iFloat’s David Beats Goliath

For a year and a half, David Conneely had Westport floating on air.

Okay, water.

His iFloat therapy center above Oscar’s provided a unique way for thousands of men and women to relieve stress and rejuvenate bodies.

But — starting a year ago — even floating quietly in the dark, suspended in a warm solution of Epsom salt, could not relieve David’s stress.

Ten weeks of construction at a women’s store downstairs caused iFloat to close often. Then — after sheet rock ceiling was removed — the store’s music, telephones, even sounds of conversation and laughter shattered the tranquil time that iFloat clients cherished.

One of the iFloat relaxation tanks.

One of the iFloat relaxation tanks.

David tried to work with the store. But months of phone calls, emails and meetings produced no remedy. The store was not legally liable to solve the problem, so David could not sue. Besides, he’s not that type of guy.

David spent plenty of time and money consulting with contractors. No one could help.

He spent more time and money searching for a new site. He did not want to leave Westport, but he’d already lost six figures of income.

In May David spoke with landlord Lee Papageorge about leaving.

iFloat logo

As they worked on a mutually beneficial exit strategy, David’s father died. David spent time in Boston with family, including his brother Martin.

Martin — who owns Conneely Contracting in nearby Arlington — had been one of their father’s primary caregivers. He also had 4 girls, so he’d been unable to help David.

Finally, though, he had time to come to Westport.

Martin assessed the situation. “I can fix this,” he said.

He ripped out a wall and the float tanks. He elevated them — no easy task — and uncoupled the entire float room from the floor and walls. He installed vibration isolators — shipped overnight from California — along with sound-isolating glue and soundboards. Then Milton added new woodwork.

He did not charge his brother a dime.

It all worked perfectly. iFloat is back.

David Conneelly, in iFloat's warm and welcoming lobby.

David Conneelly, in iFloat’s warm and welcoming lobby.

True to his nature — and that of his low-key business — David is not shouting the news. But he is thrilled to offer floats again, proud of the support of his family, and honored by the staunch support of customers like Jamie Walsh, Grayson Braun, Betsy Wacker and Bill Donaldson.

“They kept me motivated and involved,” David says.

At last, David can relax.

Along with thousands of satisfied, gratefully floating customers.

(Click here for hours of operation and more information.)

19 responses to “iFloat’s David Beats Goliath

  1. David deserves all that is good! Truly an exceptional person with an exceptional experience. Floating is one of the most relaxing, peaceful experiences one can have in an hour. Thanks to his brother Martin, who tirelessly came to his brother’s side and restored the quiet. Glad to be back in the quiet zone so thank you a Martin and David!

  2. Holly Wheeler

    David does deserve all that is good. I am so happy that this problem was resolved. Thanks Martin for helping David. And thanks David for helping the rest of us.

  3. Robin Scarella

    M so so glad formDavid and the floaters. So good to read happy ending and beginning!!

  4. Nancy W Hunter

    What happened to the good old-fashioned bubble bath?

  5. Nancy W Hunter

    Just looked it up. $100 + tax for one hour.
    Float in the salty Sound.

  6. Stephanie Bass

    Nancy, as other’s in this town, apparently loves to be negative without full knowledge of the issues at hand. ifloat is a unique, soul renewing, physically and mentally rewarding experience. And David is an incredible guy, especially for litigenous (sp?), complaining about everyting, WHY ME Westport.

    Dan tells this lovely story about a new Westporter who stayed the course — without lawyers or namecallling — and you found something negative to say.

    Find a new hobby.

  7. Stephanie, I’m with you. If the spa was ifloat@walmart.com, willing to offer the experience for half the price because it was part of a massive chain, people would complain. This is a service offered by an independent owner on Main Street, which is apparently the kind of business that we are all supposed to encourage, yet people have to chime in with negative things to say. David seems to be the last person to pressure you to use his services, so why does anyone need to criticize? It’s ridiculous and they should be ashamed. I love reading the information that Dan has to offer on this blog but am so tired of the gratuitously negative comments about everything. it seems no one can win, at least with some of the commenters.
    David, I wish you well.

  8. Stephanie Bass

    Go kick a cat. Just go kick a cat.

  9. Nancy…don’t kick the cat and you manage to make lemonade out of the sweetest of Lemons! Have you ever met David? Have you ever experienced floating in a perfectly temperate highly salinated environment that allows you to relax every muscle in your body and disengage the minds accumulated stress du jour! Sounds like a perfect and necessary environment for you to take necessary advantage of ASAP. In fact, have a float on me and then comment…if that does not help clear your negative comments then …well I do not what to tell you. David, permission to charge our account. I think your posts might even become less toxic! Let’s see! First free float on us Nancy!

  10. Nancy W Hunter

    Many thanks, Jamie, but all that is needed is a bathtub and/or the Pacific.
    “Floating” sounds interesting. But it’s not free. It was good, though, to question and read about it.

    Keep calm and float on!

    p.s. I don’t know what cats have to do with this. Cats and water don’t mix well.

  11. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    I propose that in addition to WestportNow’s “Teardown of The Day” that this blog could add a feature: “Locally Owned Business Teardown of The Day.” David is excused, he’s already done his time. But the coffee shop owner (I can’t remember his name I don’t live there no more) at Greens Farms Metro North gets to go again because he overslept one time. Cats hate water but they love a fight. Party on Garth!!!!

  12. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    It’s not that I don’t like to have fun it’s that I can’t stand it when others do.

  13. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    Make mine a Boot Rear float!!!!!

  14. We had a place in Denver in the 70’s called Float to Relax…I was a frequent visitor. Would love to do it again..when I have some spare change!!

  15. Marcy Fralick

    Liz, Lucid Dreams – Denver Flotation Center is at 1299 W. Littleton Blvd. It’s kind of near you…http://denverflotation.com/
    But I remember Float to Relax! I’m surprised I didn’t see you there!

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