Two weeks after opening for business, Urban Float owners Carlos and Amy Casas said they couldn’t be happier with how things are going.
According to corporate, Carlos said, the business, on Route 1 near Rehoboth, has had the most successful opening in the company’s history. Also, he said, they sold 175 membership packages before they even opened Feb. 4.
“Across the board, we broke all the records,” said the smiling couple during a recent interview.
Floating as a commercial business has been around for decades, and it’s been used in certain areas of the world for thousands of years as a way to heal the mind and body. Carlos said floating is used for athletic recovery, relaxation, stress management, pain relief and a host of other body- and mind-related ailments.
The couple said they were looking to get into the wellness field, but they wanted to stay away saturated segments of the local marketplace.
After some market research, the couple said they thought this was an up-and-coming niche in the wellness field.
Amy said in today’s always-in-touch society, people don’t check out as much as they should.
“Floating provides an opportunity to disconnect from an overconnected world,” she said.
The Rehoboth location features six pods, each in its own soundproof room with shower because customers are asked to be as clean as possible for their float. Each pod is filled with 10 inches of water in which 1,200 pound of Epsom salt have been dissolved.
Carlos said the water is heated to skin temperature – roughly 93 degrees – and shortly after the float begins, a person’s senses are neutralized.
The spa manager is Maxine Fluharty, a Sussex Tech graduate, member of the University of Maryland’s championship-winning field hockey team and former professional field hockey player in Amsterdam. She said she’s been looking to transition into the health and wellness field since her playing career recently ended.
As spa manager, Fluharty said one of the things she does is coach first-time users to allow their thoughts and feelings to flow freely as they float. She said when all the senses are neutralized, the mind opens up once all the mental chatter begins to go away.
“We want the thoughts to come and for those thoughts to not be judged,” she said.
Carlos said each pod has a filter strong enough to clean a regular-sized pool, and the water is meticulously tested frequently for alkalinity, pH levels and other measures of cleanliness. He said each room is also sterilized between customers.
Urban Float started in Seattle and is slowly making its way east. According to company’s corporate website, there are 10 stores – nine in the United States and one in Vancouver – and the one in Rehoboth is the first one east of Ohio. The next closest Urban Float is just north of Columbus.
In addition to opening the Rehoboth location, the Casas said they’re the company’s area developer for the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. They said they’re exploring other locations in Delaware, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Maryland and as far south as South Carolina.
For the immediate future, though, the Casas said they are focused on the Rehoboth location, and are offering specials on memberships through the end of the month.
Urban Float, 18979 Coastal Highway, Unit 101, Rehoboth, opens 9 a.m., Monday - Saturday, and 10 a.m., Sunday. The last float is 7:30 p.m., Monday - Saturday, and 5:30 p.m., Sunday. For more information or to book an appointment call 302-232-3141 or go to www.urbanfloat.com.