NEWTON — The "hottest place in town" celebrated its ninth anniversary on Saturday with free tans, hourly giveaways and 25 percent off packages and lotions, which will extend throughout March.
Located on East Clinton Street in Newton, Riviera Tan has kept up with innovations and safety concerns in the industry while upholding its standards on customer service.
"No matter how long you've been in business and how loyal your customer base, it's really important to show your customers that you appreciate them," said owner Michelle Rombousek of Sandyston.
She opened the business with the help of good friend and salon manager Deb Singh, also of Sandyston, nine years ago. In that time, Riviera has moved to bigger and better quarters and integrated different types of beds as well as spray tanning and teeth whitening.
Beating the winter bluesThough indoor tanning has fallen under some scrutiny, one positive is that it has been shown to provide Vitamin D, something that many become deficient in during the winter months.
It has also been shown to help alleviate the winter blues by taking customers away to a warm place for a few minutes. By March, most people have had it with "Old Man Winter" and the Sandyston ladies said they see a lot of people coming in to “think spring and summer.”
The salon has several different levels of tanning beds and offers mostly lie down beds but also a standing bed for those who prefer that.
"We see most people choose the lay down beds because it lets them relax and just pretend they're someplace warm while they tan," said Rombousek.
All of the tanning beds are regulated with timers for safety and Riviera is meticulous about cleaning the beds and goggles.
Other servicesSpray tanning has become very popular at Riviera Tan, too, Rombousek said, and is a great options for teens looking to be tan for prom.
"Since you now have to be 17 to tan, we see a lot of teens looking to try spray tanning," she said.
Riviera offers a two-for-one option where people can try spray tanning and if their faces fade due to more washing, they can come back to get it redone for free.
The teeth whitening component at Riviera uses a special type of light to remove coffee or other stains to brighten your smile.
When it comes to competition, there is a new player in town, but that doesn't worry Rombousek.
"Of course at first you wonder if it will impact business, but in the end, they're different from us and only offer stand up beds," said Rombousek of the Hollywood Tans chain that opened on Newton-Sparta Road. "Our customers have remained loyal and true, we offer great products and you do get what you pay for."
She added that rather than fearing competition, it "keeps you on your toes."
New additionsIn addition to Rombousek's services, she's also added an electronic funds transfer option (EFT) for customers to pay monthly in exchange for big savings.
She's also tweeked her spray tanning packages to be more flexible and continues her commitment to being state-of-the-art, having staff available for questions and featuring little extras such as jewelry.
Riviera Tan is located at 10 East Clinton Street, in Newton, and hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call 973-383-0063.