Last updated November 15, 2022
I briefly visited Red Mountain Resort in Utah many years ago for a Spafinder-hosted business retreat. Even that brief “taste” of Snow Canyon had a deep influence on me and definitely left me wanting more.
After speaking with General Manager Tracey Welsh, I better understand the magnetic pull of the region and am now more determined than ever to return and do the Narrows hike in Zion National Park.
After you read Tracey’s WELL Q&A, I assure you you’ll be wanting to join me!
Sallie: Can you give us a bit of your background?
Tracey: I’m a hotelier at heart, moving from a brief post-college start in radio to a historic bed & breakfast in rural Illinois. From there, I worked at a large golf resort, and after tiring of years of snowy Midwestern winters, the beautiful Red Mountain Resort called me to the desert.
Sallie: What brought you to Red Mountain Resort? What has changed since you first arrived?
Tracey: Deborah Evans, one of the early leaders in the Destination Spa Group, was the GM at Red Mountain. Her vision and passion for the industry were infectious, and the stunning beauty of what we now call the Greater Zion area was magnetic.
In many ways, the resort has kept its destination spa programming roots, while adding layers of indulgences. The resort experience continues to include physical exercise, outdoor adventures, personal discovery, spa treatments and wellness offerings, while our dining offerings are less restrictive than the early days.
It’s much less about weight loss and more about the celebration of good health, community and our beautiful environment.
Sallie: What are three of your favorite things about Red Mountain Resort?
Tracey: The wide-open space and view of Snow Canyon State Park, the labyrinth, and a stretch class after a hike.
Sallie: What motivates you to do what you do? What is your “why?”
Tracey: The rock stars that I am lucky enough to work with are what motivate me. The Red Mountain Resort team is truly dedicated to our guests and each other.
This resort experience is transformative for our guests in many different ways, and each time I talk with guests who have been returning for years and years, it is the energy of this sacred and safe place that calls them to return and the care that they have received from our team.
Sallie: I always say, “Wellness is not one size fits all!” What does wellness look like for you?
Tracey: Of late, it has been walking my young white lab puppy and being more thoughtful with my food choices. I work to get quality sleep. I indulge my desire to create through oil painting.
Sallie: Can you share what spa treatments you particularly enjoy at the Sagestone Spa?
Tracey: I love a facial or body treatment—anything with water. I love a Vichy shower.
Sallie: Please tell us a little about the cuisine at Red Mountain and share one of your favorite dishes (it can be more than one if you’d like!).
Tracey: We just added a Pretzel Bread French Toast with Prickly Pear Syrup to our Sunday Brunch menu, and just mentioning it is making my mouth water!
Chef Chad Luethje creates his menus with an emphasis on clean whole foods, sustainably harvested seafood, with flavors of the southwest prevalent throughout the entrees.
Most dinner entrees are less than 500 calories, and our breads and desserts are all homemade.
Sallie: The hiking where you are is world-class. Do you like to hike or do outdoorsy activities?
Tracey: My first hike in Snow Canyon 20 years ago was life-changing. I don’t hike as much as I’d like to, but I always love a walk outdoors and off the beaten path.
My favorite hike, hands down, is the Narrows in Zion National Park. I grew up spending summers on a houseboat on the Mississippi—and I found myself missing the water—so my family boats now on our local reservoirs more than we hike.
Sallie: If you had a crystal ball you could look into to tell us what is up ahead for wellness travelers, what would you see?
Tracey: I love the integration that I see with technology and wellness. From wearable technology to apps to immersive artistic experiences, it is all so exciting.
However, to me, there is nothing more grounding than experiencing nature and being outdoors, connecting with Mother Nature and the earth’s natural beauty.
Images courtesy Red Mountain Resort