Jan Freitag, Vice President of Smith Travel Research(STR), presented breaking research on spa performance at SpaExec Austin. STR's status as the premier provider of lodging data allowed exclusive access to treatment, salon and retail data from high end properties across the US. Luxury spa brands Fairmont, Mandarin Oriental, Ritz Carlton, St. Regis, Westin, Jumeirah and Destination Hotels & Resorts participated in the 2008 study.
STR collected spa performance data points from 43 high end properties. The hotel spas provided information each month on treatment and salon revenues, utilization rates, and retail revenues. 2007 results were compared to 2008 to analyze year over year trends. Freitag cautioned the audience that "the research provides a good industry snapshot but the results should be taken with a grain of salt. The numbers are directionally indicative and may be useful for spa operators as a point of comparison."
Here are some juicy tidbits from the presentation:
? Treatment revenues were on the rise but have flattened out.
? The average dollar per treatment increased almost $25 from January 2007 to January 2008. Treatment room occupancies have been declining.
? Occupancies were at an all time high of 34% in March 2007.
? In November 2008, occupancies hit an all time low of 17%, down 8% from November 07 when it was 25%.
? The average retail dollar per treatment went from approx. $19US in January 2008 to $26US in January 2009.
? Consumers may be substituting expensive treatments for an at-home spa experience.
? In light of declining treatment revenues, hotel/resort spa directors have a renewed focus on retail as a crucial element to their spa's bottom line.
? When the average dollar per salon service downs down, utilization of salon services is going up. (Following the general trend that when the costs of spa and salon services goes down, utilization goes up.)
? Freitag speculates that consumers may be 'trading down' to salon services because they don't have time or money for spa services