A New Frontier

In 1929, a young boy named Stanley Rogers Resor spent the summer vacationing with family friends in the picturesque town of Jackson Hole, WY. After returning home, he shared his experiences and excitement about the beauty of the small town’s vistas, wildlife, and open-air environment with his father. The boy must have been quite convincing, because soon after hearing his son’s depiction, Stanley Burnet Resor purchased 400 acres of land in the area, site unseen. The next year, the Resor family moved into a pre-existing cabin on the land and began expanding the ranch into a functional and sustainable cattle operation. Eventually, the ranch became known as Snake River Ranch and grew into one of the largest in the area. Over time, other amenities were added, such as the famous Tom Fazio-designed golf course located to the south of the ranch near Fish Creek, which opened in July 2009, and most recently Shooting Star. Named after the West’s brilliant night sky, this planned residential community consists of 100 single-family home sites, 34 cabins, and 48 townhouses, most of which are adjoined to creeks and ponds. In addition to offering residents easy access to the golf course, nearby skiing and snowboarding at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and more than 1,800 acres of wide open space, last August, Shooting Star introduced The Spa at Shooting Star, an ideal respite for spa-goers to relax and unwind after a day of work or play.

Designed to reflect the natural beauty of Jackson Hole, the spa incorporates elements of nature and an array of calm, soothing colors throughout to help clients relax in an unpretentious atmosphere. The spa features seven treatment rooms, including a wet room, a couples’ suite with a private shower and a soaking tub, and a men’s massage room. The salon area currently offers manicures and pedicures, and hair services are going to be added to the menu shortly. The Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Lounges offer separate relaxation rooms, which can also be used for dining, and the locker facilities feature showers, steam rooms with starlit ceilings to reflect the nature theme, flat screen televisions, and stone fireplaces. “The beauty, history, and tranquility surrounding Jackson Hole inspired the entire design of Shooting Star Resort,” says spa director Michele Morman. “It is the same for the spa and our menu of carefully selected products and services.”

The treatment menu was thoughtfully designed to offer something for every type of spa-goer, whether they are looking to soothe muscles after a day on the slopes or the links, pure pampering, or romance. According to Morman, one of the most popular treatments is the Take Time for Two ($350, 2 hours), which includes a 60-minute massage of the couple’s choosing, a relaxing bathing experience in a private soaking tub with views of the golf course, and some relaxation time by a private fireplace, where couples can enjoy a glass of wine and the chef’s selection of specialty refreshments. “This experience has received compliments from our guests as one of the most luxurious and unique,” says Morman. For active spa-goers, the menu offers a number of treatments, including the First Ascent Sports Massage ($150, 60 minutes; $215, 90 minutes), which caters to athletes by loosening muscles prior to physical activity or stretching them afterward. Another popular treatment is the Secret Star Facial ($160, 60 minutes), which uses Alchimie Forever products to help combat dry mountain air by calming, soothing, and hydrating the skin.

There are also more clinical therapies on the menu, such as The Ossential Stimulator ($100, 30 minutes). Using ZO Skincare, this facial is designed to stimulate cellular turnover, lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improve skintone. As the spa menu states, “This no-frou-frou approach vows to fight aging hard.”

According to Morman, one of the challenges of running the spa is attracting men, which is particularly frustrating because so many guys are in the area playing golf or hitting the slopes. To help entice them, the menu offers a Gentlemen Preferred section highlighting treatments specifically for men, such as The Sportsman ($150, 60 minutes), a massage designed especially for the male body that is ideal for golfers who want to improve their swing or hikers in need of some muscle soothing after a workout.

The spa is open to both members and locals, although members do receive a priority discount. To attract visitors, Morman promotes the spa through the members’ website and a weekly email promotion, as well as newsletters that correspond with the current season. “Newspaper articles and club advertisements also help attract spa-goers,” says Morman. “But word-of-mouth is key.”

The spa can service approximately 50 clients a day, and to do so, it employs 16 therapists, estheticians, and nail technicians, most of whom are part-time. To find qualified staff members, Morman relied on references and also placed ads in local newspapers, which proved to be successful. “Aside from serving our members and guests, working with the staff is my favorite aspect of my job,” she says.

In keeping with the philosophy of both Jackson Hole and Shooting Star itself, Morman plans to keep the spa intimate and friendly with a twist of modern sophistication that appeals to a high-end clientele. And, according to her, that is exactly who The Spa at Shooting Star is attracting. “It has been wonderful to see that our culture, and our guests in particular, have begun to realize that spa treatments are good for overall health and wellness, not just frivolous pampering.”