SYNC Float Center opens float pods for business
When Michelle Larson came to Justin Hunter and suggested that they open a float center together, Hunter did not hesitate to agree. The two dove headfirst into plans and, after two years, opened the SYNC Float Center in October.
The business partners met while working the opening of a Whole Foods Market in Draper in 2014. After Hunter transferred to the Park City store, the two worked as a team and immediately recognized how well they worked together. They bounced around the idea of starting a business, but it was not until both tried a float session in Ogden that Larson decided.
“We’re opening one of these in Park City,” she said.
Floating is a type of therapy in which people sit in a float pod, also known as a sensory deprivation tank. In the pods, there is little to no sensory input. Lights are off or dimmed, any sound is blocked by soundproof walls and the water and air are at the same temperature as one’s body. The lack of stimuli allows the brain and body to relax, Larson said.
SYNC Float, located at 1200 W. Lori Lane, has three float pods. Clients float in about 10 inches of water and more than 900 pounds of magnesium sulfate. The magnesium helps calm the nervous system, relieve tension in muscles and lower blood pressure, according to SYNC Float’s website.
Larson enjoys it for meditation and relaxing. At her previous job, she used to take work breaks in a closet, where she could turn off the lights and meditate. But, she said that floating has a variety of benefits.
“People use it to refocus while some use it for their body to heal,” she said. “We’ve got ski jumpers that come in and mogul skiers. For them, they are coming in pre-competition to focus and push some of that lactic acid out and get their muscles nice and loose before they compete.”
Research is also being done that shows that floating can help with post-traumatic stress disorder, Hunter said, which is why the two decided to start the Weightless Warrior program, in which veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder can get eight free floats.
Hunter fell in love with floating during a stressful time in his life when other coping mechanisms — such as yoga and meditation — were not giving him the results he needed. While floating reduced his anxiety, it had a side-effect of healing his migraines.
The process to open the center was not as relaxing as a float, though. After signing the documents to purchase the space last year, they waited for construction and building permits and also had to move the pods in through narrow doorways. Now that it is open, Larson said that she is exactly where she wants to be.
“It’s pretty lovely,” she said. “It’s fun to be able to walk in here every day.”
Part of the reason the duo loves working at Sync Float Center is because they get to see people who are trying floating for the first time.
“It’s very rewarding,” Hunter said. “The most stark changes have been new parents. They walk in and you can tell they haven’t slept in who knows how long. And they come out and they’re bubbly and they’re bright. It’s a complete reset for them.”
The journey of learning the entrepreneurial life and being their own bosses has also been fun for them. Larson said it has been an adjustment learning to make decisions without any overhead administration. But, she is growing into the role.
Hunter said that business has been steady and growing in Park City, especially because of the high density of athletes in the area. He and Larson are excited to see where the business goes in the future. “Park City is the perfect place for it, because the reemergence of floating has happened mostly because of athletes,” he said. “Because of this popularity there are suddenly studies being done on it and it is creeping into the general public space again. I think we’re on the forefront of that.”
SYNC Float Center
1200 W Lori Ln, Suite B10, Kamas
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Another ski season is in the books, and much to the relief of the restaurant industry, the outlook, like the weather, is looking sunny.