Canyon Ranch is branching out into private membership clubs: Travel Weekly

Long before wellness emerged as the hospitality sector’s hottest buzzword, there was Canyon Ranch.

The brand is widely regarded as a pioneer within the destination wellness resort and spa space, offering guests all-inclusive access to more than 1,500 health-conscious services and activities at its resorts, from yoga and meditation to behavioral therapy and nutritional guidance. Each stay is fully customized, with Canyon Ranch guests connecting with a dedicated Wellness Guide ahead of their visit.

The concept was born in 1979 in Tucson, Ariz., and has been successfully replicated at resorts in Lenox, Mass., and Woodside, Calif., and at a Canyon Ranch-branded day spa and fitness center in Las Vegas. Next year, Canyon Ranch plans to break ground on a resort outside of Austin, Texas, which will debut in 2025.

Recently, however, the company said that it would further evolve its product offering by jumping into the private-membership-club space. 

Canyon Ranch’s foray into the club space comes as private membership concepts –which typically offer members access to exclusive facilities and amenities, events and a community of like-minded members — become more common within the high-end hospitality sector. Aman’s Aman Club and the Ned hotels — which has outposts in New York, London and Doha, Qatar — are two of the latest luxury hospitality players to introduce private-club components.

  • Related: Wellness travel is still in demand, bringing new resorts to bloom

The Canyon Ranch Clubs “will give more guests than ever the opportunity to engage with Canyon Ranch’s unique approach to well-being,” according to the company.

"We think the clubs are going to create more resort demand." -- Jeff Kuster, Canyon Ranch

Canyon Ranch’s goal is to establish clubs in cities close to where guests live and work. “So instead of just two or three episodic stays a year, they can do two to three days a week at a club,” said Jeff Kuster, the company’s CEO.

The inaugural Canyon Ranch Club is on track to open in Fort Worth, Texas, in late 2023. A second is set to follow in Houston in 2024. 

Rather than cannibalizing the core Canyon Ranch business, however, Kuster predicts that the clubs will drive wellness aficionados to the company’s resorts. 

“Because they’ll be different experiences, we actually think the clubs are going to create more demand,” said Kuster. “They’re designed to engage with our customers when they go home, but they’re also going to be building a new customer, because they’re more accessible.”

That’s not to say that the Canyon Ranch Clubs will be inexpensively priced. Though membership fees have yet to be announced, they’re set to play in the “premium” range, according to Kuster, in line with Canyon Ranch’s high-end resorts.

“We’re going to get our first two clubs open, but we’re going to grow these thoughtfully,” added Kuster. “We’re being strategic in Texas. You could, say, join a club in Fort Worth, then drive and spend a long weekend at the resort in Austin. So, it’s about building out an ecosystem and some density, as well as a community around the lifestyle.”

As for further scaling up on the resort front, Kuster predicts that there’s still plenty of runway left for Canyon Ranch.

“We know that we’re not meeting our demand,” he said. “There are global opportunities, but we’re going to focus on North America, and we think we have four to five more [resorts that could open] just in North America.” 

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