Continuing Through the Greater L.A. Area
Population: ~18.5 Million
Float Centers: ~ 15
Known for: Hollywood, Scientology, Tourism, Legendary traffic
As you may have read in Issue #4 of The Float Tour Blog, we began diving into the Los Angeles area float centers and visited the current largest float center around as well as the freshly opened second location of a long time float center owner.
There were so many to cover that we decided to split this into two blogs. In this issue, we round out our L.A. journey as we begin to head further south toward San Diego.
To the Beach!
Number of Tanks: 2
Years in Operation: 3
Tactical takeaways: It is possible to rebuild from scratch. If ever in that position, be sure to think tactically and learn from your past mistakes (or even better, other people’s mistakes).
Other Services: Lucia light, Holistic therapy
Jeff and Rosie at The Float Lounge have a float center with a completely different focus than most we’ve visited so far. Their primary customer base comes from tourism instead of locals, so they have a huge emphasis on foot traffic. Being on a main strip ends up being much more useful for them than many other centers, who may not want to contend with traffic noise coming in from a major through street.
Jeff and Rosie, two of the nicest people you could hope to meet (I know we utter those words a lot in this blog, but it just keeps being true) have overcome several obstacles in order to get the Float Lounge to where it’s at today. The first location that they found in Laguna Beach had become very suddenly unviable due to landlord issues, and they were forced to shut it down and relocate. This is not an easy feat for any business, but is especially difficult when you have to consider waterproofing & soundproofing, and the fact that you can’t take your walls & floors with you. They learned plenty of lessons from their first location and really put their best foot forward when building out their new space; it shows. It’s quite inspiring to see a float center successfully relocate, and to thrive in their new location.
Hearing the amount of silver linings that they found to what must have been a tortuous process made us marvel again at what an incredible industry we’re a part of. I can picture a much more melancholy or bitter conversation with any number of small business owners in other fields: as owners, we certainly benefit just as much as our customers from the extreme stress relief that the tanks provide.
A Brand New Float Center
Number of Tanks: 2
Years in Operation: 1 month
Tactical takeaways: Getting the doors open and getting people floating is often the hardest part. Just know that it doesn’t slow down from there.
Other Services: Just floating.
Awaken was one of the stops where we had no idea what to expect when getting there. We didn’t know the owner, and we hadn’t heard of their center before (which is unusual since Graham and Ashkahn seem to know everybody in floating). We soon found out why, though: our visit to Awaken was on their 28th day of being open for business! Talk about timing! If we had taken this trip a month earlier, we would’ve missed them entirely.
It was exciting meeting Eric. Graham and Ashkahn saw a bit of themselves from 5 years ago in him. He’s pretty much the sole operator, and he built out the center himself without much in terms of outside advice or instruction from the industry. It ended up being really satisfying & to share with him some of the resources that we’ve found and created over the years. We’re eager to watch Awaken grown, and we’re sure that as Eric gets even more deeply involved with the rest of the industry, he’ll realize (as I think we all have) that it truly isn’t like any other in terms of the community and camaraderie that it provides.
Visiting a Former Apprentice…
Number of Tanks: 3
Years in Operation: 1
Tactical takeaways: Quality can set you apart from other services. Many times, even in large cities, your customers won’t have anything to compare the experience to, and making sure the experience is amazing is the best marketing you can do.
Other Services: Only Floating
The Float Experience was another stop we were really looking forward to, and we showed up while the shop was under construction installing another tank. Owner, Matt Soper, is another former Float Tank Solutions Apprentice, so it was a pleasure to check in and to see his center in person. The fact that he’s expanding is a great sign, and Matt planned ahead well to make sure there was room in his space to grow.
The tactical positioning in Temecula makes The Float Experience the only float center for miles around. Add to that the standard of quality that Matt puts into his center, and it’s clear why he already has a dedicated customer base within just a very short time. His shop is beautiful, and the rooms an excellent commitment to detail and making sure that everything is protected from both sound and salt-water.
Congratulations on all the progress, Matt, and on your expansion!
An Honorable Mention…
Unfortunately, we couldn’t stop by the Alchemy Wellness Spa within business hours, although we were really excited to see them. As the only float center in Santa Barbara that we could find, it would’ve been great to visit tanks in the same city where Graham spent his formative college years.
Although we showed up after they’d already gone home, we wish them much salty success in all of their endeavors!
On Our Way Further South…
That’s all we have for the greater Los Angeles area, which is a vibrant region for floating. From some of the oldest float centers in the industry to the largest in the world, L.A. has a lot to offer floaters and lots of lessons for anyone looking to get involved. Join us for the next chapter, where we go further south, into San Diego!
As we’ve been mentioning, our traveling 2-Day Float Tour Apprenticeship and 1-Day Advanced Workshop has confirmed four cities and dates where you can learn how to start and run a float tank center. New York City will be held at the Roosevelt Hotel and is nearing capacity. If you’re interested in knowing more about any of the Float Tour events, conveniently enough, we have a website for that: TheFloatTour.com.
Until issue #6…