Updated: July 08, 2021 08:38 AM
Created: July 08, 2021 07:25 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The search for relaxation has local spa businesses like Ojo Santa Fe flooded with calls of people requesting appointments.
"It's hard to imagine, but as recently as about six months ago, we were closed," said James Walker, the marketing director for Ojo Spa Resorts.
Now, Ojo Santa Fe is seeing record numbers of people trying to get an appointment.
"We're actually running at 100 percent occupancy 60 days out, meaning we're booked this month, we're booked next month, and we're almost completely booked in August," explained Walker.
For a while, with tourism down, it was the locals that kept them going.
"We're so grateful for our local community, Albuquerque, Rio, Rancho Santa Fe, have really shown up for us," explained Walker.
Now with the state fully reopen, more visitors are heading to the spa.
"The number of Coloradoans that we have seen visit us over the last couple months is unprecedented," Walker said. "And of course, lots from California and Los Angeles lots from Texas, which has always been a great market for us."
Janis Bennett, the HR manager, said it's been a struggle to find applicants who are interested.
They're trying to be competitive with pay, plus other benefits on top of a 401k and insurance.
"I get to enjoy staff discounts and all of our properties, I get to enjoy discounts on our food and beverage and our retail and most importantly, the spa itself. And who doesn't love to soak?" asked Walker.
Right now, they need 50 new hires.
"You can start at an entry-level position, get an idea of what it's like to work in the hospitality industry, and grow from there," explained Bennett.
Because it's not just this location that's seeing a boom. Ojo Caliente is in the process of reopening.
"2020 was a year of extraordinary challenges," Walker said.
That's because during the pandemic, in late summer, a fire destroyed a historic bathhouse.
"We took this opportunity to not only do repairs based on the fire damage, but make some great improvements," Walker said.
They've added more pools and hangout spots, but a soft opening won't happen until August. Parts will be under construction then as they begin a phased approach of opening up Ojo Caliente.
"If you know and love Ojo Caliente and to have been there is to know and love Ojo Caliente, you're going to be amazed at some of the improvements that we have implemented," Walker said.
For now, they're asking visitors to be patient and applicants to get in touch with them as soon as possible.
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