Yesterday, managing editor Nanci McArdle and I (pictured here with Yotel's resident mascot) attended the sixth annual SpaExec event at Yotel New York. This popular networking event involved a vendor showcase; a keynote speech on Expanding an Iconic Brand by George Lopez, general manager for the recently opened flagship Red Door Spa in New York City; and a panel discussion on Running a Successful Urban Spa. Lopez; Jill Carlen, general manager of Bliss 57 (New York City); Sandra Sadowski, director of spa & fitness at La Prairie at The Ritz-Carlton Spa (New York City); and Bruce Schoenberg, owner of Oasis Day Spas (New York City) shared their thoughts on the state of the industry as well as some of the challenges they face in running an urban spa. One of the biggest challenges noted was the discounting practiced by spas offering Groupons and other various deals. The overall consensus was that such deals were definitely not good for business. Instead, the panel suggested rewarding loyal clients and offering value-added incentives to attract new spa-goers. The evening concluded with a fun-filled cocktail party, which served as the perfect way to top off a day at IECSC New York.
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