I just finished an article for Les Nouvelles Esthetiques & Spa
American Edition about the Hotel Spa 2009 projections. Such high hopes had been given to double digit growth for these lodging related spas that hotels and resorts couldn't build them fast enough. Now with occupancy rates flat for the first time since 9/11 many of these spas are bracing for a rough year. I spoke with many industry consultants who believe it is like anything else in an overinflated market, time for an adjustment. Many spas that were put together without much thought or sustainability are finding empty treatments rooms. Spas traditionally do well in hard economic times, after all, people still want and NEED to pamper themselves. This economic slump has a very different feel to it though. For the first time it affected me personally. My husband got laid off in November and if it hadn't been for his second job driving pizza around we would have been in far worse shape. Gloom doomers and naysayers on tv and radio, newsprint and internet warned the public to not spend at local small businesses, heck even bigger businesses for fear they wouldn't be around to fulfill the gift cards. What ever dollars people would have spent to keep the ecomony moving forward got lodged somewhere inbetween fact and fiction. So what is normally a high season of gift cards with an opportunity to finally head into the black and out of the red left many businesses short. Good news for me is at least there's cash in the coffers this winter, unlike Januarys past with weeks of gift card usage , can you say anybody got any cash?? Anyone?? I guess it all evens out in the wash. As for me, well my husband did land another job that started after the first of the year, 2nd shift so I can't remember what he looks like, but we're digging back out. As for Natural Beauty, restructuring made a big difference in the business dynamics and saved me a lot of dollars the new administration was likely to take back anyways. So what is the point after all this rambling? Everyone is going through their own economic conditions that are quite different. Spewing more negativity will only make the economic slide more slippery with more casualties. Staying positive, while realistic is the only way to ensure survival. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I'll post a link to the article when it comes out.