Previously Featured Spas
M Resort Spa Mio
Hard Rock Hotel - Reliquary Spa
Nurture Spa and Salon
Qua Baths & Spa
New York New York, The Spa
Spa Costa Del Sur
The Spa at Ceasars Palace
Spa Vita Di Lago-Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas
M Resort-Spa Mio
Spa Director – Kate Wind
Kate runs the show at the beautiful 30,000 square foot Spa Mio salon, spa and fitness
center. Living the spa life at the M Resort means enjoying tranquility with a spectacular view of the resort pool and the skyline of the Las Vegas Strip. Spa Mio offers
16 treatment rooms with steam, sauna, hot tub wet areas, a full-service salon and state-of-the-art fitness center.
- People love the M; tell us about life at the end of the strip.
We don’t look at our location as a disadvantage instead we look at it as an advantage. We aren’t in the heart of all the hustle and bustle so guests can park right outside the resort and walk in quickly. We’re a Four Star rated spa and salon, one of only 108 in the world, so guests are going to receive personalized service and “Strip-quality” amenities, but in a convenient location with affordable price points.
We know our spa is a little farther away for some people so our goal is to provide a one-of-a- kind, service-oriented experience to make it worth the drive. It’s all about the little things – recognizing our guests by name, remembering what they liked, recommending things to enhance their experience – it’s the personal touches that our guests remember.
- Spa Mio means “my spa” what does that mean for your guests?
Spa Mio is their oasis. It’s their destination to relax, whether they are a hotel guest or a local. When guests arrive at our spa they know they will be able to escape from reality at an affordable price.
- How does your Psychology degree from UNLV help you working with your staff?
I use my Psychology degree on a daily basis especially when it comes to listening. It helps me better understand the dynamics of team member relations and different learning styles. From a business perspective it certainly helps to understand human behavior and how it affects purchase decisions. I’m able to better merchandise my retail, from where products should be displayed to what scents should be used, in order to maximize profits.
- It’s been said you have one of the best fitness centers in town, what makes it unique?
The view and the equipment set us apart. Our fitness center overlooks our resort pool and cabanas which provide natural lighting and beautiful scenery. There’s nothing quite like looking out at the pool to get you motivated to work out!
We also get many compliments on the assortment of cardio, strength machines and free weights that we offer. We have great variety including rowing machines, step mill and cross trainers – pretty much all the essential tools for a healthy lifestyle. The Dumbell Man ensures all our equipment is in great working condition, making sure our fitness center operates at top-notch!
- If you didn’t live in Las Vegas you’d love to live….
I really can’t think of a better city to live in. I love Las Vegas. I was born here and I believe the city offers so many business adventures for me and others.
Kate can be reached at: email@example.com
Hard Rock Hotel-Reliquary Spa
Spa Director – John Marushok
John is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the spa, salon and fitness center for both the Rock Spa which now serves as the hotel fitness amenity and the new Reliquary Spa and Brannon Hair Salon. A native of Pennsylvania, John arrived at the Hard Rock nine years ago as a personal fitness trainer and has been moving up the ranks ever since.
- Tell us about your fitness background:
After graduating high school in Whitehall Pennsylvania, I earned a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Iowa in 1988. After a short time as Strength and Conditioning coach at the University of Nebraska, I went on to Graduate with a Masters in Education from “The Ohio State University”. I also spent two years as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Buckeye football, baseball and soccer teams from 1989 to 1991.
- I understand you “married up”…
I have been happily married to my beautiful wife Kimberley for 13 years. She is the explanation of why my two daughters are so beautiful. My oldest is 11 and on top of being an all straight “A” honor student; (again from my wife) she has been somewhat of a young basketball star.
My 8 year old is a duplicate of me; she has never ending energy, is extremely determined, aggressive and loves money. She is going to make some man very miserable and broke one day.
- Tell us a little about the HRH facilities :
I am responsible for the overseeing day to day ops of all 3 facilities; The Rock Spa Fitness Center, Brannon Hair Salon and Reliquary our new spa that opened in December of 2010.
The new spas and salon are a combined 25,000 square feet and are both located in the HRH tower on the second floor. Reliquary has 20 treatment rooms that include 2 aesthetics rooms, 2 Vicci shower rooms, 2 couple’s rooms, 13 massage treatment rooms and a 4 person party room for bigger groups looking to have a different experience.
We have our own juice and gourmet coffee bar which also is stocked with top shelf selections for our guests. The bar is especially useful when relaxing in or around our feature bathhouse. The bathhouse is a roman themed coed Jacuzzi that is kept at a relaxing 94 degrees to encourage a social setting.
It is available for parties and functions but mostly it is great to bring your significant and relax in one of the city’s most unique spa atmospheres.
Reliquary also features a state of the art equipped fitness center for our spa guest use and our very own pole dancing studio. We have hosted nearly 300 pole parties’ year to date and while this is original to the spa environment, it is certainly a perfect fit for the Hard Rock.
- If you were to get a real “day off” you spend it doing...
My perfect day off is getting up, take my dog for a walk followed by a 7am round of golf. After golf, I’d love to take my daughters to the park and beat them at 2 on 1 basketball to make myself feel better about my age. If I feel bad about beating them down on the hard court, I will take them out for Ribs but if not, it’s Villa Pizza for everyone. After dinner, I love to just hang out with my wife and watch a great movie (or Rambo part II) and relax. Of course Spa Directors are also great wine connoisseurs so there is never a shortage of that or Grey Goose at the house.
John can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Luxor-Nurture Spa and Salon
Director – Trish Mittelstadt
Trish is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the spa and salon which recently renovated. She also oversees the Oasis pool. A graduate of UNLV with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Political Science, and a Master of Science degree in Hotel Administration. Trish volunteers her time for with the MGM MIRAGE Voice Foundation.
Tell us what is new with the spa and salon at Luxor.
The salon just opened in December so our focus is making sure our guests know we now have a salon. For both areas our main focus is growing volume. The spa has remained steady, but we can always do better. We are working on our promotions for the year and integrating both the menus. I also want to focus on growing a local clientele.
- After a career change what do you love about spa management?
I like the challenge of running an operation. You never have the same day twice. It’s a lot of fun getting to pick out new product lines, or changing a menu. I had a lot of fun opening the salon. I was a part of it from start to finish which was an awesome experience.
- What are some of things you’re doing to cut costs or creating to bring in new revenue?
I really want to reach out to the local clientele. We also started yielding prices from weekday to weekend in the spa. We do seasonal packages, and holiday promotions.
- What is something the LVSA membership needs to know about Trish?
I take ballet and hope to be on point by the end of the year.
- What are you doing if and when you get a vacation?
In the summer I will be at a beach, and in the winter I will be snowboarding.
Trish can be reached at: email@example.com
Qua Baths & Spa
Director – Chrystal King
Chrystal King serves in the dual role of director for both Qua Baths & Spa and Color Salon at the world-renowned Caesars Palace. Together, Qua Baths and Spa and Color Salon offer nearly 122 unique spa and salon treatments. Qua features 51 treatment studios in addition to the spa’s signature Roman Baths and the destination’s first Arctic Ice room. Chrystal has a Bachelor of Science degree in the science of natural health from Clayton College and more than 13 years of experience in the hospitality industry.
- Tell where you’re from and how you got to Las Vegas. I am one of the few natives to Las Vegas. I went to Bonanza High School and love this city. There are so many people from other areas. It makes it very easy to have lots of friends with diverse back grounds.
- You oversee both the spa and salon, are they different skills? Very different skill sets. Managing artists in both areas but different in how they express themselves to each other and their clients. The key is to find out how to motivate each individual and coach your management to express these qualities. Our goal is to make sure that we remain one team offering two types of service, so the guest has a nice flow in their experiences here with us.
- What is something unique about the guest experience at Qua? Our most unique feature is the Artic Ice Room, where it snows everyday in Vegas. The room is kept at 55 degrees and ice chips are available to exfoliate the skin. With the temperatures rising in the summer a snow filled retreat is welcoming for our guests.
- What have you done “creative” to survive in this market? We offered the associate rate for a classic massage and lifting and firming facial to our hotel guests. The rate was originally meant to help educate staff around Caesars so they could refer guests to the spa. This was such a success we experimented with the offering Monday through Wednesday to hotel guests and locals. The business has tripled on those days and the therapists are happy to have the regular clientele. We also rearranged the retail area outside the facial artist’s rooms. We now serve hot white teas while the guest sits in comfortable chairs and couches and the artists recommends products. This allows the guest to really take their time and look through the product area. The retail revenue is up 45% since the change.
- After the spa what is next for Chrystal? I am looking to move into a destination spa or adventure resort atmosphere outside of Las Vegas. I truly enjoy educating guests on how to make positive lifestyle changes while relaxing and enjoying life. I spend most of my personal time outdoors and would love for that to become more of my professional self as well. I will never leave the spa; this is a lifestyle and what I was meant to do.
Chrystal can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
MGM Grand – The Spa
Pooneh was born in Los Angeles but raised in Las Vegas where she attended college, graduating with a degree in Business Administration. She started at MGM MIRAGE in 1993 and most recently was the Spa Manager at the Bellagio and the Spa & Salon Director at TI. As Director of Recreational Services at the MGM Grand she oversees 250 employees.
- Directing the spa utilizes your business and management skills, what else is important? Having the patience and the understanding to work with different personalities and expectations. Also, wanting to tap into your creative self is very important and necessary.
- When you started at Bellagio what was your interest in Spa Management? I wanted to learn something new and exciting. I wanted to be more involved in operations and guest service and learn about different amenities that the hotels provide. And I love getting massages.
- What the worst thing about living in Las Vegas these days? Allergies, no seriously, I would have to say that it is a town that relies on a thriving economy.
- What does Pooneh like to do for fun? I love to go to the movies and I love Bikram Yoga…
- I understand you have a great voice. If you had a music career would you be a rapper or rock star? Definitely a rapper…
- Who do you look up to and why? I look up to the many individuals that give their lives to serve our country and provide us the luxury of freedom. It is the most selfless act of all and takes great courage and sacrifice.
Pooneh can be reached at: email@example.com
New York New York - The Spa
Recreation Services Manager –Kimberly Weber
Reopened in August of 2007 after 10 years, the redesigned spa incorporates the fundamental elements of nature, offering guests an ideal way to escape the urban hustle and bustle and ground themselves in ultimate relaxation. The 6,500 sq. foot spa offers a variety of treatments and amenities. As Recreation Services Manager at New York-New York Hotel and Casino, Kimberly oversees all aspects of the Spa and Pool operations.
- You’re from Pennsylvania, how’d you get to Las Vegas? Well, after growing up in Pittsburgh, I knew I wanted to be far away from cold weather! I moved to Tampa, FL for college. Then, after college I came out to Vegas to see what the West had to offer. I’ve been here for 4 years and it’s been quite an adventure!
- You oversee both the pool and spa, do you get two salaries? That would be fantastic! But no, I still receive one. I have great employees and a great boss to help with both departments, so I have the benefits of two great teams!
- What is something unique about the NYNY Spa? What’s unique about The Spa is that it’s constantly reinventing itself… kind of like Madonna. For instance, we have one room that is actually located outside the spa. It was originally a barber shop, then a facial room and it is now a Nail Treatment Room. My office actually used to be a spray tan room!
- You’re working on a MBA, what’s the next goal? I love the business aspect of the Spa world. My MBA is in International Business, so I plan on taking my skills global. I would love to oversee many spas and spa development throughout different countries.
- Does NYNY get a lot of New Yorkers...I mean Yankee fans? We sure do! Typically I meet at least one a day here in the spa!
Kimberly can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Westin Casuarina Hotel - Hibiscus Spa
Spa Director –Stephanie Doud
The Hibiscus Spa at the Westin Casuarina gives you time to relax, workout or release your stress and tensions. The 10,000 square foot spa features 14 treatment rooms, dry and wet saunas and a full service salon. Stephanie Doud has been the Spa Director since May 2006.
- Tell us about the Westin Brand and how the spa fits.
Westin, which is part of the Starwood family (ie. W, Sheraton, St. Regis) strives to give a more personal touch to each of our guests experience. We want each of our guests stay to be relaxing and renewing and that is where the spa fits in. Each spa experience for our guests is refreshing, calming, and gives them a moment to step away for the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas and have a moment to spoil themselves.
- What were you doing before the Westin? What’s your background?
Prior to working at the Westin I worked for five years at The Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas, TX as the Spa Director. I have also been very involved with ISPA and a part of their education committees and several different task forces. I was a contributing writer for the Supervisory Skill Builder books, the Standard Operating Procedures Manual, and the Code of Ethics which is published through ISPA.
- What could be the next challenge career-wise?
As far as the future and challenges, I would like to be more involved with educating and helping others that are interested in becoming a Spa Director or are new to the field. I think that there is a huge challenge within our industry for several years to find knowledgeable individuals that can successfully run a spa.
- What is a tip you might give a vendor new to Las Vegas?
New vendors…. But by far the best way for new vendors to become acclimated to Vegas is to join the LVSA, it is a great way to meet Spa Directors and really network in a more comfortable, fun environment.
Becoming a member of the LVSA is how I met all of the great Spa Directors and made new friends when I first moved to Las Vegas.
- What celebrity does everyone say you look like?
Hmmm….For awhile I had a lot of people say that I look like Emma Thompson after she did the movie Dead Again, but that is not a comment that I hear very often.
Stephanie can be reached at: email@example.com
Well Spa –Platinum Hotel
Spa Director –Courtney McGovern
The Well Spa at The Platinum is an oasis in the Nevada desert. The WELL Spa and beauty lounge is a source of replenishment and rejuvenation, with 20 treatment rooms, fitness center, and indoor and outdoor pools. Courtney opened the spa for Marcus Hotels and Resorts in 20006. Prior to her appointment at the Platinum she was the Spa Director at the Treasure Island.
- Wow what a property! How is biz at the Platinum?
It’s great! It has been so wonderful to see our business grow. We have an amazing amount of local guests who keep coming back. The team at the WELL Spa is so talented, I understand why.
- I understand you studied at UNLV is this correct?
I attended UNLV from 1998-2002. I studied hotel administration where I earned my BS. It was a great experience and I am looking forward to the collaboration between the University and the LVSA.
- How has the LVSA helped with your career?
The LVSA has allowed me to foster and grow relationships with spa professionals in Las Vegas. I now have this amazing group of friends who will let me borrow a therapist or pedicure slippers when I need them!
- As a professional, where do you see yourself in five years?
That’s a hard one….hopefully 5 years from now I will be able to get someone to call me consistently and want to get married and have kids. I love my work and this industry, but ultimately family is my priority.
- What’s was your best class in grammar school?
I had the BEST penmanship at Birches Elementary (and pretty cute pig tails too!)
Courtney can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Spa Costa Del Sur – South Point Hotel
Director of Spa Operations-Deirdre Strunk
Water, fire, glass and stone are organic elements that merge harmoniously at South Point’s Spa Costa Del Sur. The 20,000 square foot spa features 20 treatment rooms and a spectacular 3000 square foot fitness center. This unique Las Vegas spa setting also includes cascading waterfalls and stone fireplaces.
- As a director what are one or two major challenges?
You know as a director we face small challenges but, with such an amazing team. I am very lucky that I don’t really have too many.
- Have locals been good for business?
Local business has really been amazing and more than I ever expected in our first few months of opening. We love the local clientele and they help us stay busy when the hotel occupancy is down.
- Has the “Girl Friends” package been popular?
This package has been the most popular package on the menu. Girlfriends love to come in together and stay all day. This package is three hours of services. I believe it has been so popular because the guests get to choose any fifty minute massage, facial and body treatment on the menu for only $300.00.
- What service sells better: simple or signature?
Of course Swedish massage is the most popular but for body treatments there is something about when you say signature that feels very special and unique.
- What’s the best part of your day?
I love interacting with my staff. I have such an amazing team they make coming to work everyday awesome. I love watching the team interact with the guest and put their passion into each service. The best part I would have to say is watching the staff become more and more successful not just money wise but in life they grow so much from the time they start in the field in so many ways and it feels good to have a little hand in that.
Deirdre can be reached at: email@example.com
Spa Director - Michelle Wilkos
In addition to operating the 65,000 square foot Spa Bellagio, Michelle is currently consulting on the new MGM Mirage$7 billion CityCenter development set to open in 2009. The largest privately financed construction project in U.S. history will consist of an 18-million-sq.-ft. complex of hotels, shops, casinos, and residence. It will be roughly the size of Rockefeller Center, SoHo and Times Square combined.
- Sounds like you have two jobs, is that correct? Sure does most days. While I have been very fortunate to work on City Center, it would not be possible without the great staff of co-workers to assist with the day to day operations of the spa. My spa manager, my salon manager and our entire staff are the best any director could ask for!
- How many total employees does Spa Bellagio employ? Currently, between the spa and salon we have approximately 435 employees. We cover a variety spa treatments and therapies; from our aquatic Watsu Massage to a Royal Shave in the Barber shop.
- What can you tell us about CityCenter? My main focus has been on the new spa within the 4,000 room casino hotel. In addition there will be two other hotels and three condominium towers. In creating such unique setting MGM has partnered with the best names in architectural design, I’m extremely proud to be part of it.
- Does your art background help? I’ve learned so much with the opportunity to travel and visit other world class resorts and spas. My education in art and experience in operations has allowed me to help our design team at CityCenter with concepts both unique and practical.
- How does someone so busy relax? I prefer pajamas, a book, with a glass of wine and my sofa!
Michelle can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Spa at Caesars Palace
Spa Director-Jennifer Lynn
Jennifer Lynn, a true Las Vegas native, has returned to the desert to oversee the 30,000 square foot Spa and Salon at Caesars Palace. Jennifer Lynn spent many years in Las Vegas as Spa and Salon Director at Treasure Island and Bellagio. For the last four years, Jennifer has been consulting on the development of new resort spas around the country.
Putting her operations and consulting skills to the test, Jennifer has set forth to open one of the grandest resort spas Las Vegas has yet to see. The new Spa is scheduled to open in Summer 2006 as part of a $376 million expansion at the property.
Jennifer can be reached at: email@example.com
- Is Caesars the most recognized casino name in the world? Caesars Palace has a long and respected tradition of being a premiere gaming facility. The Caesars Palace name and logo are recognizable around the world.
- What are the challenges to running and building a spa simultaneously? Not enough time in the day. The demands of operations are full-time and the demands of designing and developing a 50,000 square foot facility are full-time also, so technically I have two jobs.
- Do you get two paychecks? No, and I don’t even want to know what my hourly rate would equate to right now.
- Will the new spa “...do as the Romans do”? Centered around our opulent Roman Baths, the spa experience will be reminiscent of the bathing traditions treasured by the Romans of the past. To tease your spa appetite, we will feature heated stone lounging chaises, Artic Ice Room, Thermal Lanconium Room and Sky Showers. Our new spa will not just be larger, we will set the standard for the execution of quality spa service.
- What the best thing about Las Vegas now that you’re back? Being close to my friends, my family and being a part of the most exciting to happen to the spa industry in Las Vegas.
Spa Vita Di Lago
Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas
Spa Director-Victoria Gulickson
The 30,000 square foot Spa vita Di lago is located in the 392-room Ritz Carlton Hotel, which opened in 2002. Victoria Gulickson, Spa Director since 2004 oversees 65 Spa and Salon employees, 24 treatment rooms and a 2000 square foot fitness center.
- What is the secret to the Ritz-Carlton style of service? The selection process. The Quality Selection Process (QSP) helps to find people that possess the talent for their positions. It is a way of measuring talent.
- How did you get into the spa biz? By accident. Many moons ago Ritz-Carlton was developing their fitness programming and clubs, some of that was put on hold, and so Ritz-Carlton said “while we are waiting can you do something else for us?” And that turned out to be the spa.
- Who has inspired you most in you career? The founder of Ritz-Carlton, Horst Schultze. He taught me what excellence is. He taught me to never compromise, because when you compromise it makes an exception.
- Best thing about being a Spa Director. Two things; one, I get to work in an environment that just smells good all the time. Two, I get to make little differences in people’s lives every day.
- Any advice for other Spa Directors/ Spa Owners…. Never focus on the stumbling blocks or the little things, focus on the bigger picture and the change you are making in the world.
- Favorite job... Fitness and personal trainer. I loved it! It gave me a chance to change people’s lives in a positive manner.
- Favorite Vacation Spot…. Anywhere new I get to visit with my husband. I was married in January this year and being with him is like being on vacation.
Victoria can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Director Profile – Chuck Oliverio, Mirage Spa
The 20,000 square foot Mirage Spa is located in the 3000-room Mirage Hotel, which opened in 1989. Chuck Oliverio, Spa Director since 2002 oversees 85 Spa and Salon Mirage employees, 25 treatment rooms and a 2000 square foot fitness center.
What experience did you bring to the job of spa director?
I was the GM of a Golds Gym in Buffalo NY and the Leisure Services Manager at the Rio Hotel, overseeing the Spa, Salon and Pool.
What’s one thing you’ve added to the Mirage Spa that makes you proud?
An infectious personality!
What does the future of spas in Las Vegas look like?
Larger, more beautiful and more competitive. A major source of entertainment for Las Vegas visitors.
If you expand, how will you balance the need for quality while dramatically increasing quantity?
Good management, proper training, hiring the right people! Training, training, training.
How does Chuck-O let loose after a long day at the spa?
A workout after work...3 mile run and a full body body-pump workout….then maybe a cold beer instead of a protein shake.
I see you workout, what’s your bench?
Back in the day or right now?…was 375...understand…and now I’m lucky if I get 320.
If you were not a Spa Director what would you be doing?
Hmm…I’d own my own private health club…my passion.
Chuck Oliverio can be reached at:email@example.com