INTEGRATE”s answer to the ‘closed for good question’ has been unclear from the start of this pandemic, quite frankly, it still is. This thing called Covid, living in a pandemic, we were all left wondering, WHAT IS HAPPENING TO US? To our way of being, to our ‘normal’ lives. As a new concept to Salida, combining a Spa, Wellness Center and a CrossFit Gym…we simply intended to help people get healthy, stay healthy. We opened in 2012. We enjoyed 9 years of sharing health and wellness with Salida, Chaffee County and all the wonderful visitors to our little slice of heaven. We’ve offered a variety of modalities including Crossfit, Monkey Bar Gym functional training, Yoga, Feldenkrais Movement, Rolfing Structural Integration, Massage Therapy, Thai Massage, Cranial Sacral, Rehabilitation Movement Therapy, Ayurvedic treatments, Acupuncture, Physical Therapy, Esthetics, Spa Treatments, Infrared Sauna and an amazing Eucalyptus Steam Room. Many tears and stories of pain and suffering were lightened and lifted under the guidance of skilled, loving practitioners, coaches, doctors, teachers and therapists all in service with heartfelt intentions. Under the premise of ‘we don’t fix’ but instead ~ assist, facilitate if you will, our clients’ inner knowing, educating wonderful people, guiding them to an inner awareness of their own bodies and to their own power of healing themselves. It’s been a spectacular journey, heart felt friendships formed and people supporting each other, walking into their lives with more grace and ease. From myself and on behalf of all the practitioners that worked here over the years, THANK YOU! You have taught us more perhaps than we have taught you. We are forever grateful to have worked with each and everyone of you.
As for Covid, a global pandemic, we were unprepared. Who was? We were mandated to close by the State for 2 weeks which then turned into 4 weeks. We reopened again late April, following safety protocols and waited to see how it would last. We carried on,as normal as possible, offering services, extending out all gift cards and memberships. We contacted all members and guests with emails, phone calls, notices posted on social media etc. We encouraged our guests to use their gift cards, make appointments and stay positive during these trying times. We accommodated fears, early terminated contract memberships because we just had no idea what was going to happen. Everyone was nervous, not knowing how the virus was transferred exactly etc. Some guests wanted to wear no mask, some wanted to comply, some angry, said they would never get a massage again if they had to wear a mask. Some clients worked at the hospital, others worked at the prison. We love all clients and especially first responders but imagine my staff (older / or their partners battling cancer at home) felt compromised and unable to come in and work with people that worked front lines in fear of their own safety or the safety of their loved ones at home. We stayed open thru July, at a crawl.
A wellness center / spa in a pandemic has obstacles beyond that of a restaurants. We can’t move the sessions outdoors. (I use a little humor here to lighten it up because without humor it just isn’t funny.) It became impossible to run a center with 4 clients a week. So when we closed again in July, it was just to wait it out, to see about reopening. Perhaps in the fall or winter, we would reopen again, fulfilling GC’s outstanding and serving the community. A pandemic is rich with stress, anxiety and God knows, people could use a great massage and some pampering. But since nothing was clear, our therapists went on to have to find interim jobs elsewhere or even change careers. Owning the building and knowing commercial taxes would still come due, I had to get creative and diversify. I posted the building ‘for lease’ to perhaps scale down the Spa footprint and rent out portions of the building to others. In essence turning the building into a multi use situation.
I was/am hoping perhaps for some medical interest, a business that works with insurance reimbursements to be able to float a spa in a pandemic as this community needs and desires our services. As you may imagine, not many people have stepped up wanting to go into the spa business during a pandemic. Seems that medical practitioners, Doctors are not moving locations at this time. Everyone is sitting still, and so must we.
So that’s where I sit as the owner. Still unclear if we will open again in the future and /or transition to online services, coaching, self help ~ mindful living. Personally, I’ve just completed a 2 year program in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica, hoping to use these skills in continuing to serve in some fashion. I still have hope that INTEGRATE’s physical location will open once again in some fashion. I’m just not sure… so we are closed for now. Thank you again to all those that supported Integrate and our staff over the years. It was a pleasure serving the community of Salida and beyond. Here’s to good health, wellness and positive outlooks! The silver lining in all of this is LOVE. Continue to LOVE each other and yourself, that’s what makes the world go round!