Located in a charming seaside village, Place360 Health + Spa (Del Mar, CA) goes beyond the offerings of a typical day spa to offer clients the type of wellness support expected at a true destination spa. Under one roof, spa-goers can take advantage of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, homeopathy, nutrition, and more. “We provide integrated health and wellness support in the communities where people live so that it can be accessed as part of their everyday lives,” says co-owner Helen McCabe-Young.
Catering to Del Mar’s affluent clientele, the spa offers a two-fold experience. Massage and skincare treatments fulfill expectations of those looking to relax and beautify while alternative treatments, such as acupuncture and homeopathy, draw those seeking relief from health issues. “Our prices are set to be approachable for regular access, and as a health center, we can accept some insurance and flexible spending accounts,” says McCabe-Young.
Co-owner Tracy Whynot, who serves as spa director, is also a highly regarded acupuncturist and therapist. She spent several years owning and running an integrated health center as well as working in various destination spas and rehabilitation centers around the world. She joined forces with McCabe-Young, an experienced international business executive specializing in sales, marketing, and strategic business development, in late 2009 to develop the concept for Place360.
Today, the spa has eight part-time and seven full-time staff members who can accommodate approximately 42 to 50 clients each day. To encourage repeat visits, the spa introduced the Club360 Del Mar VIP program. “Remaining true to our community focus, we wanted to do something that not only connected with the local residents to provide a lifestyle benefit but also helped to support the local village businesses by inspiring more effort to work together as a business community,” says McCabe-Young. Members of Club360 receive a VIP card that offers them discounts on specials and services from participating local businesses. Membership is complimentary, and local businesses help market the program by handing out an introductory offer certificate to Place360. The certificate is presented under their brand name as a gift. “We have a lot of foot traffic in the area we are located, so the additional word-of-mouth generated through the participation of other local businesses who promote the program and us through the distribution of certificates helps drive referrals and additional business to our center,” says McCabe-Young. “Because nobody in the Del Mar area had done this yet, we decided to take the lead. We took to the streets, talking to all the local business owners and managers. Almost everybody we approach opts in, as it’s a win-win for everyone.”
While the membership program continues to grow, the spa does face its fair share of challenges. According to McCabe-Young, a lack of visibility from the street doesn’t encourage walk-in business. “The other challenge in this economy is the plethora of Groupon-type deals, which are temporarily good for consumers but are devaluing quality services and putting downward pressure on qualified professionals and income,” says McCabe-Young. Challenges aside, Whynot and McCabe-Young are focused on expanding into other communities and adding additional services that help people support their beauty, health, and wellness needs. Fortunately, that’s the kind of support every community could use.