Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Alton

Sharon Alton

Founder & Principal, GAIA Consulting Group, LLC

Sharon Alton, founder and principal of GAIA Consulting Group, LLC, an integrated consulting firm that helps hotels and hospitality management companies gain maximum value for their sustainable efforts. Ms. Alton offices with the U.S. Green Building Council in downtown Denver and has an esteemed client base including Destination Hotels & Resorts, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region 8 and the Downtown Denver Partnership. She prides herself on demonstrating to clients how they can integrate economic, environmental and social responsibility into their company's corporate strategy. Her firm specializes in assessment, design, implementation, reporting and optimization of sustainable business opportunities. A business-minded professional with a background in investment banking and hospitality management, Ms. Alton gained a deep appreciation for the intersection of business and the environment while completing Graduate course work in Economics. Fascinated by the perception that economic reality is mutually exclusive to environmental and social responsibility, Ms. Alton chose to focus her attention on resolving this common misperception. GAIA Consulting Group is the product of her focus. A consulting platform which helps companies to bridge this dynamic perceptual gap, Ms. Alton assists her clients in achieving concurrent positive results for both the environment and their balance sheet. Ms. Alton graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She employs sustainable practices in her personal life and frequently provides pro-bono counseling to individuals seeking to lessen their environment footprint while achieving economic savings. Demonstrating that economic and environmental success go hand in hand, GAIA Consulting Group donates a percentage of annual profit to environmental organizations.

Ms. Alton can be contacted at 720-934-6045 or sharon@thegaiagroup.net

Coming up in July 2019...

Hotel Spa: Pursuing Distinction

The Wellness Movement continues to evolve and hotel spas continue to innovate in order to keep pace. Fueled by intense competition within the industry, hotel spas are seeking creative ways to differentiate themselves in the market. An increasing number of customers are searching for very specific, niche treatments that address their particular health concerns and, as a result, some leading spas have achieved distinction by offering only one specialized treatment. Meditation and mindfulness practices are becoming increasingly mainstream as are alternative treatments and therapies, such as Ayurvedic therapies, Reiki, energy work and salt therapy. Some spas specialize in stress management and offer lifestyle coaching sessions as part of their program.  Other spas are fully embracing new technologies as a way to differentiate themselves, such as providing wearable devices that track health and fitness biomarkers, or robots programmed with artificial intelligence to control spa environments, or virtual reality add-ons that transport guests to relaxing places around the world. Some spas have chosen to specialize in medical procedures such as liposuction, laser skin therapy, phototherapy facials, Botox and facial fillers, acupuncture and permanent hair removal, in addition to cosmetic body shaping procedures and  teeth whitening treatments. Similarly, other spas are offering comprehensive health check-ups and counseling services for those who are interested in disease prevention treatments. Finally, as hotel spas continue to become more diverse, accessible and specialized, there is a growing demand for health professionals with a specific area of expertise. There is a proliferation of top class, quality wellness practitioners who make a name for themselves by offering their services around the globe, including athletes, chefs, doctors, physical trainers and weight loss specialists. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.