Salt Lake City airport’s newest concession aims to help travelers treat themselves

Salt Lake City airport's newest concession aims to help travelers treat themselves

Treat medical assistant Katy Vasquez looks over the yoga option for passengers to use at the upscale health and wellness center at the Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. The airport is the third nationwide to open a Treat location. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

Estimated read time: 5-6 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Traveling can be stressful and very tiring, and sometimes you want to just lie down and take a nap, or recharge.

In that case, the newest concession at Salt Lake City International Airport will be a real Treat. The business, located in the airport’s Concourse B, offers health and wellness products, meditation rooms for remote exercise classes or napping, IV drips to help travelers hydrate and there’s even a place to shower. It’s also offers COVID-19 tests — or other health tests — for anyone who needs them, either for any remaining travel requirements or ahead of a big family gathering.

It’s the third location of its kind in the U.S., joining similar stores at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City and the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Arizona.

“We’re super excited to be opening,” said Scott Milford, CEO at XWELL Group, the parent company of Treat, following a ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony at the airport Tuesday. “(It’s) the integration of health and wellness together in the same location, providing travelers with an oasis, to kind of step away from the hectic hustle and bustle of an airport like Salt Lake City, and just, kind of, unwind.”

The Treat brand is only about a year old, but it combines services that XWELL Group is already doing with its other two brands: XpresSpa and XpresCheck. The former, which started nearly two decades ago, offers massages and other spa treatments, while the latter offers rapid or standard PCR COVID-19 testing. Both of these opened at the Salt Lake City International Airport.

But Milford explained that many travelers asked the company if there was a way to offer both in the same place, leading to the formation of Treat.

Its staff includes a nurse practitioner and medical assistants on hand, allowing for some of the services that the company offers. COVID-19 tests cost $35 but other forms of testing, ranging from pregnancy tests to one for sinus infections, range between $50 and $175. Meanwhile, IV drips, for immunity, energy or hydration purposes, can cost $210, according to the company price listing.

Treat medical assistant Nicolle Ortiz prepares the shower for passengers to use at the upscale health and wellness center now open at the Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. The airport is the third, nationwide, to open a Treat location.
Treat medical assistant Nicolle Ortiz prepares the shower for passengers to use at the upscale health and wellness center now open at the Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. The airport is the third, nationwide, to open a Treat location. (Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

It’s $35 for 30 minutes of shower use, though that’s something that can be broken up between travelers in a group. The remaining services range between these price points, including napping, virtual yoga classes or fitness activities in a room that’s closed off from the airport’s noise.

Travelers can schedule an appointment in advance, through the company’s website, in addition to walking in for service. Milford views it not just as a convenience in some cases, but a luxury for those with a long layover or when flights get delayed for any reason.

“So if you’re down at one of the far gates and all of a sudden something happens and your flight is delayed, you go onto (the website), book your service and you can go on down and take advantage of the room,” he said. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive reactions from travelers who stumble upon or see our advertisement at the airport.”

Filling out Phase I concessions

XWELL has opened XpresSpa and XpresCheck locations at Salt Lake City International Airport in the past, so executives are quite familiar with the airport and the people who travel through it. They picked the airport for its Treat brand because the city rates high in wellness interest and healthy living.

In addition, the airport is quickly growing, adding more international travel flights and becoming an even larger Delta Air Lines hub. That’s bringing more travelers with layovers or long flights into the building.

“We felt like this was kind of a no-brainer to put a location like this in an airport like this that’s growing,” Milford said. “It is opportunistic for us to take advantage of an airport like this.”

A ribbon is cut as Treat, an upscale health and wellness center, opens at the Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. The airport is the third, nationwide, to open a Treat location.
A ribbon is cut as Treat, an upscale health and wellness center, opens at the Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. The airport is the third, nationwide, to open a Treat location. (Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

It turns out that the Salt Lake City International Airport was equally interested. Bill Wyatt, the airport’s executive director, explained that they want a diverse portfolio when it comes to concessions, whether that’s different food options among its restaurants or options among its retailers. They convey this to businesses when they reach out about concession opportunities.

So, when XWELL brought to them the Treat concept, they were intrigued. Airport administration selected Treat as the last concession to complete the first phase of the new airport, which is now two years old.

“It’s very unique,” Wyatt said. “It’s the first time that Salt Lake has had a facility like this. … I think it will be a very popular concession here in Salt Lake because we are a big connecting airport.”

More to come

Treat is planning to expand. The company plans to look at other areas that have similar wellness interests as Salt Lake City, Milford said. Wyatt said the trend is already popular in other countries and he believes it will soon pick up in the U.S., putting them ahead of the trend.

More concessions are also on the way at Salt Lake City International Airport. Administrators announced, back in May, the 19 new restaurants and retail shops that will be a part of the next phase of airport growth. Then, last month, they began the process of seeking 13 more businesses for the airport’s third phase of growth, set to be completed in 2024 and 2025.

These are important, Wyatt said, because traveling can lead to many needs.

Airlines don’t offer food and drinks as much as they used to, and people constantly leave things they need in a pinch, so airports have transitioned into business centers to help out. Airport officials also plan to continue seeking new concession ideas, like Treat, in the future, so they can continue their theme of offering different options for travelers.

“We want everyone to have something available to them,” Wyatt said. “(There should be) something for everybody.”

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers general news, outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com. He previously worked for the Deseret News. He is a Utah transplant by the way of Rochester, New York.

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