Steamboat Springs As an international marketing representative for the Mattel Inc. toy company, Pam Peretz was familiar with stress. The corporate world was a demanding world. But after working 22 years at the global toy company, Peretz found a more relaxing business venture in Steamboat Springs.
“I wanted to be in a business that was more wellness focused, so I became a massage therapist”
she said. “After that, I wanted to build a business and then a corporation, and then expand from that.”
A step toward that expansion came last month when Peretz, now CEO of the Pamper Group in Steamboat, acquired the Life Essentials Wellness Spa at Fourth Street and Lincoln Avenue. There was no grand opening party or public clanking of champagne glasses, just a change in ownership. Peretz said she thought it was important to keep the spa the way the returning clients have remembered it for the past 10 years.
“This is a legendary spa that already has a huge following” she said. “We wanted to make sure the integration was as seamless as possible.”
Allyse Eggleston, the founder and previous owner of Life Essentials, moved to Michigan to be closer to her family.
“The spa was owning me, and I couldn’t give the time to my children that I needed to” she said Thursday. “I will certainly miss the gratification of seeing people come out of the spa rooms feeling much better than when they came in.”
Eggleston graduated from the Boulder College of Massage Therapy in 1998 and went on to run the spa for more than 10 years. She said Peretz was a perfect fit to take over operations of the spa.
The Pamper Group now owns three spas in Steamboat and is hosting a spa week in conjunction with Waterside Day Spa until Aug. 10. Peretz’s other locations are a boutique mountain spa and an Asian-infused day spa.
The Life Essentials Wellness Spa features an oxygen treatment room, and all of the staff who worked under Eggleston have been retained. However, Peretz said she might take down the informational drawings showing the massage trigger points of the human body.
“They’re just too clinical”she said as she discussed potential interior renovations at the spa. “It really hampers the ambiance of the room.”
Peretz’s expansion comes during a summer that has other wellness-centered businesses in Steamboat reporting higher numbers of customers than usual. Jeremy Kassib, who runs Gentle Strength Massage in Steamboat, focuses more on fixing physical injuries than providing a relaxing spa experience, but he still is seeing his massage tables booked every week. He said the athletes he treats in the community are willing to spend as much as it takes to get back on the mountain.
“It’s been as busy here as any summer I can remember” he said.
Kassib, who has worked in Steamboat for more than 10 years, said the success of spas and wellness centers in town this year might be a result of the closure of other spas in a lagging economy.
“I remember a time when there were spas popping up on every corner a few years ago” he said. “Today, there are a few left. The people who are doing good work and who have established themselves are still around.”
In running three spas, Peretz said she has escaped the stress of the corporate world.
“Now I just have to worry about bouncing around all of the locations, making sure everything is being run properly” she said.