Trends, best practices, partnerships, hot springs tourism and more among the highlights
November 11, 2019, Glenwood Springs, Colorado – Owners and operators of geothermal pools, spas and resorts located around the United States and beyond gathered in Indian Wells and Desert Hot Springs, California on Nov. 4-7, 2019 for a conference aptly called Hot Springs Connection. More than 120 like-minded industry professionals were in attendance and represented 40 hot springs located in 20 states, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The conference was divided into two parts. The first, held at Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa on Nov. 4-6, featured general sessions, breakout sessions, a trade exchange and networking opportunities. The second half on Nov. 6-7 showcased the geothermal gems and internationally acclaimed water of Desert Hot Springs, starting with a reception and dinner at Cabot’s Pueblo Museum; behind-the-scenes tours at El Morocco Inn & Spa, Aqua Soleil, Desert Hot Springs Inn, Sky Valley Resort, Miracle Springs Resort and Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel; and a grand finale reception and dinner at Two Bunch Palms.
A full spectrum of topics were discussed at sessions, ranging from heritage preservation, water stewardship, natural resource protection and standardizing regulatory requirements to utilizing geothermal energy in unique ways, wellness trends, new design standards, hospitality training, tourism marketing and running profitable spas. In addition, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians presented about the new Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza, Spa and Bathhouse set to open in Palm Springs in 2020, making it the only hot springs attraction in Palm Springs.
A preview of the brand new website Hot Springs of America was provided at one of the general sessions. The website will be launched in early 2020 and aims to make it easy for travelers to identify where hot springs are located in the United States. It is the singular source for geothermal wellness destinations across the country.
In addition, the Hot Springs Association, a nonprofit trade association for hot springs owners and associates, debuted at the conference. There are also a lot of new updates at hot springs around the country.
Hot Springs Industry Trends
- Thinking of the industry as a collective whole and elevating it together through the establishment of a conference, website and trade association, none of which existed previously. This represents a new era for the hot springs industry in the United States.
- There is noticeable investment going on at hot springs attractions across the country as longtime owners elect to sell and new owners are investing in improvements and extra amenities like spas, lodging, microbreweries, greenhouses and more. The same is true for many existing owners developing new and updated visions for their properties.
- The healthy impact of mineral hot springs water is gaining greater recognition in the U.S.
- More and more travelers are seeking nature-based wellness tourism and are seeking destinations and attractions that involve hot springs.
Successful Second Year for Conference
Hot Springs Connection is returning after a successful first year in Glenwood Springs, Colorado in 2018. “The amount of collaboration was inspiring,” says Scott Whitaker, director of operations at Glen Ivy Hot Springs located near Corona, California. “I believe it got us all re-energized to continue to push for excellence in our field.”
“This is an important collaboration to unify the hot springs resort industry in this country,” Vicky Nash, founder and organizer of Hot Springs Connection, said. “Together we can enhance public perception about our hot springs and create a variety of meaningful guest experiences.”
For additional information about the conference, go to www.hotspringsconnection.com.
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About Hot Springs Connection
Hot Springs Connection is a conference for owners and operators of geothermal pools, spas and resorts located around the United States and beyond as well as for others involved in the industry. Hot Springs Connection is the first conference of its kind in the United States, with the inaugural event taking place in 2018 in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
As CEO of the Glenwood Springs-based tourism communications and marketing firm Resort Trends, Inc., conference founder and planner Vicky Nash has more than 24 years of experience working with hot springs in Colorado and helped create the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop, a multi-award-winning initiative that involves five destinations and 18 hot springs attractions. Nash is a member of the Global Wellness Institute’s Hot Springs Initiative and was recently appointed to FEMTEC (World Federation of Hydrotherapy and Climatotherapy).
Conference Planner, Hot Springs Connection
Owner, Resort Trends, Inc.