What is your spa's greatest operational challenge?
"We have found that, with the level of group business we do, we have had to be creative in finding ways to accommodate large numbers of people in short amounts of time. Our operations have spilled into the spa pool area cabanas on more than one occasion. We have been able to add fifty treatments to an afternoon by using the cabanas to our advantage, so it has had a positive effect on revenue."—Adam Dubose, associate spa director, Agave, The Arizona Spa at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa (Scottsdale, AZ)
"It is definitely managing and keeping excellent professionals. One of my goals for this year is to develop a compensation/recognition program that rewards performance, experience, and commitment to the spa while keeping payroll under control. I believe people should be recognized and rewarded for the total contribution they make to the organization, not for how many massages they can do in a day."—Debi Barnes, owner, Turtle Cove Spa at Mountain Harbor Resort (Mount Ida, AR)
"Our biggest operational challenge is hanging on to our spa sandals. We sell out of them very quickly in our boutique, and guests are literally walking out of the spa with them after treatments. I've almost come to the point of putting an electronic device on them, but it wouldn't fit with the spa atmosphere."—Bill Price, spa director, Phantom Horse Spa at Pointe South Resort (Phoenix)
"The greatest operational challenge we have had to overcome is trying to keep a low turnover with our receptionists. The position encompasses many factors, and there is a lot to learn regarding the computer system, our menu of services, and general job responsibilities. Some employees are intimidated by what the overall job entails. Furthermore, the training of the new receptionists is rather extensive. When we have new hires, the training is time-consuming and often difficult for some to grasp."—Summer Ellis, spa manager, Avia Spa (Santa Barbara, CA) —Compiled and edited by Heather Mikesell