ISPA Profile
Experience ISPA

Monday, January 28, 2013

Prepping Your Spa for a Big Event

ISPA member Debra Oakley, Spa Director at The Roosevelt New Orleans, shared how the staff at Guerlain Spa is preparing for this year’s biggest event in the NFL: Super Bowl XLVII…

The biggest sporting event in the world is a week away.  I was just driving around the city this afternoon and you can feel the energy.  Streets are being paved, blimps are flying overhead, tents are being put up for VIP functions and the phones are starting to ring now that we know San Francisco and Baltimore will meet in Super Bowl XLVII. 

This will be my first experience working in the host city for the Super Bowl.  Part of me feels like I don’t know what to expect and part of me can’t wait to see the excitement.  Not to mention that it is occurring in the midst of a little thing called Mardi Gras!

I have had requests for complete sell outs of the spa, dating back to last July.  Demand is high.  As tempting as it would have been to accent the sell out of the spa months in advance, this was not feasible.   I needed to keep in mind that we have a hotel full of VIP guests coming to New Orleans that will be looking forward to spa treatments in Guerlain Spa.  So, with that in mind, we decided to pre-sell about 30 percent of spa appointments to groups not staying at The Roosevelt.  All groups have paid 100 percent in advance and may not cancel within two weeks prior to February 1.  The remainder of the appointments are blocked for hotel guests.  In addition to creating a Super Bowl themed spa menu (which generated some great press coverage!), I limited the spa services to 50-minutes to maximize the number of services offered.  The Super Bowl Spa Menu also features premium pricing--$195 for a 50-minute massage or facial (usually we charge $140).  We have had no price resistance at all.

To boost our sales of spa treatments, we also are planning on having a table in the lobby of the hotel to promote the spa, and with our iPad, we will be able to book treatments and sell retail on the spot!  Got to love the technology.

Of course the spa team has been looking forward to this weekend as well.  We have extended our hours—opening an hour earlier, and closing two hours later than usual.   One challenge that we, as a hotel have been focusing on is traffic and street closures.  We review the current street closures almost daily, now that we are a week away.  Everyone has made a plan on how to make sure they get to work on time. 

I look forward to following up with you on how we managed during Super Bowl weekend.  The countdown has begun!

Debra Oakley – ISPA Member
Spa Director at Guerlain Spa, The Roosevelt New Orleans

To learn more about the International SPA Association or to participate in the ISPA Blog, please contact