MEDFORD, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Economic factors and high gas prices may be slowing demand for aesthetic and cosmetic services, despite industry participants’ robust January 2008 forecasts to the contrary. Preliminary findings from’s ( national summer survey of aesthetic medical practices and medical spas identified a slight majority (61%) of businesses reporting growth, compared to 73% last summer. The remaining facilities continue to operate at the same level or have experienced some decline. As in past years, the question respondents would most like to ask competitors is how to implement effective advertising and marketing.

Locally, several new spas have opened within the past year, and a dermatologist from Grants Pass plans to develop a 50-acre property of pear orchards near Jacksonville into a hotel/medical spa complex. David Young, MD, feels there is a strong market for leading-edge facilities. “The industry is increasing dramatically. People are willing to drive to have cosmetic procedures.” A market analysis prepared by EcoNorthwest (Eugene OR) estimates 9,000 – 27,000 visitors to the proposed facility could boost annual tourism spending by $1.2 – $3.5 million.1

Despite higher travel expenses this year, play-goers continue to visit the area to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which sustained 90% capacity through mid-July 2008.2 Rogue Valley residents, however, are cutting back. In July, an informal Person-On-The-Street survey was conducted by’s researchers in four Southern Oregon cities: Ashland, Central Point, Medford, and White City. The survey pool included 91 respondents, most of whom (40%) drove less this year than during the same period in 2007. Within that group, 75% had eliminated three or more trips per week.3 A follow-up survey will evaluate the potential impact on local businesses.

Feedback Research Services (FRS) is a consulting / publishing company that analyzes health care and other markets. Three reports focus on consumer-driven demand for aesthetic / cosmetic products and services: Medical Retail Markets (U.S. Skin Care Sales), Medical Spa Market Review, and U.S. Esthetician Markets. [Selected reports are discounted $50 during August 2008.] ( is an online resource for industry reports and custom research services. A new feature, StrataGist, presents local perspectives on national trends, using surveys conducted in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley. Interest in transportation issues resulted from FRS’s completion of a large-scale project earlier this year. A report is pending publication by the client.

1 “Spa Could Spur Economy”, Mail Tribune, July 29, 2008 (

2 “A Critical Look at Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Summer-Fall Lineup”, Seattle Times, July 20, 2008 (