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Exclusive: GOCO plans wellness community outside DC

25 Jul 2017
International spa and wellness consultancy and management company GOCO Hospitality is in the process of creating a GOCO Retreat across 750 acres (304 hectares) in the West Virginia countryside, not far from Washington DC.

GOCO Retreat Dawson Lake will focus heavily on the area’s natural mineral springs, and will include both a 70-bedroom wellness hotel and 150 residences – all houses.

Each of the 150 houses will be located on a two-acre plot, and will average 250sqm (2,691sq ft). Ingo Schweder, GOCO Hospitality CEO, said he expects the homes to attract busy city dwellers in Washington DC or Charlotte, North Carolina, who are looking for a second-home escape.

“The physical environment in which people live has an enormous impact on their health and overall wellness,” Schweder told Spa Opportunities. “Our GOCO Retreats not only offers guests extensive wellness programming and activities, but also provide them with a retreat from their everyday environment, allowing them to heal and reconnect with nature.”

An on-site 4,000sq m (43,056sq ft) spa will include mineral spring bathing, and other wellness activities including canoeing, hiking, biking, and horseback riding will be incorporated in the Retreat.

Schweder said he is also in talks with a Washington DC sustainable think tank to be anchored to the Retreat, and that he expects the location to be a space for politicians to escape for off-site meetings.

This is the second planned GOCO Retreat in the US; another is also in development in California, but Schweder said the two will be different.

“The offering of the two GOCO Retreats will be very distinct, as each will be reflecting the authenticity of its region,” he explained. “California and West Virginia are so incredibly different in many ways: in their climates, cultures and lifestyles – and all these factors must be taken into account when creating the offering.

“Even the architecture will be reflecting these regional differences,” he continued. “Authenticity flows through every part of our GOCO Retreats, and we want to ensure the architecture, design and choice of materials are true to their locale while integrating technically advanced renewable energy systems to manage and minimise our carbon footprint.”

GOCO Retreat Dawson Lake is currently in master-planning stages; an opening date has not yet been set.

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