Bob Shallit

Float therapy sinking in as new local spas open

Each pod at True Rest Float Spa has a lid that can be closed or left open, depending on the user’s preference.
Each pod at True Rest Float Spa has a lid that can be closed or left open, depending on the user’s preference. True Rest Float Spa

Floating is turning out to be a pretty buoyant business in Sacramento.

Local businessman Dale Bell on Thursday is opening his second True Rest Float Spa in the area – this one in Folsom, after opening one a year ago in Roseville. And he expects to have another in operation in Elk Grove within eight weeks.

Those new spas join one that opened in Oak Park last month, as well as another independent operation in Folsom, giving locals plenty of choices for a decades-old therapy that’s getting new national attention.

Bell said the spas are catching on because “they offer a chance for people to get rid of the world’s (tensions).” Other benefits talked up by proponents: a sense of peace, mental clarity, better sleep, deep relaxation and rejuvenation.

Bell, who runs a local home services company along with his wife, Laurie, said he stumbled across the floating idea in 2014 while attending a meeting of the Genius Network, an entrepreneurs support group, in Phoenix. A fellow attendee discussed the float business he had started there and Bell made an appointment to try it out.

The first experience didn’t make a big immediate impression.

But after returning to Sacramento and showing up for work on a Monday, he found himself filled with energy.

“I had a bunch of stuff on my desk that I’d been putting off for five or six months,” he said. “By Wednesday, my desk was all cleared off.”

He also found he was having vivid dreams – for the first time since his childhood.

That led him to open the operation in Roseville in April 2015, at a cost of about $500,000, and to start looking for new locations.

The Folsom site, at 220 Blue Ravine Road, has six individual spa rooms. Each has a shower and a clamshell-shaped pod that’s filled with 10 inches of warm water and about 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts, enabling users to float gently on the surface.

Users can turn on LED lights and listen to the music of their choice, or lean back into darkness and silence.

The latter option often generates a spurt of creativity, according to Bell.

“I’ve had attorneys come in and write closing arguments for cases,” he said. “Because it’s silent and they’re alone, it gets their minds going.”

After a 60-minute session, costing $79, customers can step into True Rest’s “Oasis” lounge, sample herbal tea, try the oxygen bar and “get their heads straight,” Bell said.

The Folsom location was a natural, Bell said, because it’s in a center that has attracted several other businesses in the health and wellness field. They include the True North Cycling Studio, Zuda Yoga and the Revolutions Naturopathic health clinic.

Said Bell of the mix of related businesses at the Quail Park Wellness Center: “They enhance us and we enhance them.”

New look for Press Building

Plans are changing – a little bit, anyway – for the big apartment project planned atop the Sacramento Bee’s parking garage at 21st and Q streets in midtown Sacramento.

An application recently submitted to the city calls for two buildings, each with four stories, and a total of 253 units – down from the five levels and 290 units that originally were planned.

The downsizing decision was driven by a recognition there would not be enough parking for residents and for Bee employees, said project developer Sotiris Kolokotronis.

The new plans also call for a more modern look than originally envisioned, with bold colors, big windows and a mix of facades, including stucco and brick with metal.

Kolokotronis said he’s happy with the latest design. “I’ll be happier when we’re finished,” he added.

That should be sometime in 2018, given a planned construction start toward the end of this year. Two other related projects, part of what Kolokotronis is calling Midtown Quarters, are on a faster track.

A 68-unit apartment building at 19th and Q streets, is likely to be under construction next month, Kolokotronis said, and work on 32 detached townhouses being built by The Grupe Co. along 20th Street should start this summer.

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