Collaboration rather than competition inspires the efforts of a new network of spa professionals dedicated to revitalizing their industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Northern California Spa Professionals Network (NorCal SPA), a new organization of 30-plus spa professionals dedicated to sharing spa and hospitality resources as they pertain to wellness, mindfulness, and healthy lifestyle practices, has created a comprehensive blueprint designed to help spas recapture their business in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new guidelines, which can be customized to fit any type or size of spa, provide a unique reopening resource for the spa community as they create their own best-practice protocols, geared to returning to a “new-normal” business operation in a seamless and organized fashion. The result represents an unprecedented collaboration among the region’s top resort and destination professionals including Spa Directors, Managers, Consultants and Vendor Partners.
“This new type of competitor collaboration is the wave of the future . . .”
“This new type of competitor collaboration is the wave of the future,” says Alison Abbott, Director of Spa and Wellness for Meritage Resort Napa and Vista Collina Resort Napa, and co-founder of NorCal SPA. “As we began to collaborate and share our goals, our dreams, and our intentions, we realized how incredibly powerful our unified voice could be in working together towards our long-term goals.”
The collaboration has been so successful that it has served as a model for other regional spa groups in the United States and Mexico. “It’s more important now to show the power of collaboration through productive, innovative, and solution-focused partnerships,” says Tara Grodjesk, President of Tara Spa Therapy and co-founder of NorCal SPA. “The phrase, ‘We are better together,’ embodies the cooperative spirit the network brings to spa businesses today.”
Network members believe one of the biggest impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic has been to alert consumers to the importance of personal wellness, nutrition, strengthened immune systems, and healthy lifestyles. “Our collaboration has elevated what our industry has always known—that health and wellness are a vital part of our future, and now paramount to our recovery from the impact of COVID-19,” says Karen Ray, owner, Karen Ray Consulting, and co-founder of NorCal SPA.
A Response Unlike Any Other
The seeds of the network grew out of a roundtable discussion among a small group of spa directors in Sonoma County in 2019, meeting to discuss mutual recovery efforts after a series of devastating wildfires and rolling blackouts ravaged Sonoma and Napa counties. As they envisioned supporting each other and their communities, they didn’t imagine that an even more destructive crisis was looming: the COVID-19 pandemic. As the virus decimated the tourism industry in Northern California, the network realized it would require a response unlike any in the state’s history, and that a collaboration once considered a “nice-to-have,” was now a necessity in recovery efforts. Current members of NorCal SPA represent a broad and influential cross-section of the industry, including long-established organizations such as the International Spa Association (ISPA) and Green Spa Network (GSN).
“The Northern California hospitality and tourism industry has some of the finest luxury resorts, hotels, wineries, shopping, and attractions in the world,” Abbott says. “By working together to revitalize our businesses and the community, the network is poised to play a leading role in the industry’s recovery. As we’ve shown in the past, we will get through this and emerge stronger and more resilient than ever.”
The organization includes representatives from many prominent Northern California spa, hotels, and companies, including: Auberge du Soleil Spa; Carneros Resort & Spa; Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa; Farmhouse Inn & Spa; Francis & Alexander at Archer; Indian Springs Calistoga; Karen Ray Consulting; MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa; ME Spa; Meritage Resort & Spa; MoonAcre Spa & Bath; Mount View Spa; North Block Hotel Spa; Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary; SenSpa; Resource for Leisure Assets; Spa at Calistoga Ranch; Spa Hotel Healdsburg; Tara Spa Therapy; The Meadowood Spa; The Spa and Salon at Graton Resort & Casino;The Spa at the Estate Yountville; The Spa at Pebble Beach; Silverado Resort & Spa; Solage Resort & Spa; Universal Companies; Vi La Vita Spa, Vintners Resort; and Vista Collina Resort.
For more information on the comprehensive blueprint, please contact Alison Abbott at firstname.lastname@example.org