ATLANTA—Composed of spa and wellness industry leaders, a new hospitality and real estate company is set to launch a new collection of sustainable wellness resorts and communities. Led by former Canyon Ranch executive Kevin Kelly, Civana, the new brand, is designing its core offering around mindfulness, wellbeing and sustainability.
“When Kevin created an a la carte model at Canyon Ranch and tested it at Two Bunch Palms, the success of the beta test at Two Bunch validated his concept of an a la carte wellness destination model,” said Rianna Riego, chief brand and wellness officer for Civana. “The team that he assembled had worked with him on these projects and believe in the vision of making wellness lifestyle and travel accessible to as many people as possible.”
The Civana team built the platform around wellness programming, sustainable design and hotel asset/property management. Called “Sustainable Wellness,” the brand’s concept expands on the “virtues of mind, body, spirit,” according to the brand’s website.
Civana’s committed entirely to wellness and spa, unlike other hospitality groups that use wellness and spa as an add-on amenity, the brand’s chief brand and wellness officer noted. “Hotels are excellent at redundant efficiency including turning a room the exact same way, greeting everyone at the front desk with a smile, every restaurant serves every dish or plate with the exact same proportions,” Riego told Hotel Business. “They don’t (by design) focus as much on the right brain and the spirit of the guest experience.”
Called Carefree Resort, the first property will be located in Carefree, AZ. Funded by the Great Western Bank, the $40-million project will transform a 1964 mid-century modern hotel. The resort will have updated rooms and public spaces, a spa, movement studios, a fitness center and healthy cuisine with emphasis on sustainable design. Construction began in August; the renovation is scheduled to be completed in September 2018.
The asset will be co-managed by Holualoa Companies, a real estate investment firm based in Tuscon, AZ. Additional founding partners and board members include Marc Skalla, managing partner of Blackshear Capital Management Inc; Beau King, president of Kim King Associates LLC; and Adam Ross, who’s developed both technology platforms and real estate.
Civana expects to open properties in “destination lifestyle locations,” Riego said. Markets fitting this criterion include Asheville, NC, San Diego and Carefree, AZ. “Existing properties like Carefree Resort must have the potential of transforming into a wellness destination,” she said. “We expect that 70% will be renovated and re-flagged and 30% will be new-builds.”
In addition to Riego and Kelly, the hospitality and real estate company’s executive team also includes Larry Lamy, the former VP of finance and development for Miraval & Canyon Ranch. Peter Smith, former COO of Canyon Ranch, is serving as an advisor and a Civana board member.