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CARY COLLIER Cary Collier PRINCIPAL AND LEAD DESIGNER, BLU SPAS, INC


As the principal of Montana-based Blu Spas, Inc, Cary Collier and his team have been involved with planning, design- ing and opening more than 300 spas in 30 countries. Collier first made a mark on the spa scene while creating indigenous- inspired spas for the Four Seasons in Bali in the 1990s with Collier & Collier Spas – a spa consultancy he ran with his wife Kim Collier. Back in the US in 1999, he saw a real need for better spa design, plan- ning and management which led him to set up Blu Spas with business lawyer Doug Chambers. Notable projects he’s worked on include the Fisher Island Club in Miami; the Salamander Inn and Spa, Virginia; and numerous Four Seasons spas world- wide including its spa in Hong Kong. Late last year, Blu Spas announced a strategic partnership with US-based consultancy WTS International to further expand and strengthen its presence in the market.


What are your biggest achievements in the last 12 months?


Entertaining the idea of a formal collabora- tion with a friendly competitor, WTS, and then working through the details of how best to make it happen. It’s going to impact our busi- ness immensely – the things we couldn’t do as a small company will now be possible with new resources. We’re putting together a dream


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a fitness instructor at Rosewood’s Spa at the Crescent, Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas. Even back then the spa was offering some ele- ments of wellness programming – something which many properties are trying to achieve now. At that time, executive director Toni Beck, a former director of The Greenhouse, was one of the creative business and concept drivers for the Spa at the Crescent. The other principal concept person was Robert Zimmer, the original president of Rosewood and one of its creators.


team which will enable us to play in multiple arenas – medical, wellness, spa, fitness and personal care businesses – and we will be cre- ating our own brands. It’s the beginning of a new story and there will be a lot to tell. Outside of spa, our biggest success has been being part of a team that’s planning a new high school in Montana which has included winning a bond election to pay for the devel- opment and working on several committees to design and manage the process. Overall, however, we’re pleased to have sur-


vived 2012 – we’re still here... continuing to fight the good fight and, personally, I’m thank- ful for my wife, our two girls, our home, where we live and what I do.


What’s your background? I started my career in Texas, owning an aer- obic franchise called Waist Basket in the mid-80s. During an economic downturn, the business left me broke and I got a job as


The Spa at the Crescent had wellness offer- ings that included yoga, pilates and PTs for every member and hotel guest. Additionally, it had a healthy juice bar and an ayurvedic medi- cal doctor on staff who directed the treatment staff and instilled a focus on mind, body and spirit balancing. If transported to the present, all of this would be successful and on trend, but, at the time most of us thought it came from another planet. I was blessed to be there and I learned a great deal. I also met my future wife, Kim, who gave me my first-ever massage. Thanks to Kim, we travelled, lived and


worked in Hong Kong, Jakarta, Bali, Carmel and now, Whitefish, Montana, to raise our girls. Asia changed my life, opened my eyes and heart, inspired me and blessed me with a knowing that spas – learning how to create spaces and experiences for those who improve the lives of others – was my path, my life gift.


Is your life on track? The last few years have been a wild ride, which I’ve lived with a ‘get busy living or get busy


spa business handbook 2013 39


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