Spa Grand Traverse Gets a New Look

Spa Grand Traverse just got a major facelift.

The spa, located at the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, underwent a major, six-figure renovation of its two-story, 7,000 square-foot spa and salon in February. The project included upgrades to its 23 treatment rooms, as well as new lobby, reception desk, retail, waiting and relaxation spaces.

“The transformation is incredible … it looks brand new,” said Spa Grand Traverse Director Dawn Olsen.

Its last major renovation was 12 years ago, so it was “time for a refresh,” she added.

“The Spa has always been very busy, especially in the front reception area,” she said, also noting the importance in the spa industry to stay on top of trends.

The need to stay competitive added to the business decision to invest in the update.

“In [the] ‘spa world,’ it is all about the aesthetics,” Olsen said, “With the number of resort spas, it is so important to be on trend.”

Areas were reconfigured and modified for improved traffic flow, privacy and serenity. The décor was updated with modern color palettes and furnishings. In addition to facility changes, new treatments and a new organic product line were added to the full-service spa menu.

“This refresh is elegant, classy and very relaxing,” she said. “It was important to stay true to our brand, but the refresh took things up several notches.”

According to Olsen, the resort’s spa business has increased over time, with nine percent revenue growth in 2015-16 and seven percent in 2016-2017. This year is predicted to follow suit. The strength of the spa’s business along with consistent performance were contributing factors in the renovation decision.

Identified as a priority last year, the reno took eight months of planning and construction. Bouma Construction of Traverse City and Grand Rapids was the contractor. Several local subcontractors were used, including TC Millworks, which created fine furnishings for the lobby and relaxation areas.

During construction, the spa remained open for business. Most of the work work was done at night so that services and guest experiences were not negatively impacted, Olsen said.

First opened in 1999, the spa is adjacent to the resort’s 100,000 square-foot health club. In recent years, clientele mix has shifted from seasonal guests to include a significant year-round, local following.

“Our local clients have grown exponentially over the past four years,” Olsen said, noting local residents comprised only 20 percent of business in 2015-16, growing to 30 percent in 2016-17 and is on track to reach close to 40 percent in 2018. Her goal is to continue working toward a 50:50 ratio of visitors to locals.

A tighter ratio evens out seasonal fluctuations common to the hospitality industry. The resort’s key performance months are June through October, with 46 percent of spa revenue achieved during the five-month period. According to Olsen, the spa employs 40 staff members year-round, expanding to 51 during the peak seasons.

Olsen estimates the spa serves an average of 60-70 guests per day, increasing to 175 on weekends. The most in-demand treatments are massages followed by manicures, pedicures, facials and Novalash eyelash extensions. Bundled day spa packages with multiple services are also popular.

She credits her staff with the spa’s continued growth and success.

“We have a great product, professional and experienced staff and a beautiful spa,” Olsen said. “It is a full spa experience … and our staff works very hard to bring passion and professionalism to every guest.”

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