Practical Sustainability Solutions Advanced By GSN's Mountain Retreat

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Green Spa Network Works to Broaden Awareness of Meaningful Methods for Greening Spas in a Sobering Economy

Group photo at Green Spa Network Congress in Colorado

"It is the critical moment to have a deeper conversation about how our spa businesses can become more relevant to the changes in the economy, health care and the environment,” explains Green Spa Network President, Michael Stusser.

A passionate group of spa professionals representing a broad range of the wellness and sustainability industries gathered during the first week in October for the 2010 Green Spa Network Fall Congress at the LEED-certified, Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain. The event explored new means to support green initiatives, nurture stronger community ties, and recalibrate spa models, i.e., the value proposition of spas and why people visit them, to adapt to a changing economy.

Reflecting these themes, the Green Spa Network established a new vision for the role spas can play with their clientele and their communities, succinctly explained in an updated mission statement: “The Green Spa Network cultivates the vital connection between personal well-being, economic sustainability, and the health of our planet.”

The gathering’s unique format provided a special opportunity to delve into core issues that affect the spa industry and to explore new possibilities for future initiatives. A combination of highly informative presentations combined with interactive workshops, creative brainstorming sessions and hiking, yoga and spa treatments yielded six work plans for the upcoming year crafted to chart the course of the spa sustainability movement. Strategic alliances with Organic Spa Magazine and Green America were also announced.

The spa resort community was well represented with attendees from top destination brands including: Auberge Resorts; Rosewood Hotels; Pebble Beach Resorts; RockResorts/Vail Resorts; East West Resorts; Rancho La Puerta; and Destination Hotels and Resorts.

The conference featured presentations from over a dozen pioneers and leaders in the sustainability and wellness movements including: mineral cosmetic company founder, Jane Iredale; National sustainability expert, Lewis Perkins; Whole Foods Market Nutritionist and Quality Standards Expert, Jody Villecco; noted editor and author from the beauty and cosmetic space, Rona Berg; founder of Intent.com, Mallika Chopra; award-winning documentary filmmaker, Greg Reitman; LOHAS Director and sustainability industry spokesperson, Ted Ning; and Executive Director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Lisa Archer.

Speakers’ topics included Food and Cosmetic Safety and Health; Sustainability Practices in Hospitality; and Transforming Spas into Vitality Centers.

"It is the critical moment to have a deeper conversation about how our spa businesses can become more relevant to the changes in the economy, health care and the environment,” explains Green Spa Network President, Michael Stusser. “Our third annual congress hit the mark by inviting the highly topical presenters and attracting major players in an outstanding venue. A great alchemy ensued".

Underscoring the conclusion that being green can also increase economic sustainability and satisfy today’s consumers, event host, Leed-Certified Westin Riverfront Hotel, was just named #12 in Conde Nast Traveler’s Top 100 List of hotels and resorts around the world.

Contact: Kim Marshall, kim(at)themarshallplan(dot)com 310-452-1234

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