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Calgary spa owners say they’re open – but it’s not business as usual

Lina Chammoury, co-owner of Edges Salon and Spa in Calgary’s northwest, said they have been ‘crazy busy’ since reopening.

Alberta’s Stage 2 of the economic relaunch, which allowed the opening of spas, began on June 12.

Chammoury said the salon portion of the business reopened on June 1, and the spa portion on June 15.

In order to comply with physical distancing measures, the salon has had to reduce the amount of appointments. 

“Business has gone down about 40 per cent in terms of volume because we can’t have the same amount of people in the premises at once,” said Chammoury. 

She said that while they have 16 stations, only 8 can be used in order to keep people spread apart. 

Don’t forget your mask

A lot of businesses are asking that customers bring masks to their appointments.

Chammoury said some customers have called to cancel their appointments because they don’t want to be forced to wear a mask, but most people are accommodating. 

“We have to do what we have to do to in order to keep our business, open. We are following the guidelines, but I’m going to say 90 per cent of our clientele has been wonderful,” she said. 

Andy Le who works at Peony NaturaSpa said they’ve had to make a lot of changes inside the spa.

He said everyone is required to sanitize upon arrival, wear a mask, and space themselves apart from others.

With so many changes it’s not surprising that some people to don’t want to follow the rules.

“A lot of people say they don’t want to wear a mask, but after we explain it’s for the everyone’s safety, they put them back on,” said Le. 

Businesses are doing all they can

A big adjustment to the salons, both hair and nail, are the glass partitions that have been set up to separate staff from customers. 

In order to adhere to physical distancing measures, Le said the spa only schedules so many customers per hour.

Peony NaturaSpa in Calgary / Peony NaturaSpa

Chammoury said the staff have taken new disease and infection control training called Milady to give customers even more peace of mind.

In order to reduce crowds, Le said Peony NaturaSpa is not accepting walk-ins until further notice.

Numbers are down

Le said the spa has seen a decent amount of people come back, but they aren’t seeing their normal numbers.

“Our regulars have come back, but it’s been steady not crazy busy,” said Le. 

Spring and summer are usually busy times for salons and spas as they cater to both graduation and weddings.

Thanks to COVID-19 most of those events won’t be happening.

Chammoury said it isn’t just missing out on those events that make it tough for a business. It’s having reduced staff, reduced clientele and having to play catchup.

“We’re having to recover from three months of being closed but still having bills that we need to pay so rent is still due at some point and all our utilities and all that stuff is due at some point,” Chammoury said.