Amy Siqveland
The Asian Mist Dream Suite offers patrons a soft micro-fiber recliner, an ornate Asian screen and Japanese music.
By
msnbc.com contributor
updated 11/1/2005 3:43:50 PM ET 2005-11-01T20:43:50

Can't make a decision without first sleeping on it? Midwest shoppers no longer need to worry, as Power Nap Sleep Centers opens in the nation's largest retail kingdom, the Mall of America.

MinneNAPolis will open its doors Wednesday at the gigantic complex in Bloomington, Minn. For 70 cents a minute, fatigued shoppers and weary travelers will be able to take a relaxing break in one of six insulated rooms. From bubbling fountains to warmed sand, each themed Dream Suite offers a different type of serene setting where the tired can drift peacefully to the backdrop of soothing sights and tranquil sounds.

Steev RamsDell, president and CEO of the company, founded his first store in Boca Raton, Fla., in 2004 and believes Minnesota's giant mall is an ideal location for an expansion.

"People from all over the globe visit the Mall of America," says RamsDell. "Our upscale amenity allows people to take a little time out and to give themselves a break.”

RamsDell says the close proximity to the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport is an added bonus, since he hopes to further expand into that market in the coming years. He aims to serve areas where people feel particularly stressed.

"Our society is generally sleep-deprived. People are often adversely affected by stress in their lives," RamsDell says. "There is a trend toward understanding the value of natural health methods, holistic treatments and simply on our personal health and well-being. Our service offers an ideal way to counteract the pressures of the real world."

Power Nap Sleep Centers is hardly the first company to try to rent space to tired consumers. There are already space-saving, stacked capsule "Yotels" for commuters in several countries around the world. A company called MetroNaps offers encapsulated high-tech bubble chairs in various international airports.

RamsDell contends his Dream Suites are different.

"Pay-by-the-minute massage chairs that can be found in open areas of malls and airports, for example, do not provide privacy and security," he says. "We’ve actually seen people trying to sleep with packages tied to their feet. And who wants to have people walking by while they’re dozing with their mouth open and drooling?"

Although many frequent Mall of America shoppers are looking forward to having a place to catch some shut-eye, some questions reflect the stereotypical pragmatic, reserved Midwestern mindset. Many wonder about cleanliness, if there will be couples taking advantage of the hourly rates or about the possibility of refunds.

“What if you left the store more stressed out because you lay there the whole time counting sheep?” joked Melissa Hansen, graduate student at the University of Minnesota. “I think I would want my money back.”

“Or if you had nightmares?” added Jon Slock, from South Bend, Indiana. “Or you sleepwalked? And with busy holiday crowds, do you think they’ll have time to thoroughly clean every room?”

Others had their own elaborate schemes for testing how strictly the rooms would be monitored.

“I think you could pretend to have a disability or something and sneak someone else in,” said Nick Curran of Minneapolis. “What about double beds and ask no questions so people can nap together?”

RamsDell has put quite a bit of thought into the apprehensions people will have about such an establishment, and has come up with numerous strategies to draw in customers that do not always include sleeping.

"People will visit our store not just to nap, but to meditate, to listen to music, to read or to enjoy a massage per one of the many different treatments we offer. We have a linen service and all the furniture and accessories are kept clean, utilizing light disinfectant sprays and wipes. Strict company policy allows one guest at a time per Dream Suite and guests will be able to relax on their own set of clean sheets and towels placed on the furniture and pillows."

The store also will sell pillows, relaxation CDs, masks, massagers, aromatherapy and specialty beds through a Web site.

Power Nap Sleep Center's grand opening kicks off with a slumber party Tuesday evening. Not only will customers get to wear their pajamas at the mall, but they will be served warm milk, gooey cookies and hot tea. They will also get a chance to win giveaways and discounts on their forty winks.

Amy Siqveland is a sleep-deprived editor and writer from Minnesota.

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