decision to select vendors who can show they’ve reduced water consumption during the production process.

Global Wellness Day has been successfully incorporated into all WTS facility marketing plans, and an implementation kit and accompanying flyers have been developed to make the launch straightforward. All proceeds raised from attendances at GWD events will be donated to charity: water in the name of WTS International.

“I highly commend WTS for raising money for this worthwhile cause,” said Paul Schmidt, Green Spa Network executive director. “The Green Spa Network is proud to partner with progressive companies like WTS and collaborate to cause positive change.”

To learn more about the WTS corporate charity initiative, please email: [email protected].

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For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact Mary Pilch Simpkins at [email protected].

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WTS Educates: Be Gift Card Savvy in the New Year

By: Catherine Warren, WTS Spa Director, Eau Spa

With the heavy gift card sales season having come and gone, we are all now faced with the great challenge of turning gift card sales into redemptions. It is also a time for reflecting on the meaning of a liability account. We harken our gift card recipients to return and redeem so that our efforts are not in vain. Gift certificates work the same as gift cards, but I will refer to them as cards from here on out. Without further ado, here is a little gift card Q&A to help you maximize your efforts made throughout the most wonderful time of the year:

Q: Why do I not see gift card sales revenue on my P&L?
A: When a gift card is purchased, the money goes into a purgatory called a liability account. Since revenue cannot be counted when the gift card is purchased, and then counted again when it is redeemed (as this would double what was actually received in the form of a payment from the guest and deceivingly inflate revenues), sales will not be recognized as top line revenue until the card purchased is redeemed as a service or retail item.

Q: How do gift card sales benefit the business if they are not going to count as a profit on top line until an undetermined time of redemption?
A: For one thing, it puts cash in the bank, and this helps the spa or fitness facility to not have to borrow money from the host property when times are lean. Padding the piggy bank is always a good thing. This cash may also grow in interest if invested properly. It also captures guests by holding a credit for them only available through redemption with your spa or fitness facility alone.

Guests are also given the freedom to buy whatever they choose from the service menu or retail area, and so the chances of them being satisfied with their gift is higher than, say, if they received a pair of unattractive, brown bell bottoms, and feel indebted to wear them whenever the gift giver is around. In other words, there is more likely of a guarantee of guest satisfaction with a customizable gift such as a gift card.

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Q: What if the gift cards are never redeemed?

A: Then one day it will be credited as breakage. Breakage is a good thing, because the money will go to the spa or fitness facility without having to pay any costs of sale.

Q: What is my cost of sale?
A: When someone has a service in the spa, receives a personal training session or attends a class, a commission is paid to the therapist, personal trainer or instructor. Additionally, labor for those attending to the guest in the front of house, the linens that need to be laundered after their service or session, their consumable food, beverage and locker room amenities, the cost of product and many, many, many other tertiary costs are included.

Q: So why not just let all of it go to breakage so that more revenue flows through to the bottom line?
A: Depending on the state that you are in, the laws will vary. In Florida, for example, a purchased gift card may legally never expire, and so breakage may not be received that same year or possibly ever. Also, the point of a gift card is to draw guests in so that the revenue is redeemed immediately, a new guest is gained, and retail products potentially sold. Ideally, the guest will adore everything about the business and return regularly. Even better, the guest will buy gift cards for more new guests, and the business will continue to build with the ease of a pyramid scheme.

Q: How do I draw people in to redeem their gift cards?
A: First and foremost, the staff must be trained and then held accountable for gathering all of the contact information for the person purchasing the gift card, and, more importantly, the person receiving the gift card. Then designate someone on the team to go through all outstanding gift cards and personally call to invite guests with credit to the spa or fitness facility. This is actually the simplest AND most effective way to go about ensuring redemptions.

Bounce back offers may also work, but beware of double-discounts! Many times the credit available on the gift card already includes some sort of credit; an upgrade or added value given at the time of purchase, employee commission that was paid off the total amount purchased, provider commission that is deducted when the gross value is redeemed, etc. If not careful, the potential revenue may slowly whittle down to next to nothing, and worst case scenario, go upside down. Always track sales and offers at time of purchase so that revenue is maintained after the compound discounts.

Q: What do you mean by a compound discount?
A: A compound discount is an additional discount on something that has already been discounted, and if the commission to your therapist or personal trainer or instructor is based on the original or gross cost, then it’s possible they are being paid on a higher cash amount than what was actually received. This can quickly increase payroll.

Q: What if the gift card recipient does not want the treatment, sessions or classes purchased?
A: First, provide a thorough list of all of the treatments, services or classes that are available, as it’s possible the guest is not aware of everything they can potentially redeem their gift card for. Ensure they understand the gift card has a dollar credit value, and not necessarily a particular service value. For example, at a SPA, most people just think massage or facial, and must be reminded of all of their options to include body treatments, manicures and pedicures, or hair services. At a FITNESS facility, they may consider personal training as their only option, unaware of any specialty classes offered or special challenges coming up.

If they are not interested in any form of therapeutic work or fitness classes, then encourage them to purchase retail with it for themselves or a loved one.

If they hate all health, beauty and fashion items, then suggest that they re-gift it to their most clean, attractive and relaxed loved one, neighbor, boss or a favorite politician. Just remember that gift cards are not redeemable for cash.

Looking toward the future… Remember that the year is full of gift card selling opportunities; Administrative Assistant’s Week, Mother’s Day, Graduations, Father’s Day etc. So, what can you do to maximize your sales and take gift cards full circle?

Q: How do you convince your team to sell them?
A: The reality is that staff like to be incentivized. Hold a contest offering a prize for the highest sales person. This will automatically instill a minimum to the sales efforts. Since not everyone is a good sales person, the substandard salespeople will possibly not try, because they assume that they’ll never win. Therefore, incentivize the most improved salesperson, possibly one top seller from each department, and maybe even offer a commission.

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Q: How do you pay a commission on something that may not ever be redeemed? Will that not make my payroll high?
A: Good question! This is tricky, because it can’t be denied that it’s a gamble that the guest will never redeem their gift card, and therefore the revenue never hit the top line. Recipients must be drawn to the spa or fitness facility to redeem their gift cards, and then payroll will certainly level out over the course of the year, even if it is a little high during the months such incentive programs are implemented.

Q: How do I make the public aware of my gift cards?
A: Advertising is your friend. Social media advertising is your best friend, because it is either free or fairly inexpensive for boosting posts. If the advertising is inexpensive, then it will not cut into this elusive liability revenue, and there will be a better return on sales.

Q: How do I get people to buy our gift cards instead of one of our competitors?
A: It is now time to consider the spa or fitness facility’s competitive edge, and to think about what could be offered as an incentive that no other facility has to offer. Receiving a great value is usually just as important to guests as cost or discounts. Do you offer complimentary valet? Do you have a childcare facility? Do you have pool or beach access? Do you boast anything innovative by way of technology? Is your facility superior to the competitions? Are complimentary beverages offered? Add up the value of all the amenities of this nature that the facility has to offer. This value should always be mentioned in the advertising campaign built around gift card sales.

Q: What if I answered no to all of the above?
A: Even if the facility offers nothing but a single treatment room, a massage table and an orchid, or no specialty fitness classes or high end training spaces, an incentive can still be provided to the gift card purchaser. For example, increase the value by $25 if they purchase $100. Simply charge the “value add” to the marketing/advertising line within your budget. However, keep in mind this will likely need to be advertised as a limited offer, as budgets must be closely monitored and expenses never exceeded. When developing a campaign, it must always be developed considering the ROI (return on investment).

Q: Is there anything else that I could do to incentivize guests to purchase gift cards?
A: Absolutely! Additional incentives may include registering all purchasers’ into a drawing for something fancy by way of a spa day, personal training sessions, or retail products. This is a slick move, because sometimes product incentives can be received complimentary from vendors. It is always recommended a facility speak with their vendors for assistance on this type of incentive.

Q: How do I train my team to sell gift cards?
A: Staff should be required to ask every guest making an appointment, checking in or checking out if they would like to purchase a gift card. A nice sales spiel would be, “Mr. Smith, we have an excellent gift card program (state the program specifics and why they are so stellar). I would highly recommend that you take advantage of it, and if you need holiday gifts for your office, have an anniversary coming up, need a birthday present or just want to surprise someone special, then now is the time to do it. We will even package it beautifully and mail it to the lucky recipient. How many would you like, and whom should I say it is for? Would you like a card to fill out or shall I fill it out for you? I would be happy to have them delivered to your room for your convenience.”

There should always be gift card signage placed around the spa or fitness facility. This can make it simple for staff to reference, and encourage guests to inquire. Most importantly, include a deadline on all marketing pieces to encourage a sense of urgency so that guests take action on the offer available.

Q: How does gratuity work on a gift card?
A: Remember that most people purchasing a gift card do not want the recipient to have to pay for gratuity, and so gratuity should be included in the gift card as often as possible. It should be clarified with the purchaser to be certain.

Q: What if I have not thought about how to package my gift cards?
A: It is always best to go with neutral packaging that reflects the branding of the facility and is void of any gender or religious affiliation. For example:
• If the facility is a luxury spa, consider a fancy box tied with ribbon, placed in a tissue-filled, branded bag.
• If the facility is environmentally conscious, create a biodegradable or plantable envelope for the gift card.
• If the facility is strapped because of a lean margin, consider ordering simple, folded cards that can hold a gift certificate.

If possible, it is recommended a business card sized promotional piece be included to offer recipients suggestions on how to redeem their gift card, and can also be a great way to advertise any upcoming services, classes, challenges or new membership pricing.

Q: Should I offer shipping?
A: It is recommended shipping is charged for and only offered complimentary when a minimum purchase is reached. This will encourage guests to spend more. Keep in mind that forms will need to be created to capture all of the recipients’ shipping and contact information. Adding on a signature line may be necessary when a guest is paying for the shipping out of their own pocket. Always be careful with the shipping costs as they can quickly eat up revenue if certain priority shipping options are used.

Hopefully this guide will assist you in capturing your guests from this past year’s heavy gift card sales season while ensuring revenues are maximized. Additionally, I hope that this provides you with an outline that proves useful when planning for all the gift card seasons to come throughout this year.

Happy selling, and remember that when you come to a crossroads in your operations and feel that some advice or guidance is needed, contact WTS International as we strive to ensure all clients are kept informed and successful in their ventures.