TallGrass Aveda Spa and Salon Celebrates 15th Anniversary; Evergreen Spa Gives Back to Community

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TallGrass Aveda Spa and Salon in Evergreen, Colorado, celebrated its 15th anniversary with a hair, makeup and fashion show and a series of "15th Anniversary Massage" Thursdays to benefit local non-profits. The spa's owner reflects on what it's like to operate a luxury business in a down economy, in a small mountain community and how it expanded her life.

Entrance to TallGrass Aveda Spa and Salon in Evergreen, Colorado

The spa industry was just beginning to take off

Fifteen years ago, when there wasn’t a spa in every hotel lobby and shopping district, the industry was new and the territory was uncharted, Gail Ridings and a partner opened TallGrass Aveda Spa and Salon in the Rocky Mountain foothills community of Evergreen, Colorado, about 40 miles west of Denver. It became a Denver day spa in a resort setting.

“The spa industry was just beginning to take off,” says Ms. Ridings. “And, now with all the changes in the industry, the challenges of running a luxury business in a difficult economy and all the new kids on the block, we are thrilled to be celebrating the 15th successful year at our Evergreen spa.”

TallGrass found a way to commemorate its anniversary by giving back to the community that has loyally supported it for a decade-and-a-half of glowing reviews and “Best Denver Day Spa” awards in keeping with its mission “to awe and inspire.”

A series of Thursday events, spanning September through November, kicked off with a hair and fashion show at the end of September, highlighting the talents of the TallGrass hair stylists and makeup artists, featuring fashions from Evergreen area merchants and benefiting two local non-profits, Evergreen Animal Protective League and Evergreen Area Chamber of Commerce. Models were staffers from the Evergreen spa and volunteers from the community, one lucky fashionista got a makeover right there at the show, and pets available for adoption strutted their stuff on the runway, too.

Continuing the Thursday theme, four non-profits were highlighted at TallGrass each Thursday in October. On their designated days, representatives from the organizations were invited to the Evergreen spa to talk about their missions; they encouraged their supporters to purchase the 15th Anniversary Massage, a choice of a 50-minute aromatherapy or therapeutic massage; and 100% of the $75 price of the massage (normally $90) was donated to Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Rocky Mountains, Evergreen Animal Protective League, Mt. Evans Hospice and Seniors’ Resource Center-Evergreen.

A total of $3,300 was raised for the non-profit organizations. “I think the events were a big success,” says Ms. Ridings. “It gave these great organizations some much-needed funds in this tightened economy. All of the folks from the non-profits talked about how their budgets had been cut.”

The organizers at the non-profits welcomed the opportunity. “We were so thrilled,” says Jane Weinberger, Director of Seniors’ Resource Center-Evergreen, who put her energy into the program. “We started promoting it way ahead and we booked every, single slot on our Thursday.” Clients, volunteers, board members, staff, personal contacts and Facebook friends signed up for the 15th Anniversary Massage. Even Ms. Weinberger’s 72-year-old mother joined the campaign. She had never been to a spa before. “It’s not a lifestyle choice where she’s from in Nebraska,” Ms Weinberger explained. “But, she loved it. All the way home, she read the brochure to me and talked about how nice it was.”

On Evergreen Animal Protective League’s Thursday, an adopt-a-pet booth was set up in the TallGrass driveway. The dogs, cats and kittens received a lot of attention and one of the dogs was adopted.

At the wrap-up event, an open house at the Evergreen spa on the first Thursday in November, Ms. Ridings talked about running a spa for 15 years and how it changed her life. “Being involved with the staff and guests, getting to know them, having our team teach me so much about giving and caring for people, and slowing down to focus on things that are more important didn’t just change my life, it changed who I am as a person,” she said. Having relocated from a fast-paced lifestyle in Chicago to small town Evergreen to start the spa, she talked about running a business in a small community and being involved in everything from the Chamber of Commerce to the annual rodeo to the Rotary Club.

“It has expanded me,” she said. “And, hopefully, we helped expand our community by bringing people up here from Denver and creating a place where 70 people are employed, helping our guests learn how to slow down and take care of themselves, giving them a gentle touch and a kind embrace that makes them feel relaxed and rejuvenated.”

The award-winning TallGrass Aveda Spa and Salon, established in November 1995, is a Denver day spa that offers a full service menu of massages, facials, body treatments, nail and hair care, along with boutique shopping and catered lunches. Located in a beautiful mountain meadow, TallGrass calls itself as “a day spa that feels like a resort.”

For more information, please visit http://www.TallGrassSpa.com or call 303-670-4444.

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Denise Robert

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