ISPA Scores Another Hit with 2007 Conference

ISPA's annual conference always bring out the 'who's who' of the spa industry, and this year was no exception. The 2007 ISPA conference at the Venetian in Las Vegas November 6-9 featured industry visionaries, inspirational keynotes, and the release of new industry statistics.

mmaculee Ilibagiza, closing keynote
Immaculee Ilibagiza, closing keynote

The opening session presented trends research and the Visionary Award was presented to Sylvia Sepielli. Dan Burris presented a fascinating peek at what lies in the future (and spas should be a key player in wellness). In the second general session, the Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award was presented to Dr. Michael Jacobson for his work in food labeling and awareness. The visionary panel was composed of Dr. Michael Jacobson, last year's visionary award winner Ginny Lopis, this year's industry visionary Sylvia Sepielli, Arch Stokes, and Deborah Szekely of Rancho La Puera and Golden Door.

The closing keynote was Immaculee Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide. Her family and entire village were killed, along with 800,000 members of her Tutsi tribe. To escape the same fate, she hid for three months with six others in a tiny bathroom in a minister's house. Immaculee, recently featured on CBS's 60 Minutes, ended the conference on a hopeful and inspirational note.

ISPA members Karen Korpi, Sharilyn Abbajay, Melanie Schmidt, and Bernie Burt
ISPA members Karen Korpi, Sharilyn Abbajay, Melanie Schmidt,
and Bernie Burt

ISPA also released a new industry study with hot-off-the-press statistics:

As of August 2006, there were 13,757 spas in the United States. This represents an average annual growth of 16%. Additionally, there were 9,865 spas in the U.S. at the end of 2003, which represents a total growth in spa locations of 39% from 2003 to present.

Other highlights include:

Annual Revenues

? In 2005, $9.7 billion of revenue was generated by the U.S. spa industry
? In 2003, $7.0 billion of revenue was generated by the U.S. spa industry
? This is an average annual growth of 18%
Number of Visits to U.S. Spas
? In 2005, there were 131 million spa visits
? In 2003, there were 109 million spa visits
? This is an average annual growth of 9%

Number of Employees

? In August 2006, there were 267,400 total employees. This comprised 124,500
full-time employees, 101,300 part-time employees and 41,600 contract employees
? In April 2004, there were 215,200 total employees. This comprised 111,500 fulltime employees, 71,800 part-time employees and 31,900 contract employees
? This is an average annual growth of 11% for total employees, 6% for full-time employees, 19% for part-time employees and 11% for contract employees April 2004 August

Average Annual Growth

Total Employees 215,200 267,400 11%
Full-time Employees 111,500 124,500 6%
Part-time Employees 71,800 101,300 19%
Contract Employees 31,900 41,600 11%

Square Footage

? In August 2006, spas occupied 49.9 million square feet

To purchase the complete study, visit