Deirdre Strunk of Canyon Ranch on the challenges spas will face in 2019

Relaxation, stress relief, sports, soulful food and healthy living all wrapped in one. That’s the Canyon Ranch spa + fitness Las Vegas in a nutshell. Driven by the philosophy of sustainable yet healthy lifestyle, Canyon Ranch combines assessments from renowned physicians with integrative wellness practices. What does that mean? This is where you go if you want to find out how you can adopt a healthier lifestyle while staying true to your tastes and choices.

Canyon Ranch has received the Travel and Leisure’s Best Spa Award 13 times and the Condé Nast Traveler Best Destination Spa Award 11 times. The Town & Country named it one of the “Best Luxury Spas in the World” and the Forbes Travel Guide has given it a 4-star rating. Amazing, astounding, dream-like, heavenly are some of the adjectives customers have used and continue to use to describe their experience here.

The first of the spa chain was established back in 1979 in Tuscon, Arizona. Today, it is one of the premier luxury resorts with locations all across the globe. One among these locations sprawling across 134,000 square feet with mind-blowing amenities is the Las Vegas branch in the Venetian Palazzo.

And running this branch is the illustrious Deirdre Strunk.

Ms. Strunk is a Licensed Massage Therapist, a 300-hour trained yoga instructor and is nationally certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork. She also holds an Aesthetics license. She has worked as a Principal Massage Therapist and Trainer for Steiner Spas Nevada, Inc. and as a Professional Development Instructor at the Nevada School of Massage Therapy.

Prior to joining Canyon Ranch in 2015, Ms. Strunk was director of spa and salon operations for Spa Costa Del Sur located inside the South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa. She has served on several boards, including the Las Vegas Spa Association Board, and currently serves as the vice chair for the Nevada State Board of Massage Therapy.

We asked Ms. Strunk what challenges the spa industry will face in 2019, as well as what trends she sees coming this year. Here’s what she had to say:

What do you see as some of the big challenges spa, fitness, and wellness businesses will face in 2019? And do you have ideas about how to overcome these challenges?

I see staffing as a major challenge spa, fitness and wellness businesses will continue to face in 2019. To overcome this I believe it is important to stay in contact with the massage, cosmetology and aesthetician schools who are supplying the talent and advise them of the expectations of our company along with what we are looking for when hiring candidates.

What are some of the trends or developments ahead that you’re excited about?

CBD and red-light therapy.

What do you think is the secret to becoming a world-renowned spa and wellness destination?

In the competitive wellness landscape, Canyon Ranch is a trailblazing legacy brand that continues to stand out, thrive and grow due to our integrative approach to wellness and our ever-expanding menu of experiences. This approach goes beyond just relaxation, allowing our guests the opportunity for complete transformation; lasting well beyond their visit.

Do you think being a successful leader in spa and wellness requires different skills from leadership in other areas? If so, what is the secret?

Absolutely! Managing healers and creative personalities demand a very specific skill set. This can also make it difficult to find the right talent. Promotion from within is ideal because those leaders understand your business and have established relationships with team members. I also believe that being compassionate, a consistent communicator and having an open door make for a successful spa leader. Additionally, being a licensed practitioner in various disciplines such as massage, aesthetics, or fitness can provide invaluable insight into being a leader in the wellness space.

Is there anything exciting to share about Canyon Ranch? You do many partnerships with travel companies. Why is wellness in these areas important?

Today, the wellness industry is a $4.2 trillion global industry. We are experiencing a phenomenon where health is creeping into all aspects of consumer life and experience. As a trailblazer in the space for nearly four decades, Canyon Ranch is constantly evolving to provide immersive and holistic opportunities for people to seek wellness in all areas of their lives, wherever they are, including on land, at sea, or and in the sky.


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