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Private Clubs Scramble to Address Emerging Market Demands for Spa & Wellness Lifestyle

Posted on January 8, 2020

One of the most important amenity expansions the Club could undertake as wellness continues to be a key driving factor for our market. You’ll see below, that technology often leads to lifestyle changes. In the case of health and wellness, it’s been a game-changer. The emerging market ranks this among its top priorities when selecting a home. Here are a few insights we wanted to share:

Trends that Make Wellness a Top Priority

PSYCHOGRAPHIC SHIFT: Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials are ALL focused on wellness: nutrition, longevity, disease prevention, stress reduction, and alternative medicines. They are dedicated to wellness, devoting time and money to exercising, and eating right. This is a long-term shift in psychographics, not a short-term fade.

STAY COMPETITIVE: Competition for market share among Clubs is increasing with a smaller audience. Competitors are updating constantly, and spa/fitness are among the top priorities. It’s necessary to evolve to remain competitive.

TECHNOLOGY ADVANCES WELLNESS FOCUS: Technology is driving the Wellness Focus: When the Apple Watch was first announced in late 2014, the public’s reaction was, “Why?” Why do I need a mini phone on my wrist when my phone is in my pocket? Now, five years later, the answer is clear: Thanks to rapid advances in technology, the Apple Watch and other wearable fitness trackers aren’t so much mini smartphones as they are personalized health-care devices, arming users with easy-to-digest snapshots of their activity and recovery data in order to optimize their health and wellness. And in 2020, new gadgets, features, and health-care applications for this tech will reach more people than ever before.

TOTAL LIFESTYLE IMMERSION: Total lifestyle immersion is trending in both Clubs and hospitality. Wellness extends to the food and beverage program, integrating specialty diets and nutritional value into the menus. Spa, fitness, events and dining staff should work hand-in-hand to create a total lifestyle approach at private clubs.

WELLNESS REAL ESTATE: According to The Global Wellness Institute, more and more of us are considering proximity to wellness facilities when looking for a place to live. This has sparked an emerging trend of ‘wellness real estate’: private clubs focused around ensuring optimal health among residents

WELLNESS TRAVEL: Wellness will continue to dominate the travel industry, with retreats due to become even more niche. Health and Fitness Travel predict there will be an increase in things like “pain moons” (anti-honeymoons following a bad experience), divorce retreats, and sugar detox holidays. Meanwhile airlines and airports will be working to make flying healthier, with new health and wellness programs being implemented to combat long travel times, disrupted sleep and stress, according to The Global Wellness Institute.

NATURE WELLNESS: In its 2019 report, The Global Wellness Summit highlighted the increasing interest surrounding the health benefits of being in nature. This is in part due to shifting demographics: while in 1950 around 30 percent of the world’s population lived in urban areas, by 2018 that figure rose to 55 percent, and it’s predicted that by 2050 68 percent of us will. More people are living in settings with little or no nature, and they have a new appreciation for it. Forest bathing, a Japanese practice which simply means immersing yourself in a forest setting, is one of this year’s biggest buzzwords, with many wellness retreats including it in programs. Interest in surrounding plants, flowers and gardening has surged.

HOLISTIC LIFESTYLE PRACTICES: More people are adopting holistic practices into their everyday lives. New spa trends show a new level of emphasis:
• Wellness is becoming more family-friendly, with children being encouraged to be active from a young age. We’re seeing an increase in digital apps designed to teach children about mindfulness, while family members clubs now offer kindness classes for children.
• IV Drips Americans have long been using IV drips to boost immunity. Wellness and lifestyle clubs have also added IV drips to their repertoire, featuring detoxifying, anti-aging, anti-oxidizing and hydrating therapies alongside booster intramuscular shots – all of which can be enjoyed while watching tranquil scenes via a VR headset. Designed to recharge the system, IV drips can help tackle everything from jet lag to stress to aging to hangovers, or simply to give your body a reboot before a holiday or big event.

GOLF ISN’T ENOUGH ANYMORE: “Our focus is all on the golfing guest,” says Steve Harker, Disney Golf, which offers 81 holes of golf on four 18-hole championship courses and a 9-hole family-play course. “There are so many choices to make when picking a golf course to play on, so we know we have to do things to cultivate a relationship with each golfer.” While convenient for guests, spa services are being integrated with golf resorts to stay on top of the trends to remain competitive, win customers and hold on to them.

For Country Club managers facing real estate and marketing challenges, Cotton & Company’s experienced team is ready to develop a program that resonates with the emerging market. With membership sales and real estate often going hand in hand, the Cotton Solution provides cost-effective methodology to create new interest in aging communities. Additional case studies are showcased in Solutions magazine. Sign up for the Cotton Compendium to stay updated on news relative to the real estate and private club industries.