If You Build It, They Will Come

Whole Foods Market announces plans to open health resort

Whole Foods Market announces plans to open health resort

Austin Photo: places_shopping_whole foods flagship_exterior
Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey told USA Today the company plans to open a health resort in three years.

If you are among the unwashed masses or perhaps dabble in the occasional genetically-modified organism, then you've likely noticed the healthy, youthful glow of Whole Foods Market shoppers — especially at its downtown headquarters' location.

That lit-from-within look might not be out of reach for much longer: Whole Foods co-founder, book author and occasional gaffe-maker John Mackey told USA Today that his company plans to open a Whole Foods resort in three years.

Actually, he made the announcement last Friday, possibly as part of a weird, SXSW-timed way to sweep this seemingly good news under the rug. 

"Think of it as a center where people would go for a day, a weekend or a week for healthy lifestyle education," Mackey told USA Today.

The move to build a resort in the downtown Austin area is part of the company’s overall expansion plans, as the turning of the economy has boosted their bottom line and stock value. The wellness market, it would appear, is making a strong comeback.

Mackey says Whole Foods is testing the waters of the local real estate market and is shopping for the right hotel chain to operate the future resort and if all goes well with this pilot program, more resorts could follow in other locations.

And though the resort’s opening is three years away, it couldn’t have come at a better time for the company — Austin was just ranked by Gallup’s Healthways Well-Being Index as having the best overall health in the state.