Glace Cryotherapy Spa Franchise

cryotherapyCryotherapy isn't a new thing, in fact it's been around since the last millennium. More recently, it was practiced in Japan, then Europe, and now – finally – in the United States. In the past ten years or so, cryotherapy machines have been popping up all over the country. The folks at Glacé Cryotherapy – Skyler Scarlett and his sister, Brittney Scarlett-Torres, will introduce the Sharks to the concept in Shark Tank episode 720.

Modern cryotherapy, specifically whole body cryotherapy, involves immersing the body in a large box which is pumped full of liquid nitrogen. Proponents of the treatment say it helps reduce inflammation and post workout pain. When the body is immersed in a tank – about the size of a small refrigerator – the blood flows to the body core where is becomes highly oxygenated and gets filled with nutrients. When the session is over and the body begins to warm, the blood flows back to the extremities. To make it simple, think of it as applying a really cold ice pack to your entire body all at once.

The process is an up and coming health and beauty treatment that's been adopted by many professional athletes. Skyler heard about it a few years back and started doing his research. He sensed this could be a “cool” new trend and saw an opportunity, that's how the first Glacé spa came to be.

When you go into a Glacé spa, you undress and don a robe, gloves and socks. Next, you step into the “cryosauna,” a large box with a hole in the top for your head to stick out. Once the sauna is closed, cold air circulates inside the box for a couple of minutes, bringing the skin temperature way down (as low as 25 degrees) and causing vasoconstriction. When the session is over, the constricted blood flows back through the body, flushing out toxins. People are getting addicted to cryotherapy as it helps with many things: improved sleep, increased collagen production, tighter skin, increased energy and even a better mood.

Glacé sells monthly memberships and packages. Memberships work like a health club membership, allowing members to use the services five days a week for a month. Packages are simply individual sessions bought in bulk. Pretty much anyone can use the service, except pregnant women and people with heart or blood disorders or high blood pressure. Glacé hopes to expand their business through a franchising model by offering top-notch service coupled with franchise benefits like discounted equipment and insurance – among other things. To date there are stores in Oregon, California, and Florida. Skyler believes there will be several cryotherapy spas in every major city before too long.

My Take on Cryotherapy

I actually heard about this a few years ago after someone posted a story about it on Facebook. I didn't think much of it then, but after reading through the Glacé materials, I was intrigued. I have back pain issues and I'd like to see how it would help with that. Some people claim it helps them lose weight, too – probably from all that shivering!

The idea of placing your body inside a large box to be blast frozen seems a bit odd, but if you've ever had an ice bath for pain, it can't be much worse. Recovery time after a cryoptherapy session is far less than after an ice bath, too; in about 10 minutes you can do pretty much anything.

I also think Skyler and Brittney have latched on to a growing trend. They aren't the only spa in the game, but they are the only ones on Shark Tank! The business that hops on a new trend early and establishes market share and credibility will always have an advantage. I'm betting they get a lot of franchise inquiries after they air, whether they get a deal or not. For that reason, I am IN.

Will Sharks Freeze some assets and Invest?

The one thing Glacé has going for it is their speed to market. They've managed to get a lot of good press about their spas so far and they have the many professional athletes who swear by cryotherapy as a nice third-party testimonial. In a Shark Tank connected way, one of the Sharks is already a proponent. According to the Glacé website:

“The Dallas Mavericks were one of the first U.S. sports teams to use Cryotherapy when they were using it for their 2011 Championship season. The players swore by the therapy and even gave credit to it for being part of the reason they won it all.”

So Mark Cuban is already familiar with the therapy. I'm willing to bet the Mavericks have their own machines and staff, but at least Cuban will attest to the benefits.

The one thing that could hurt Glacé, besides a bad valuation and poor sales, is the technology isn't proprietary. Anyone can call up Impact Cryotherapy (the company that manufactures the spa equipment) and start their own spa. What Glacé is offering is a business opportunity – albeit a solid one, but business opportunities don't fare well in the Tank. I can almost hear it now: “I could go out and start Mr. Wonderful's Freeze-a-Tron tomorrow.”

I think the company will benefit from the exposure and significantly add to their franchise base, but I think due to the newness of the opportunity, the Sharks will pass.

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob Merlino.com and more.

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