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Float Tour 2016 Blog

Made it Back to the West Coast!

We finally made it back to the West Coast! We went through the Canadian Rockies and were overwhelmed by the beauty of it all. We drove through hours and hours of winding mountain roads, fertile valleys, and tiny towns so picturesque they looked like movie sets. It was so captivating, in fact, I suspect Graham and Ashkahn may have secretly replaced themselves with robotic doppelgängers to hike throughout Banff.

This post will focus on the smaller communities in B.C. that are bringing floating to new people every day. We also get to visit Canadian manufacturer Pro Float. They’re relatively new to the scene, just opening up earlier this year – another exciting sign of the growth in the industry.

Kelowna, BC

Population: ~106,000

Number of float centers: 1

Known for: built on the bay of Okanagan Lake, excellent skiing and hiking, home of some of the best vineyards in Canada

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The Float Space

Number of tanks: 4

Years in operation: 2

Tactical Takeaway: Reach out and be a part of the community, the benefits you give others will be returned to you several times over.

Other services: Just floating

After spending five minutes with Dustin Erickson at The Float Space, it’s clear that he is a deeply intelligent person with a passion for self-discovery – it’s what drove him to open a float center. He’s far more interested in being a guide for people’s internal journeys than running a businessy business (he didn’t even have a sign outside his shop).

Dustin is a passionate practitioner of meta-programming in the tank and strives to make floating a daily practice. He’s excited to see other float centers try the “100 days of floating” challenge, something he’s done 3 separate times, the longest stint being 160 days. He doesn’t go for short floats, either. Many nights he’ll be in the tank for 6 to 8 hours, get out in the morning, and run the center. He’s even come out of these deep floats first thing and had trouble carrying on conversations with customers, having just emerged from the inmost recesses of his float.

Dustin loves vintage float tanks; all three of his float tanks are more than 20 years old. He’s retrofitted them himself and replaced parts as needed, and has even contemplated starting up a refurbished float tank business with Pro Float. His center is eclectically designed by he and his friends, using untreated wooden walls and strange floating statues that hang from the ceiling to give his center a surreal touch. One of his most prized possessions is an extremely rare Samadhi version two that was released in Japan.

Dustin was a blast to swap stories with, and he’s also very active in the float community. He loves finding new ways to introduce people to the practice, and he’s working closely with the Canadian Float Collective to offer ideas and support.

Visiting the Only Canadian Manufacturer

Chilliwack, BC

Population: ~80,000

Number of float centers: 1

Known for: Massive agricultural community – famous for their corn.

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Pro Float

Number of tanks: 2

Years in operation: 1

Tactical Takeaway: You spend the vast majority of your time with your co-workers. You should treat them well. Happiness is infectious.

Other services: Manufacturing

Pro Float is currently the only Canadian float tank manufacturer. Chris and Donna Petrovic started last year, with their first tank being completed in January. They have a handful of employees with years of experience in manufacturing, construction, plumbing, electrical, and computer programming – a good team to have when putting together salty, automated, Nothing machines.

Chris and Donna have their first Pro Float room located in their home and insist that their employees come over for dinner and floats. It’s more like a big family than a manufacturing plant… if your family had huge fiberglass walls and water filtration systems stacked up in their living room. Needless to say, the employees love their work environment. None of their employees had had the opportunity to float prior to accepting this job – it’s gratifying to imagine what the job interview process was like.

Pro Float is currently building a functional float center above their manufacturing floor. They’re planning on two float cabins that they can use as a showroom, doubling as a commercial float center in the evenings when the plant isn’t operating.

On the Borders of Vancouver…

Coquitlam, BC

Population:~126,000

Number of float centers: 1

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Cloud 9 Float Spa

Number of tanks: 4

Years in operation: 3

Tactical Takeaway: Finding ways to work within established structures to achieve change can oftentimes lead to the most immediate results.

Other services: Hydro massage, Lucia Light

Travis McLaren opened Cloud 9 three years ago. In that time, he’s dedicated himself to making floating more available to everyone who needs it. He believes, strongly, that floating should be treated like other preventative wellness services and be covered by insurance. To that end, he started up the Medi-Float Program. It’s designed to gather data from those with chronic pain conditions, and ultimately aims to build up a stronger case for having floating covered by insurance through the Registered Disability Savings Plan in Canada.

He’s created all the materials necessary for anyone suffering from chronic pain to bring to their doctors so they can receive a note and, subsequently, be able to bill insurance for the cost of floating. The stipulations include that participants must float at least once a week for 4 weeks and fill out a survey before and after.

It’s been remarkably successful and Travis hopes to make it a common practice for float centers around Canada and eventually the rest of the world. To that end, he’s made all the information freely available on Cloud 9’s website.

A Little Closer in…

Burnaby, BC

Population: ~225,000

Number of float centers: 1

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Float Sense (2 locations)

Number of tanks: 3 (2 in second location)

Years in operation: 1 ½

Tactical Takeaway: As an entrepreneur, you get to work any 18 hours a day you want.

Other services: Just floating

Rod and Craig started Float Sense in the middle of 2014 with 3 tanks. They put a lot of effort into creating an ambiance of a modern spa that feels open and inviting. They succeeded and have, in our opinion, some of the most natural light we’ve seen in a float center to date. They strive to provide a friendly and professional environment where newcomers and experienced floaters alike can come to relax.

They were really pleased by the response of their first center and felt that they made a big impact in the community. They are one of the only centers we’ve seen expand by purchasing another float spa and absorbing it into their brand. When they found out another owner in town was selling due to health reasons, they thought, “how much harder could a second location be?” Today, they have the definitive answer to that question.

As it turned out, they needed to perform massive renovations to their second location to bring it up to the same standards of their first center. After months of work rebuilding walls, rebuilding floors, and buying two new Dream Pods, they managed to (re)open their second place. Currently, Rod and Craig split their time between the two centers, fielding as much of the work themselves as possible. It may mean long hours and lots of hard work, but they truly value the opportunity to get so many people in the tanks.

Issue #26 is Coming…

We’ve now reached the outskirts of Vancouver, BC – the current float capital of the world. With 12 centers, Vancouver has the most places to float of any city in the world. Float centers are so prevalent in Vancouver, it may be the only city we’ve visited where awareness isn’t their biggest hurdle.

Vancouver is a bit like a second home for all of us. Graham and Ashkahn travel up once or twice a year to visit with some of the float centers out here, and it’s actually where I went to school. I haven’t been back in 8 years, so it’ll be nice to finally return and see some familiar sights. It’s the first time that the Minister has been there, though, so we’ll be sure to show her a good time.

We’re also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where we’ll share more images from the Float Tour that won’t necessarily make this blog.

Thanks for reading…

 
 

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