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Planet Beach looking to further expand

Anyone who thinks tanning salons are a thing of the past should think again. Planet Beach, a New Orleans-based company has combined a day spa and a masseuse with its traditional tanning operation and is planning a massive expansion in the Las Vegas Valley. "Las Vegas is a high-profile town, and people in the type of business we're in need to have a presence there," said Stephen Smith, chief executive of the company.

Planet Beach Salon Contempo Spas already has several sites in the region and is looking to add as many as 40 locations throughout the valley in the next five years. "We would like to have one for every 30,000 people in a market," Smith said. "So we think that is a very realistic number."

The company has more than 380 locations, primarily in the United States, and almost all of its stores are franchises. Planet Beach started out with a focus on tanning, but now offers day-spa treatments, too. Perhaps the most unusual aspect of the Planet Beach concept is that all of the services are performed without the touch of a human hand. At Planet Beach, machines do all of the work. The company offers several tanning options, with or without UV, several types of massages and even a facial, and all are fully automated. Furthermore, the spas also sell a complete line of skin-care products.

Unlike many companies, Planet Beach allows multiple franchisees within a market, but Smith said it prefers to sell at least a "five-pack" (five stores to one owner) within a region to a single franchisee. Franchise owners usually prefer to have an exclusive territory to have control of the brand. The company also has an extensive training and follow-up program with the equipment doing most of the work once the business is up and running. (kbp)

Planet Beach Contempo Spa (USA)

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Planet Beach looking to further expand

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