You may have noticed that for the past 6 months, Westporters were more stressed than usual. Our calm, balanced natures seem to have floated away.
In fact, our stress levels spiked after iFloat closed July 31. The Main Street spot — above Oscar’s, which coincidentally ended operations the same day — offered 4 saltwater tanks. Floating in warm water in dark, insulated private rooms was a rejuvenating experience.
Running the business became too stressful, though, for owner David Conneely. After more than 4 years, he needed some balance in his own life.
Westporters can now relax. iFloat reopened on Monday.
New owner Terri Stangl is excited to be here. Like Conneely, she is a float believer.
The Ann Arbor native came east to study psychology (with a philosophy emphasis) at Yale. After earning a law degree from the University of Michigan, she spent 18 years running a poverty advocacy non-profit in Flint.
But in 2008, things changed. Her parents died, and she felt burned out professionally. Floating resonated as a way to slow down, be honest with herself, and figure out life changes.
Terri opened a small float center near Flint. “There’s a lot of stress in that area,” she notes. Customers came from as far as 50 miles away.
After 4 years, as her marriage ended, she took an offer to work at a bigger float center in New Jersey.
Terri knew Conneely — floating is a small world — and when she heard of the opportunity in Westport, she grabbed it. Since August, she’s been getting ready — and learning about this area.
She has learned, for example, that Westport is a “really interesting community.” And that it is filled with stressed-out people who “want to optimize their own thinking.”
Terri has made some changes. She redid the showers and interiors. She added a state-of-the-art ultraviolet light sterilization system.
She also changed the schedule. iFloat is now open 7 days a week.
So far, Terri says, the reaction is “wonderful. People are very excited to have us back.” She’s attracted newcomers as well as longtime floaters — “everyone from hedge fund people to massage therapists.”
She’s honoring gift certificates and prepaid float series from the summer. New clients get 3 floats for the price of 2. And Terri is working on a Valentine’s Day special.
You know — that most stressful day of the year.
(For more information, or to book a float, click here.)