Do You Need to Hire a Traffic Planner for Your Spa?

26 09 2009

 

STOP, BACK UP, TO THE LEFT, A LITTLE MORE, FOLLOW THAT CORRIDOR…..NOW YOU’RE READY FOR YOUR RELAXING MASSAGE

When assembling your team of experts and consultants for a new spa related direct your spa trafficproject, you don’t typically think of adding a state or city traffic planner to your team.  But should you?

The impact of avoiding congestion, underestimated space, and calculating flow and function is why many large scale spa brands are seeking the counsel of city traffic planners. With 18,000 – 80,000 square feet to be considered at some of these destination and mixed use spas, it’s no wonder they seek counsel.

There is one thing about spa planning and layout, just as with any other project management. Do it right the first time! I’ve seen too many spa projects: Start up’s and renovations get a VERY expensive education on what to do and not do in spa planning. Pay for your MBA at University, not on the job training with your project.

So why city traffic planners? Because they focus on things like bottlenecks, connectivity, and flow. Because your infrastructure and function push your traffic (clients) where you want them to be, at the time you want them to be there, while still maintaining a high traffic flow and the illusion of tranquility and space. 

Do you want your high paying luxury destination guests annoyed there are too many people in the hammam at peak hours, or that the siesta room is not siesta-worthy, or the organic juice bar does not meet their needs because of underestimated planning? I doubt it, unless you want your budgets not to be met, and unsettled investors on your back.

Let’s create an example of a large mixed use spa being built in Egypt or Beirut.  This will take a bit of knowledge about architecture, landscape architecture, civil & structural engineering, historical preservation, sociology, cultural history,  local talent access, local healing traditions, customs and labor laws, and possibly even immigration.  Not to mention consultants experienced in spa concepts, marketing, training and launch. Guess what, an urban planner or traffic engineer is very likely among this mix too.

Much of the above applies to nationally built spas as well as foreign built spas, however the issues of navigating foreign lands and laws increases the need for these. And since many of the large spas brands (BuddhaAttitude, Rosewood, Six Senses, ESPA) are launching in more remote, and more foreign wide open spaces, (Jordan, Damascus, Qatar, Maldives) the assembly of the project management team with the skill set above  is  first and foremost.

Here are some of the similarities amongst spa planning and traffic planning:

  • 1. Preserving useful and open spaces
  • 2. Be forward thinking for future growth and increased use/traffic
  • 3. Creative construction and solutions around existing or difficult areas
  • 4. Smart management and direction through the areas once they are built
  • 5. Reduction or elimination (in spas) of congestion that keeps flow and funtion going
  • 6. Managing the investment and getting the best market pricing

There is a high cost to congestion, even in spas. Planners of all types are there to help you solve your traffic flow problems and ensure your guests will float away in bliss, leaving a long trail of positive testimonials with everyone they meet, resulting in increased branding and traffic for you.  A traffic 2public relations dream.

In the meantime, keep the traffic jams to a minimum.

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2 responses

11 10 2009
John

This is a good article. I never thought about it. I just want to keep the place full at all times.

18 06 2010
Sharon

John hit the nail on the head. Spa owners want the spa to be full at all times. It may turn off some of the clients who want a more low key experience, but to stay in business the spa needs a steady stream of clients.

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