Meet George Powell-Lopez, director of spa and wellness at The Spa at Silver Legacy (Reno, NV), who got his start working at Canyon Ranch (Tucson, AZ).
American Spa: What was the path that led you into the spa industry?
George Powell-Lopez: Totally by accident, I was working as a recruiter for Canyon Ranch Health Resorts in Tucson and fell in love with the industry.
AS: What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of working in the spa industry?
GPL: The most challenging in every spa seems to be recruiting but assisting the team in the understanding five-star levels of service. Most rewarding is when the team “gets” it, and they offer service that is unexpected and enlightening. Also, anticipating our guests’ needs prior to guests asking or even knowing what they might consider.
AS: What has surprised you most about the spa world?
GPL: The unity that exists, unlike in most businesses where there are certain lines of animosity, the spa world unites and always comes together to make a difference.
AS: Where do you think the industry is heading?
GPL: The spa industry will stand steady. Through the good and bad, many spas stand strong and do what they have to do to survive.
AS: What is the strangest client request you’ve fielded?
GPL: I once babysat a VIP client’s dog in my office while she had her hair done.
AS: What is the most bizarre treatment you’ve experienced?
GPL: The whole Russian Banya experience in Moscow.
AS: What new spa treatment would you like to try?
GPL: All of them, any of them. We often don’t get to take care of ourselves as much as we take care of others.
AS: What’s your go-to spa treatment?
AS: What two things about you don’t we know?
GPL: As a massage therapist, I do not like deep pressure. Also, my grandmother practiced massage and was a healer and a midwife.
AS: If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would it be?
GPL: As I told Mel Zuckerman, founder of Canyon Ranch, when I asked him to please consider me for other positions: “I see myself doing this for the rest of my life.”
AS: How would you sum up your personal philosophy?
GPL: Always follow your passion, never veer from what you love, and trust that all will be as it should.
AS: What’s the best advice you’ve received?
GPL: First believe in yourself, and don’t worry about what others believe or see. The rest will fall into place.