Spa Discounts: Yay or Nay?

SháNa Spa in Santa Fe, NM, is offering creative promotions to boost business.

SháNa Spa in Santa Fe, NM, is offering creative promotions to boost business.

I moderated a panel last weekend at the IECSC New York show called Ask the Experts, Conversations with Top Spa Operators. The talented panelists included Suzanne Holbrook, executive spa director at The Ritz Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes; Peggy Wynne Borgman, executive consultant, Wynne Business Spa Consulting and president, Preston Wynne, Inc; Bruce Schoenberg, CEO, Oasis Day Spas; and Ann Moloney Brown, spa director, Spa Shiki at The Lodge of Four Seasons. It was a wonderful session with all sorts of great audience feedback. But one topic we kept returning to was discounting. Traditionally, spa operators have shied away from the word—if you offer a discount, how can you justify returning to non-recession prices when things get better?

However, we are in the midst of a rather frightening economic time, and we all agreed that it might be time to rethink some of our marketing approaches. Case-in-point? This recent article from The New York Times that was cited by Bruce Schoenberg during the panel:

“Never Mind What It Costs. Can I Get 70% Off?”

This story got me thinking—is it time to reconsider instituting spa discounts? Throughout the panel discussion, we talked about ways to do this (often without actually using the word “discount”), and I also recently received a list of new promotions instituted by SháNah Spa at Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa in Santa Fe, NM. Some of the creative new promotions to they’re instituting to boost business include:
• Friends and Family discount card (20% off) for employees to give out to friends and loved ones
• Happy Hour discount at the spa from 9 to 11 a.m.
• A special Industry Rate for other spas’ and resorts’ employees
• Rainbow Night, targeting the gay market
• Teen’s spa parties held on Fridays from 6:30-9:30 p.m.
• Private birthday events for groups

What do you think about spa discounts? And what are you doing to creatively boost your business during this difficult time? Send us an email at spablog@americanspamag.com. We’ll post your feedback here!

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