Stevensville - In 1998, John Wilson began a project to build a waterfront campus on Kent Island and a year later the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club was completed and functioning. About 17 years later, Wilson and the Beach Club have opened their newest facility: The Spa.
On Thursday, June 2, Queen Anne's County elected officials, employees, friends and community members gathered at The Spa for its official ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of the facility. The expansion was made possible with the help of $300,000 from the county's Economic Development Incentive Fund. In receiving the money, the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club will have to create 29 jobs.
The Spa, located at 180 Pier One Road, provides massage, body and facial treatments, manicures and pedicures, salon services, waxing and tinting as well as bridal services.
Having entered into a 99-year property lease with the county, Wilson said he thought the county was welcoming and great to work with.
"Some of the folks asked us about what we thought of the facility so far," he said. "We were hoping it would set a standard. Set a standard for architecture, the programs ... operations that could be something the county could point to."
Since the campus' opening more than a decade ago, Wilson said thousands of brides have checked out the facility for their wedding day. With suggestions that the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club should lease the spa services to a franchise or established company, Wilson said the group wanted to control as much of the experience for their guests, so The Spa was born.
Denise Haddaway, The Spa Director, said early on in the process she saw the theme of the entire campus, which includes The Inn, its restaurant and market, and the various other projects in the works.
"In choosing products and services for the spa it was really a no brainer," Haddaway said. "So you'll see that our services throughout the spa ... the theme continues throughout. Our services and our products are all botanical, most of them are indigenous ... organic, as pure as we could find."
Haddaway said the nail care products The Spa uses are vegan. "We want everybody to have a great experience, but we want it to be healthy in keeping with the whole wellness community," she said.
The Spa is partners with Naturopathica, SpaRitual, Oka-B, Makeup Factory, Beauty Scope (J Bevverly Hills) and Coast Salt and Soul.
County Commission President Mark Anderson said brides now don't have to run all over the place to get ready.
"We're a wedding destination in no small part because of John Wilson and the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club and some national exposure," he said. "This is just a continuation of a very upmarket facility to support the wedding destination. I saw brides and people coming in the door ... Now we can get them fixed up and gussied up for the wedding right here."
Jamie Gilbert, county economic development director, said providing funds to the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club for the expansion of The Spa "was a no brainer." He said not only will more people be using the facility for weddings with its expansion, which will result in people sending money on county services, but it will generate accommodation taxes, hotel taxes, so "its going to be an asset to bring folks in that aren't even coming here for the wedding," he said. For more information about The Spa, visit www.baybeachclub.com.