November 03, 2010 // Franchising.com // ATLANTA – Local business developer Tom Gustoff is planning to open the doors to Atlanta's second Massage Heights retreat with the help of Randy Merrill, Gustoff's newest strategic partner. This location will be the second of 20 locations set to open in the Atlanta market, treating tense, stressed-out Atlanta consumers to a luxury spa massage experience at an affordable monthly rate.
Executives of the San Antonio-based franchise company say Atlanta is a prime location for expansion based on 34 key components of research showing an ideal match to Atlanta's population, psychographics, demographics, economic climate, spending habits, competitive landscape, real estate, etc.
Randy Merrill, an Atlanta native, is taking the lead on opening the Buckhead Massage Heights location in the next two months at 2900 Peachtree St, in the heart of thriving Buckhead. Since the young age of 25, Merrill has been exercising his entrepreneurial skills within the health and tanning industries and sees the massage segment as the perfect fit to round out his portfolio.
"With my experience, I know that service, service, service is the key to any membership driven business," said Merrill. When you give Five Star service the rest takes care of itself."
Merrill helped expand Australian Body Works, now known as LA Fitness, from five locations in the Atlanta market to 12 locations before jumping into the tanning industry. In 1990, at the age of 29, Merrill began with a single tanning salon and is now a partner in the largest chain of tanning salons in Atlanta, Solar Dimensions.
"Randy has all of the qualities that I look for in a business partner," said Gustoff, regional developer for Massage Heights. "His desire to dominate the massage and facial industry and his experience and understanding of sales and management within membership-based organizations will greatly benefit our business as we move forward."
Gustoff and Merrill see the current economic climate as the perfect time for growth in the Atlanta market. The retail space that was scarce and incredibly expensive three years ago has come down in price giving Massage Heights the chance to lease out a prime spot for the second location in the city.
The rapidly growing membership-model massage franchise has tapped into a virtual goldmine segment: consumers receive approximately 230 million massage sessions annually, making massage therapy one of the fastest growing industries in the nation.
Clients who visit Massage Heights are quickly immersed in an environment that promotes better health through mind, body and spirit. According to the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP), repeat visits for massage therapy range between 78 percent and 81 percent; Massage Heights boasts a 90 percent customer retention rate in each of its open locations.
"With 25 million more Americans each year getting a massage today than a decade ago, the room for growth is limitless," said Merrill. "We appeal to people seeking to relieve anxiety or stress or back or muscle pain issues, as well as licensed massage therapists looking to improve their lifestyle with set hours and consistent traffic," said Merrill, noting that Massage Heights facilities are open seven days a week, days and evenings, with drop-ins available.
Massage Heights delivers spa-like services for a much better value and is professional, affordable and convenient. Massages are priced at $49, compared to Atlanta five-star hotels that charge $120, for a one-hour massage. Massage Heights offers a monthly one-hour massage with a monthly membership fee between $49.99-$59.99 (depending on the market), with each additional one-hour massage for only $39.99. Elevated services also are available, which include aromatherapy, hot stone therapy, foot scrubs and hot towel, cold stone facial massages. Massage Heights also offers a line of soothing products so members can continue the tranquil experience at home.
Founded in 2004, Massage Heights is the premium massage retreat service that offers a tranquil atmosphere, experienced staff, soothing services and convenience at an affordable price. Massage Heights with 60 operating franchises is reaching dramatic elevations in an exploding industry, focused on providing affordable luxury products and services for the mind, spirit and body. For more information, visit www.massageheights.com.