Macho Macho Spa
Why the Spa Industry is Partially at Fault for Fewer Men Enjoying Massages, Facials and Other Spa Treatments
by Susie Ellis
The spa industry has attracted more women than men here in the U.S. ever since I can remember. When I started in the industry in 1975, although there weren’t statistics, my guess is that the ratio of women to men was likely 95% to 5%. The industry figure is currently 70% to 30% although if broken down by resort/hotel versus day spas, there are more men at resorts/hotels (approximately 60% to 40%) than at day spas (approximately 80% to 20%).
In my opinion, part of the reason we haven’t reached 50%/50% yet is our own fault.
Here is why – illustrated by some recent spa visits.
Peter and I visited the beautiful new spa in Bedford Springs, PA. As we were driving home, we compared notes. I loved the spacious locker room and beautifully tiled wet area…the experience showers, the steam room, soaking pool, cool plunge mineral pool, etc. Peter said “What do you mean spacious?” The men’s room was so crowded I couldn’t undress without knocking into someone and I didn’t even bother getting into the Jacuzzi.” We discovered that the men’s area was much, much smaller than the women’s. And this is a brand new spa!
Also on our way home, we stopped to see the Hershey Spa, also in PA. During our tour we were told that because they have a great deal of female business, they had just turned their men’s locker room (which was smaller to begin with) into a second women’s locker room and relocated the men into an even smaller facility down the hall. Peter was so disappointed – on top of the “downgrade,” the men’s steam room was out of order too.
Rancho La Puerta in Mexico is another example. Amazing facilities for women….and a very small and much older facility for men. Even though Rancho La Puerta is a fabulous place for men (my husband loves it), I am sure men are continually reminded that the welcome mat seems favor the women.
Fortunately, there are examples of spas which have given men and women equal facilities. One is the new Lodge at Woodloch in Hawley, PA. If this were standard for the future, my prediction is that we would get to a 50/50 ratio of men to women spa-goers much sooner.
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