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Monday 21 January 2019
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21 Nov 2018
First-ever US hot springs conference a success

The inaugural Hot Springs Connection – a three-day conference held in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, US in early November – unleashed a torrent of interest and enthusiasm, resulting in next steps to form a national geothermal trade association and develop a website representing every hot springs entity in the US.

The inaugural event welcomed 95 attendees from 14 states and three different continents – North America, Europe and Australia. In total, 36 hot springs facilities were represented, with 12 vendors, suppliers and consultants also attending.

“It’s astounding to me that no one had organised a conference specifically for commercial geothermal attractions,” said Vicky Nash, CEO and owner of Resort Trends, a firm specialising in in hot springs marketing and tourism industry communications and organiser of the event. “All the feedback I received told me there was an interest in pooling knowledge and working together as a business community. Geothermal springs offer a unique and highly sought-after visitor experience; they also have a sector-specific set of challenges that need to be addressed. Getting the nation’s geothermal stakeholders in the same room and talking with one another proved to be an invaluable experience for everyone involved.”

Attendees started the conference with a rare, up-close look at the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool in an unusual state: drained and empty. Devoid of its over-one-million gallons of water, conference guests learned about the pool’s intensive cleaning and maintenance processes.

Afterward, at a mixer prior to dinner at the historic Hotel Colorado, guests were invited to participate in a water tasting. Water sommelier Janet Abbot of the Balneology Association of North America (BANA), guided tasters through a flight of waters sourced from the drinking springs in Manitou Springs, and one from a local spring. Throughout the afternoon, guests could also take tours of the Spa of the Rockies, a spa that incorporates geothermal water into many of its treatments and spa rituals.

Topics at the conference included hydrothermal spa and wellness standards, the challenges of building a new hot springs and remodelling older facilities, education about balneology and geothermal bathing practices, elevating guest experiences through new technologies, vital components of a vibrant destination resort, geothermal legal challenges, hot springs architectural and landscape design, water quality and sanitation practices, water rights and permitting issues, the Global Wellness Institute’s Hot Springs Initiative and the success of the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop.

On the final day, attendees received access to behind-the-scenes site tours of Glenwood Springs’ three hot springs attractions. Hoping that others can learn from their experiences, co-owners of Iron Mountain Hot Springs Steve Beckley and Mogli Cooper shared what worked and what didn’t as they built Colorado’s newest hot spring destination from the ground up in 2015.

At Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, facilities managers Brian Ammerman and Steve Matzl provided detailed information on a variety of topics, from ozonation to point-of-sale software.

At the Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves, co-owner David Anselmo explained the property’s history and its connection with Native American culture, while co-owner Patsy Steele and her staff provided tours of the underground geothermal steam baths and the spa facilities.

During a forum discussion, attendees overwhelmingly decided that they wanted to move forward with the formation of a trade association to share information and resources, as well as create an entity to represent this geothermal industry sector in the US and abroad.

Nash will work closely with an association management company to begin the process of establishing a board of directors and bylaws. Additionally, her firm will begin creating a website and map to list every commercial hot spring in North America.

Nash also plans to continue coordinating the conference in the future and, based on the success of the inaugural Hot Springs Connection, expects the number of attendees to grow.

The 2019 Hot Springs Connection will likely take place again in November, though dates and locations have yet to be determined.

“The amount of collaboration was inspiring, and I believe it got us all reenergised to continue to push for excellence in our field,” said Scott Whitaker, director of operations at Glen Ivy Hot Springs in California, who attended the conference. “Meeting people who have the same challenges and growing pains as we do makes us remember that it is worth it and provides a network of support that is invaluable. I am looking forward to a continued network of symbiotic relationships.”


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16 Jan 2019
Feliciano-Chon, Soma named co-chairs of 2019 GWS
The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has named Catherine Feliciano-Chon – a leading brand development and communications expert with offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai – and Tokyo-based spa/wellness investor and entrepreneur Yoriko Soma to co-chair the 2019 Summit, which is set to take place 15-17 October a the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong.
14 Jan 2019
Bids are in for 2026 Winter Olympic Games – Stockholm and Milan to contest two-horse race
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has received official submission from two bid teams for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.
10 Jan 2019
Former Questex employees launch new hosted buyer event
Monica Helmstetter and Lucy Hugo, formerly of Questex Media, have announced the launch of a new event company this week, We Work Well Inc, which they describe as “the next generation of hosted buyer events”.
20 Dec 2018
ActiveLab attracts record number of international applications
A record number of international startups have entered the ActiveLab accelerator programme – strengthening the UK's reputation as a fitness tech hub.
17 Dec 2018
US to have professional T20 cricket competition 'by 2021'
USA Cricket plans to set up a professional T20 cricket league in the country by 2021.
12 Dec 2018
FIBO and Leisure Media announce collaboration
FIBO Global Fitness, organiser of the FIBO portfolio of fitness shows, has announced a partnership with global publisher, Leisure Media.
11 Dec 2018
Sector leaders call for 'preventative health push' to get people more active
Physical activity sector leaders, parliamentarians and leading figures in health and business have called for the strengthening of preventative health measures in the UK.
05 Dec 2018
Inaugural FIBO USA kicks off in Florida, challenging IHRSA Convention
The first ever FIBO USA kicks off in Orlando, Florida today (5 December 2018), directly challenging the established IHRSA International Convention and Trade Show.
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Diary dates
22-24 Jan 2019
BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME)
Harrogate Convention Centre
Harrogate
United Kingdom
28-29 Jan 2019
Facilities Management Forum
Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted
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The Pool & Spa Show
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Atlantic City
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29-31 Jan 2019
Spatex 2019
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena
Coventry
United Kingdom
24-25 Feb 2019
International Manufacturers & Distributors Forum
ExCeL
London
United Kingdom
24-25 Feb 2019
Active Wellness
ExCeL London
London
United Kingdom
24-25 Feb 2019
World Spa & Wellness Convention London
ExCeL London
London
United Kingdom
24-25 Feb 2019
Professional Beauty London
ExCeL London
London
United Kingdom
27-28 Feb 2019
Quest/NBS & CIMSPA Conference
Chesford Grange
Kenilworth
United Kingdom
04-06 Mar 2019
International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF)
Hotel InterContinental
Berlin
Germany
07-09 Mar 2019
(IWF Shanghai 2019) Int'l Health, Wellness, Fitness Expo
Shanghai New International Expo Center
Shanghai
China
12 Mar 2019
Women in Wellness Leadership Conference
tbc
New York
United States
14-15 Mar 2019
Asia Pacific Spa & Wellness Coalition Round Table
tbc
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
21-21 Mar 2019
Spa Connection / iConnection Event
Orange County Resort
Orange County, CA
United States
more diary dates
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