Pulse September 2020 | Page 52

PULSE POINTS BY JOSH CORMAN Reopening Updates THROUGHOUT THE ONGOING CORONA- VIRUS PANDEMIC, ISPA has used monthly Snapshot Surveys to provide members with detailed insights into the spa industry’s response to COVID-19, its massive reopening efforts and the creative adjustments it has made so that guests and staff can feel safe as they return to spas around the globe. The June Snapshot Survey continued this trend to a degree, but its scope was broadened to capture additional data about the day-to-day practices and experiences of spa owners and operators who had already reopened. By mid-June, just over 60 percent of spas had already reopened, and an additional 21 percent reported a planned reopening date of July 15 or earlier. Because such a substantial number of spas had resumed operations at the time the June survey was conducted, the data it collected is largely rooted in the actual—rather than the planned or anticipated—experiences of those working in spas as guests returned. After months of concern that treatment menus would be forced to shrink drastically due to physical distancing restrictions, early reopening figures suggest that, with a couple of exceptions, guests still have access to a broad range of services at most spas. Massage (95 percent) and nail services (98 percent) remain almost universally available, while in-person fitness or yoga classes (68 percent), body wraps or scrubs (75 percent) and waxing services (81 percent) were still offered in a large majority of reopened spas. Encouragingly, facials—a service that many suspected might remain absent from menus for a considerable period—remained available in 80 percent of reopened spas. Saunas and steam rooms, however, remain unavailable to guests at nearly three quarters (72 percent) of all spas. Surely, guests will be excited to find services so widely available when they return to spas. They will likely also be pleased to find that those services will, in the vast majority of cases, cost the same amount as before the pandemic. Although 10 percent have raised prices (likely to offset the added expense associated with heightened sanitation efforts and other protective measures for guests), 90 percent of the spas that had reopened by the end of June had not changed their pricing or even decreased it. Not all of the figures surrounding reopening were quite as positive, however, as limitations on spa capacity and strained budgets made it challenging to restore staffing to pre-pandemic levels. Just 23 percent of reopened spas were able to bring back all of their staff members by the For another look at this crucial Snapshot Survey, turn to this month’s “Snapshot Survey” feature on page 58, where you can read spas’ answers to the survey’s short response questions and learn more about how COVID-19 is affecting resource partners. 40 PULSE ■ SEPTEMBER 2020