Thursday, November 30, 2023

New spa rubs town the right way



As Middlebury, VT students, we are all a little stressed out. We attend classes, write papers, study for exams and still find time to work at the circulation desk in the library, play two or three sports and attend orchestra practices. Many of us have just reached the end of a very stressful midterm period and – lucky us – the second round of midterms are already approaching. So it is really quite understandable for any Middlebury student to be on the verge of a mental breakdown. If you think your only option for relief is to guzzle down as much alcohol as possible once the weekend rolls around, think again. The Waterfalls Day Spa, which just opened last week beneath the Middlebury Inn, offers several treatments designed to relax, cleanse and simply help you chill out.


Co-owners Sara Daly and Laurie Webb were both in their mid-30s and working in Middlebury when they first dreamed of opening their own spa.


“I am a physical therapist and I worked for years here,” said Daly. “One day I just realized that I just don’t have time to go all the way to Williston for a good facial.”


Webb shared Daly’s sentiments, and the two began to scheme over plans to open a spa in downtown Middlebury. The initial idea for the spa was formed in November of 2006, and in a little less than a year, the business is now up and running.


Soon after they had begun to get the ball rolling, the pair was contacted by the Middlebury Inn. After six months of negotiation, renovation began in August on the basement of the 180-year-old inn to transform the pre-existing conference rooms into a spa, complete with its own waterfall and “Quiet Room.”


While many of the various salons in town offer a variety of services such as waxing and manicures, the owners of the Waterfalls Day Spa feel they will create a new facet in the town’s beauty market.


“We’re a little higher quality,” said co-owner Sara Daly. “We are going a little extra to make sure it’s done right.”


The products used by the day spa are just one of the elements that separate Waterfalls from other businesses in town. The spa uses products from the Jane Iredale line of mineral-based make-up as well as products from the Dermotologica line.


“We carry both the Jane Iredale and Dermotolgica lines which we get directly from the vendors,” said Daly. “We looked hard for scientifically-based products that were within a medium price range and were gender neutral. That’s important.”


The spa offers a number of services ranging from manicures and pedicures to massages and a variety of facials. The spa also has several more specialized treatments, such as the AgeSmart facial, which is targeted toward anti-aging, and their signature packages, appropriately named after actual waterfalls located in Addison County. The spa also offers a medicated facial and even treatments designed specifically for “gentlemen.”


“We’ve been looking at a lot of people,” said Daly. “We’re targeting professionals in town between the ages of 30 and 60, both men and women, and also Baby Boomers who want to fight aging. They don’t want to get old, so if that means getting a facial every two weeks, they’re going to do it. Also, there’s the teen market. They’ve seen ‘High School Musical 2,’ a lot of which takes place around a spa, and they’re going to want to try it.”


Although the town’s small market can be competitive and difficult for new businesses to enter, the two new entrepreneurs are not worried.


“It’s only been a week, but today feels pretty good as far as being busy,” said Daly. “We got our name out there by a lot of word of mouth. Once the sign is up, it will be better, too. We’ll also have material in other businesses like the Marriott. We really want to be everybody’s spa – not just the Inn’s. We’re the town’s spa.”


14 Court House Square

Middlebury, Vermont 05753




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Middlebury Vermont Day Spas

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