The Big Bounceback: Self Care

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After a year of virtual classes, app exercise regimes and at-home care, consumers are excited to return to their favorite self-care services in person. For gyms, salons and spas, this means an opportunity to re-engage customers and appeal to new guests.

COVID-19 taught us the importance of self-care more than anything, and yet some of the best outlets for self-care –gyms, salons and spas– felt like threatening environments during the height of the pandemic.

After a year of virtual classes, app exercise regimes and at-home care, consumers are excited to return to their favorite self-care services in person. For gyms, salons and spas, this means an opportunity to re-engage customers and appeal to new guests.

“Blink Fitness has pivoted significantly to keep our members feeling healthy and well, both physically and mentally, during this challenging time,” said Michelle Horowitz, Senior Vice President, Head of Marketing and Communications at Blink Fitness. “As our gyms continue to increase capacity limits and ease restrictions, we are presented with an amazing opportunity to boost our memberships and usage again.”

“During a recent consumer survey conducted by Nimbly with our members, we found that many ‘miss interacting with others’ and ‘feel better about returning to the gym now that vaccinations have rolled out,’” Horowitz continued. “I know I speak for the entire Blink family when I say we're all excited to continue playing a supportive role in the fitness journeys of our members.”

Crunch gyms has also noted that desire to return to in-person gyms and is focusing its messaging on welcoming members back to a safe environment for workouts.

“We are pleased that states are continuing to ease limits on capacity numbers at gyms,” said Chad Waetzig, EVP of Marketing and Branding at Crunch Fitness. “Our gyms are prepared to comply and work with our member base to provide everyone the opportunity to come back and workout in a clean and safe environment with an engaging, fun experience that only Crunch delivers.”

Dino Michael, senior vice president & global category head, Luxury Brands at Hilton said that the hotel chain is seeing very positive signs of recovery around the world with pent-up demand for leisure travel, so we are expecting  guests to request more wellness experiences as part of their stay.

Hilton has seen an increased demand in guests requesting Five Feet to Fitness rooms – a line of fitness-focused guest rooms that offer more than 11 pieces of exercise equipment and accessories, such as a medicine ball and indoor cycle, for in-room workout routines.

“Increased vaccine distribution, relaxed travel restrictions and rising consumer confidence all factor into more bookings, and in turn, the greater use of spa and fitness amenities during guest stays,” said Michael. “At the same time, we expect guests to continue to use their rooms for workouts and spa-like relaxation. Consumer habits have accelerated during the pandemic and our guests have become much more comfortable utilizing small spaces, like a spare bedroom or a hotel room, for workouts.”

On the spa front, Hilton is experiencing a high demand from the local community members, as well as guests who are spending more time at the hotel instead of heading to off-property destinations. For instance, The Spa at Waldorf Astoria Park City has always had a strong local client base, even offering membership options. Since it reopened, Hilton has seen a steady stream of customers, particularly those utilizing the salon services. Hilton’s  Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal in Mexico is experiencing higher booking rates from the guests on-property than pre-COVID-19.

“As different regions begin to relax their restrictions, we have started to re-open both our spa and fitness facilities,” said Michael. “As part of this recovery, we’ll continue to implement our globally successful Hilton CleanStay program, which was put in place to build upon our already high cleanliness standards. Our dedicated team members work hard to maintain these protocols throughout the entire hotel, including our wellness facilities, so that guests can enjoy their stay with utmost confidence.”

These tactics to rebuild confidence are at the forefront as spa and salon brands market to consumers, who have been wanting these types of self-care services for over a year.

“In accordance with the CDC guidelines and local health ordinances, all of the gyms and spas at Accor hotels in Northern California have been operating since February,” said Paul Tormey, Regional Vice President, Northern California Region & General Manager, Claremont Hotel Club & Spa. “The health and safety of our guests and staff continues to be our top priority, and we remain vigilant in maintaining safety precautions while still delivering the high-level of service and experiences our guests expect. Our spas are by appointment only with a modified menu selection, and all guests and staff are required to wear masks while indoors. Occupancy levels in the lockers rooms are limited, and certain facilities such as steam rooms and saunas remain temporarily closed.”

“There is extraordinary pent-up demand for both gyms and spas, and we continue to see a rise in treatment volume and gift card sales as people are feeling more comfortable returning to spas,” Tormey said. “We feel confident that demand will increase as local health directives continue to ease and as more people are vaccinated, and we look forward to welcoming our guests back for a safe, relaxing and memorable experience.”

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