Salt Lake City’s new airport concession aims to help travelers indulge themselves

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Treat physician assistant Katy Vasquez reviews the yoga option for passengers to use at the upscale Health and Wellness Center at Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. The airport is the third nationally to open a Treat location. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY – Traveling can be stressful and very tiring, and sometimes you just want to lay down and take a nap, or recharge your batteries.

In this case, the new Salt Lake City International Airport concession will be a real Treat. The company, located in Concourse B of the airport, offers health and wellness products, meditation rooms for remote exercise classes or napping, intravenous drips to help travelers s hydrate and there is even a place to shower. It’s also offering COVID-19 testing — or other health testing — for anyone who needs it, whether it’s for remaining travel needs or before a big family reunion.

It is the third location of its kind in the United States, joining similar stores at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Arizona.

“We are excited to open,” said Scott Milford, CEO of XWELL Group, the parent company of Treat, following a groundbreaking ceremony at the airport on Tuesday. “(It’s) the integration of health and wellness in one place, giving travelers an oasis, to get away from the hectic bustle of an airport like Salt Lake City, and just, somehow so, relax.”

The Treat brand is only about a year old, but it combines services that XWELL Group already offers with its two other 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 COVID-19 PCR tests. Both opened at Salt Lake City International Airport.

But Milford said many travelers asked the company if there was a way to offer both in one place, which led to the formation of Treat.

Its staff includes a nurse practitioner and on-site medical assistants, enabling some of the services offered by the company. 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 drops, for immunity, energy or hydration purposes, can cost $210, according to the company’s price list.

Treat medical assistant Nicolle Ortiz prepares the shower for passengers to use at the upscale health and wellness center now open at Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.  The airport is the third nationally 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 Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. The airport is the third nationally 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 split between travelers in a group. The remaining services fall between these prices, including siesta, virtual yoga classes or fitness activities in a room isolated from airport noise.

Travelers can book appointments in advance, through the company’s website, in addition to showing up for service. Milford sees it not just as a convenience in some cases, but as a luxury for those on a long layover or when flights are delayed for some reason.

“So if you’re at one of the farthest gates and all of a sudden something happens and your flight is delayed, you go to (the website), book your service and you can go ahead and enjoy the room,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from travelers who came across or saw our advertisement at the airport.”

Complete Phase I Concessions

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

In addition, the airport is growing rapidlyadding more international flights and become an even bigger Delta Air Lines hub. This brings more travelers with layovers or long flights into the building.

“We felt like it was kind of a no-brainer to put a location like this at an airport like this that’s growing,” Milford said. “It’s 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 Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.  The airport is the third nationally to open a Treat location.
A ribbon is cut as Treat, an upscale health and wellness center, opens at Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. The airport is the third nationally to open a Treat location. (Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

It turns out Salt Lake City International Airport was also interested. Bill Wyatt, the airport’s chief executive, said he wants a diverse portfolio when it comes to concessions, whether it’s different food options among its restaurants or options among its retailers. They convey this to companies when approaching dealership opportunities.

So when XWELL offered them the Treat concept, they were intrigued. The airport authority chose 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. “This is the first time Salt Lake has had a facility like this. … I think it’s going to be a very popular concession here in Salt Lake because we’re a big hub airport.”

More soon

Treat plans to expand. The company plans to look at other areas that have similar wellness interests to Salt Lake City, Milford said. Wyatt said the trend is already popular in other countries and he thinks it will pick up soon in the United States, which will put them ahead of the trend.

Other concessions are also underway at Salt Lake City International Airport. The directors announced in May the 19 new restaurants and retail stores that will be part of the airport’s next phase of growth. Then, last month, they began the process of finding 13 more companies for the airport’s third phase of growth, which is due to be completed in 2024 and 2025.

These are important, Wyatt said, because travel can bring many needs.

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

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

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

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