The new operations manager at The Spa at Gervasi Vineyard Resort & Spa (GV) knows what it takes to prioritize customer service for her and her expert team.
From rewarding customers for arriving at their appointments early, providing the best in spa services and treatment menu to offering exclusive body and skin care products, Brooke has researched and developed every aspect of what The Spa delivers.
Brooke comes to The Spa highly qualified and experienced from working with some of the best spas in the U.S.
“I grew up in the small town of Cortez, Colorado, the 10th of 10 children in my family, my closest sibling, Darcy, who lives in Aspen, CO was number 9 of 10, we are four minutes apart as identical twins,” Brooke said. “I graduated from Montezuma High School in Cortez in 2002 and went on to massage school at the prestigious Utah College of Massage Therapy in Salt Lake City, UT. After working at several spas including, the 5 star-5 diamond Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, CO, I moved to Boulder, CO to continue pursuing my spa career.”
She met her husband, Mike Zarconi, in Boulder, CO. They were part of the opening crew of the 4-star Diamond resort, The St Julien Hotel & Spa. At the time, Brooke was a massage therapist and Mike was a spa attendant working to save money in hopes of attending law school.
After Mike was admitted to the University of San Diego School of Law, the couple moved to San Diego, CA, and married in 2012. They have one daughter, Sofia, who was born in 2016. During those years, Brooke worked her way up through spas in San Diego, first as a massage therapist, then supervisor, and ultimately to assistant director. She would go on to become the director at several of San Diego’s finest spa establishments, including Spa Ritual at Sycuan Casino Resort and The Rock Spa at The Hard Rock Hotel San Diego.
Mike graduated from law school and was hired at the firm where he clerked during his final year of school. He is now a partner at the firm.
“Mike, Sofia, and I moved to Canton in September of 2022,” Brooke said. The distance of family during the pandemic was a major motivator. I said goodbye to my management role at the historic Hotel Del Coronado’s Spa–a full circle experience as my first job in San Diego was as a massage therapist 12 years prior at the Hotel Del’s Spa–to move our family closer to Mike’s family in Northeast Ohio. My husband is an attorney still practicing in California but working to expand his practice into Ohio. Our daughter, Sofia, is in first grade here in Canton and she loves swimming, gymnastics, singing, dancing, and putting on a performance any opportunity she gets.”
Brooke and Mike were entertaining the idea of moving back to Ohio for some time, but Mike wanted to adhere to his strict criteria of finding a house next to a lake to compensate a bit for what the family had and enjoyed in San Diego living so close to the ocean!
Brooke continued, “When we found our home, my husband traveled to Canton for the home inspection and had lunch with my in-laws at Gervasi over a July 4th weekend. He returned to San Diego raving about how incredible the vineyard was, how they catered weddings constantly, and boasted multiple restaurants, villas, and a hotel, but they did not have a spa. My husband suggested that I pitch a spa to Gervasi with all my experience. When I started looking into Gervasi, I discovered they were already on that path.
“We were in escrow for our home in Canton when I discovered GV was hiring a spa manager. I applied for and was offered the position literally the first day I stepped foot into our new home in Canton. I was invited by Scott to tour the property and meet the entire Executive team and explore the soon-to-be spa site, all while my husband and his friends and family were unpacking our moving truck and moving our San Diego belongings into our new Ohio home on day one.”
Managing the Operations at The Spa
Brooke’s duties as The Spa Operations Manager began with critical research of the surrounding areas and discovering other spas (both near and far) and their offerings. She immediately started to help educate GV’s owners and Executive Team on how spas are operationally structured and managed.
“We discussed every single detail. Scott was eager to understand the new business and how a typical spa operates. It’s truly inspiring to see how invested the Swaldo/Blackerby Family is in making this resort a success! As we continued to build on the operations, I was able to build the Treatment menu, pricing, the “flow” of the spa, and the Glam Room. I created every service we offer, along with the protocols and bringing in the product lines,” Brooke said.
Brooke quickly realized that the Gervasi brand always strives for the best, and they needed an exclusive line that couldn’t be found right down the street. Because of that hard work and determination, The Spa has the most exclusive body product line, Kerstin Florian as its ritual body product line including pedicure scrubs and oils that you won’t find anywhere in the state of Ohio.
The Spa has a beautiful, luxurious product line, Babor, for the Facial Skincare line. This line is top shelf but a line that can cater to the masses. The price points are fair to all budgets and offer an assortment for skincare needs.
Then, Brooke turned to writing job descriptions and hiring efforts.
Brooke said, “I first hired a Spa Supervisor and was blessed to receive Kristen Fitchko’s resume. She had previous spa experience managing spas, which was exactly what was needed. Coming from out of state, I did not have resources or previous colleagues to gravitate from, Kristen was a great void to fill! She assisted with all hiring efforts. We went through an extensive hiring process to get the best technicians and spa support staff in the area! Once the staff was hired, extensive training began. We had the assistance of the vendor representatives flying in from out of state to help educate our team and train them on all products and ingredients. We went through weeks of training to create the experience our guests now receive as they start using The Spa.
“It is my job to deliver them not just supplies but support flipping rooms and assist with set-up/cleaning. If the staff has everything they need, then they can deliver their best, most professional experience for our guest, and if our guest is happy, then my job has been done well!”
Making The Spa Standout and Outstanding
Starting with arrival, guests are given special treatment at The Spa. Brooke mentioned that with most spas, guests are asked to arrive early, however, they tend to arrive close to if not past their appointment time.
“We are making Gervasi stand out from others the moment guests enter. We incentivize the guests who arrive early for their appointment time. Not only will they be able to receive their full treatment time, but by arriving for their “Tranquility Welcome”, guests receive their choice of a select GV wine or Sparkling Water option. They will also receive a warmed neck wrap and enjoy the Tranquility Lounge which includes fruit-infused water, light refreshments, a tea variety, and reading material to help guests relax in the present instead of having that cell phone close by!”
Another outstanding option that Gervasi offers is the Couple’s Suite Experience which is a private suite for two. After the tranquility welcome, they immerse their bodies in concentrated, powerful salts with the therapeutic benefits of eucalyptus aromatherapy to elevate bathing into a detoxifying, re-mineralizing sensory treatment. Included in the private suites is a refreshing side-by-side aromatherapy steam and cascading Chromotherapy rainfall shower to leave the mind and body feeling cleansed. Choose any 50- or 80-minute service depending on the package choice.
Always Planning for the Future at GV
Gervasi is always looking to the future while listening to guests and trying to meet their needs and requests. The Spa has already been successful with its opening and GV is looking forward to its continued growth.
Brooke said, “I have many, many ideas to grow for the future, but for now we are focusing on opening and executing our first summer at the Vineyard, which I understand summers here are quite popular. I plan to create fun seasonal promotions with new products in the future, but we want to perfect what we have already created and educate our guests on our services so they return knowing they will receive their favorites with no worries about them changing.
“I began my career at 19 years old as a Massage Therapist at a 5-Star Resort Hotel, 20 years later, I am grateful to be the Operations Manager at Gervasi Vineyard Resort and Spa and hope to educate and grow this family-owned and operated establishment to a 5-star resort and to continue educating technicians and staff to deliver that kind of an elite service to an elite clientele for years and years to come!”