Focusing on flotation, spa leaves Carytown


Kenzie Korman is reworking and relocating her spa. Photo by Michael Thompson.

A revamped local spa is floating out of Carytown.

Vitality Float Spa, the latest local entrant in the trend of floatation therapy businesses, plans to open in March at 202 S. Robinson St.

The venture marks an expansion for owner Kenzie Korman, who started the business as Vitality in 2012 at 3423 W. Cary St. doing massages.

In its new incarnation, Vitality Float Spa will offer flotation therapy in either an open-air tub or in an enclosed pod. Flotation therapy consists of lying in skin-temperature, salt-dense water for an extended period. The spa will also do massage and skin care services. Click here to learn more.

“I got to the point where I needed to make moves,” Korman said. “Carytown is pretty expensive. I knew I wanted to do more than just massage.”

She said she looked into investing in oxygen therapy,  which can involve breathing pure oxygen either in a pressurized room or tube, but it proved too expensive. Then a friend reminded her about floatation therapy.

“I’d read about it a long time ago,” Korman said. “This is exactly what Richmond needs to bring in healthy, alternative lifestyles.”

She tried her first float about eight months ago at AquaFloat in Charlottesville.

“At first I was like, ‘Is there something magical that should happen?’” she said. “After about 40 minutes my mind started to dissipate.”

Advocates of floatation therapy tout its ability to relax the mind and heal the body. There are at least two flotation therapy spots open or in the works in Richmond. The Float Zone is in the works on Dabney Road west of Scott’s Addition, and Oasis opened last year in West Broad Village.

A 60-minute float at Vitality will cost $45, with other packaged prices available.

Korman, a 28-year-old University of South Carolina grad, said she’ll spend about $385,000 to reopen Vitality in its new space. For the expanded float spa, Korman purchased the two-story 1,200-square-foot Robinson Street property last February for $287,500, according to a city record.

She is financing the venture herself and with a personal loan. Her new space was formerly used as apartments. Watershed Architects is doing the design and build of the new Vitality.

Korman said she liked that her new location was tucked away from a retail-dense area like Carytown. The Cask Cafe is open next door to the future home of Vitality, which is for now in a temporary location at 2117 W. Main St. in the Fan.

She said the Robinson Street site was also appealing for its proximity to the forthcoming mixed use development on the site of the old GRTC bus barn. It will bring nearly 300 apartments and commercial space to the property.

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