A $350-million Wellness Theme Park With Waterslides, Thermal Baths, and Fitness Centers Is Coming to NYC

·3-min read

There may soon be a slice of calm in the middle of New York City's hustle and bustle. One of the original co-founders of Manhattan's High Line, Robert Hammond, is heading up efforts to bring a $350-million outpost of the European wellness resort Therme to the city, Crain's reported.

The idea behind the concept is melding together bathing traditions seen from Roman thermae, Japanese onsen, Turkish hammam baths, and Finnish saunas in an upscale and sleek fashion. "Throughout the world, there are deep-rooted traditions of well-being bringing together water, heat, and nature," the company describes on its site. "Core to the Therme Group story is how it is bringing back the essence of these global bathing traditions."

An indoor large theme park of a spa experience, Therme, locations in Canada and Bucharest
An indoor large theme park of a spa experience, Therme, locations in Canada and Bucharest

Courtesy of Therme

While an exact New York location hasn't been pinpointed, the idea is to find a 250,000-square-foot space to follow in the formation of its European locations, which first opened in 2009, according to the New York Post. Currently, there's one in the Romanian capital of Bucharest, and three in Germany — in the Black Forest, Euskirchen, and Sinsheim. While those locations have the benefit of large parcels of space — some as large as 20 acres — the city location will aim to be vertical to house its various amenities, which will include water parks, communal bathing, and fitness centers, as well as art events, Crain's said.

An indoor large theme park of a spa experience, Therme, locations in Canada and Bucharest
An indoor large theme park of a spa experience, Therme, locations in Canada and Bucharest

Courtesy of Therme

Among the features of the Bucharest location, which became the nation's most-visited attraction from 2016 to 2018, are various indoor waterslides and a massive pool with a swim-up bar, plus gardens, saunas, playgrounds, parks, beaches, mineral pools, and infrared beds.

An indoor large theme park of a spa experience, Therme, locations in Canada and Bucharest
An indoor large theme park of a spa experience, Therme, locations in Canada and Bucharest

Courtesy of Therme

By bringing in Hammond — who will officially start his role next April — the company leans on the expertise he brought to transform the old Manhattan railway into the High Line, as well as his involvement with the Times Square Alliance, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Little Island.

"Access to nature and relaxation are the keys to mental wellbeing and physical health," Hammond said in a statement. "As someone who understands firsthand the healing power of nature and the importance of mindfulness, I believe everyone needs a place where they can comfortably and affordably reconnect with themselves, nature, and the environment around them."

An indoor large theme park of a spa experience, Therme, locations in Canada and Bucharest
An indoor large theme park of a spa experience, Therme, locations in Canada and Bucharest

Courtesy of Therme

The first North American location of Therme is already in the works up in Toronto at Ontario Place. The Therme Group has already started to make its mark in New York City by investing in experiential art company Superblue, which is currently presenting its "Fragile Future" exhibit with its trademark floating cubes in Hudson Yards' The Shed.

An indoor large theme park of a spa experience, Therme, locations in Canada and Bucharest
An indoor large theme park of a spa experience, Therme, locations in Canada and Bucharest

Courtesy of Therme

While the Therme concept may be innovative for the city, it's not exactly the first spa resort in the area. Italian spa QC NY Spa — with more than 20 wellness experiences — will soon open on Governors Island, and seven-story Korean spa Sojo Spa Club opened in 2017 across the river in Edgewater, New Jersey, with nine outdoor pools, eight saunas, and an outdoor infinity pool with views of Manhattan.

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