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Arizona spa business is now a ‘Case’ study

In just 10 years, Miraval has become one of the best known names in the multi-billion dollar spa and wellness business, and now it’s becoming a “Case” study. CNBC’s Mike Hegedus reports.
/ Source: CNBC

In just 10 years it has become one of the best known names in the multi-billion dollar spa and wellness business.

Sitting on 400 acres in the Sonoran Desert outside Tucson, Ariz., Miraval’s 104 rooms play host each year to thousands of guests from around the world, all of whom spend five to seven days looking for the secrets to a better a life.

The company’s brand is so strong that it has attracted one of the best known names in corporate America, and as a result Miraval is fast becoming a “Case” study. (That’s Steve Case of AOL fame.)

The Miraval brand, along with that of nearby wellness competitor Canyon Ranch, has spearheaded a fast growing, $226 billion market in all things aimed at life fulfillment — an idea and concept with growth potential, not unlike a once-young technology company called AOL.

“When I saw it, I really thought it could be more of a lifestyle brand, much like Nike,” said Steve Case, now CEO of Washington D.C.-based Revolution Living LLC, a company he created to build businesses that inspire people to live a more balanced and meaningful life.

“Nike started as a running shoe, and now it’s a $20 billion lifestyle brand. We think Miraval has the opportunity to do that as well,” said Case.

Revolution Living owns of multiple resorts and recently bought a 70 percent stake in Miraval. It has plans to expand the brand across a number of business platforms.

“The opportunity to expand our footprint is huge,” notes Dan Hirsch, vice president of business development at Miraval.

Along with expansion plans for the Tucson spa, Miraval is also developing adjacent home sites. Devotees can live the lifestyle all year round for about $1 million, but Case is thinking well beyond Arizona.

“We want to take it from a place in Arizona to a resort destination in many locations,” said Case. “Urban wellness centers in even more locations and a whole variety of products and services, so that it is a part of everyday life, not just a part of something you do once or twice a year.”

Understanding star power, Case has started to enlist well-known names in wellness as part of his team — health and wellbeing guru Dr. Andrew Weil is one of them. Sexuality expert Lana Holstein is another. And what they all see is almost unlimited potential.