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doze-inducing fireplace; rain showers; separate men’s and women’s Jacuzzis; complimentary fresh fruit; and the spa’s signature cantaloupe juice, a tasty anti-inflammatory. Another contributing factor is the staff’s commitment, year after year, to its own high standards.


“Our providers are exceptional, tops in their field,” attests Cassam. “We stay ahead of the curve by offering the latest treat- ments and services, and we make sure to consistently create a relaxing atmosphere and see that our clients are well cared for.” As a result, the spa has achieved steady growth and an influx of new clients despite the economic downturn of the past two years, according to Cassam.


A PEAK SPA EXPERIENCE


How about a spa experience with a little adventure added? One that includes the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains? At the Vail Mountain Lodge, in Vail, Colorado, the Vail Athletic Club’s Spa at the Vitality Center has 12 therapy rooms and a “soul- cleansing” solarium. Its wide selection of treatments “goes beyond mere indulgence and pampering to provide genuine holistic therapy,” and includes bioidentical hormone therapy, and energy-balancing Prajnic Healing. While prices vary for these services, the spa’s list of nine signature services cost $285 for each 100-minute session. The spa also offers a unique package that takes clients above


A Trellis Spa treatment


and beyond the traditional spa experience, literally. Originally, and still unofficially, called “Mountain Divas,” this unique lifestyle program combines demanding exercise and delightful spa indul- gences. Though introduced for women seven years ago—hence


the name—attendance is now 80% female and 20% male. The program is so popular that it’s been sought out by adventure-seekers of both genders from around the world. The price? It starts at $100 per person for a 90-minute session.


The experience begins at the foot of Vail Mountain—at 11,570 feet, the second-highest summit in North America. Mountaineer Ellen Miller, the first North American woman to reach the top of Mount Everest from both the North and South faces, motivates participants to push their own limits and reach new peaks of physical fitness.


Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, a group of about 15 to 20 members and visitors strap Yak Trax traction cleats onto their sneakers to provide maximum traction for the ascent. On Tuesdays, the focus is on cardio intervals—all-out bouts followed by recovery periods—up and down the mountainside. Thursday offers an endurance expedition, executed on a more gradual incline so climbers can maintain a steady, comfortable rhythm. Because the age range of participants is wide—from the 20s to the 60s—and ability varies widely, as well, each participant moves at their own pace; typically, the more seasoned snow-trekkers will double back to encourage the other climbers onward.


“It’s so relaxing and refreshing to be on the mountain, filling


your lungs with fresh air and taking in the scenery all around you,” reports Lisa DeKoster, the spa’s director and a frequent participant in the program. Once they’ve made their descent, the group retires to the spa for soothing post-hike treatments, such as deep-tissue massage or a sage foot soak, followed by a warm-stone and pressure-point foot massage. Spa-goers can also enjoy a nutritious gourmet lunch prepared by the resort’s award-winning restaurant, Terra Bistro. Lifestyle programs, such as the mountain expeditions, along with the spa’s high-caliber services and its loyal clientele, have helped the Spa at the Vitality Center hold its own in a small community that has seven spas. “The competition is strong, but we’ve got the total wellness package,” DeKoster concludes. —|


ihrsa.org | APRIL 2012 | Club Business Internat ional 49


“More and more of our members are considering massage a part of their health-maintenance activities, and less a luxury … It’s on their monthly, and, in some cases, weekly schedule.”


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