stay salty

New 'salt cave' spa promises allergy relief and more for Houstonians

Salt the day away in these treatment caves. Photo courtesy of The Salt Suite

Locals suffering from the assault of our city’s many allergens, or from lung or skin afflictions, may soon find relief thanks to one of the most common compounds on the planet: salt.

Halotherapy, a treatment in which users breathe in tiny salt particles that dates back to the 12th century, will be available later this year in Houston thanks to The Salt Suite, the nation’s only salt therapy franchise chain.

The company has announced plans to open 20 new locations in Houston by the end of 2022. Areas that The Salt Suite is targeting include River Oaks, Galleria/Uptown, West Memorial, I-10 Villages, and Katy, a company spokesperson tells CultureMap.

How does it work? Through 45-minute salt therapy sessions in Salt Suite’s “caves,” a machine — dubbed a halogenerator — grinds pharmaceutical-grade dry salt into micro-sized particles, which are dispersed into the air of the salt rooms, per a press release. Guests are encouraged to lounge, relax, and breathe in the purified, antibacterial micro salt particles in the air.

This halotherapy, the company claims, helps allergy symptoms, respiratory ailments, skin issues, and boost the immune system. (The salt lounges are certainly cozy.) Membership plans start at $109, per the company website.

Salt Suite brass adds that the company tapped Houston for one of our more famous, or infamous, features — allergies.

“Not many people know that Houston is also one of the country’s worst allergy cities in the U.S.,” said Tiffany Dodson, CEO of The Salt Suite, in a statement, “which has us excited to bring much-needed relief to local Houston communities and introduce them to the benefits of halotherapy.”

Other Salt Suite options include children’s sessions, skin care, salt booths, and private events.

Those interested in salt sessions or even franchise opportunities can find information online.


This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Building Houston


Electric vans will now be delivering to Houston. Photo courtesy of Amazon

Amazon CEO/occasional space traveler Jeff Bezos is doing his best to supplant a certain jolly fellow from the North Pole as tops for holiday gift delivery.

His latest move: Amazon is rolling out more than 1,000 electric delivery vehicles, designed by electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian, ready to make deliveries in more than 100 cities across the U.S. On the Texas good list: Houston, Austin, and Dallas. Bezos' juggernaut began deliveries in Dallas in July, along with Baltimore, Chicago, Kansas City, Nashville, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, and St. Louis.

These zero-emissions vans have delivered more than 5 million packages to customers in the U.S., according to Amazon. The latest boost in vehicles now includes Houston and Austin; Boston; Denver; Indianapolis; Las Vegas; Madison, Wisconsin; Newark, New Jersey; New York, Oakland, California; Pittsburgh, Portland, Oregon; Provo, Utah; and Salt Lake City.

Plans for the Amazon and Rivian partnership call for thousands of vehicles on the road by the end of the year and 100,000 vehicles by 2030.

“We’re always excited for the holiday season, but making deliveries to customers across the country with our new zero-emission vehicles for the first time makes this year unique,” said Udit Madan, vice president of Amazon Transportation, in a statement. “We’ve already delivered over 5 million packages with our vehicles produced by Rivian, and this is still just the beginning—that figure will grow exponentially as we continue to make progress toward our 100,000-vehicle goal.”

This all comes as part of Amazon's commitment to reaching net-zero carbon by 2040, as a part of its The Climate Pledge; Amazon promises to eliminate millions of metric tons of carbon per year with it s commitment to 100,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2030, press materials note.

Additionally, Amazon announced plans to invest more than $1 billion over the next five years to further electrify and decarbonize its transportation network across Europe. This investment is meant to spark innovation and encourage more public charging infrastructure across the continent.

“Fleet electrification is essential to reaching the world’s zero-emissions goal,” said Jiten Behl, chief growth officer at Rivian, in a statement. “So, to see our ramp up in production supporting Amazon’s rollout in cities across the country is amazing. Not just for the environment, but also for our teams working hard to get tens of thousands of electric delivery vehicles on the road. They continue to be motivated by our combined mission and the great feedback about the vehicle’s performance and quality.”

A little about the vans: Drivers’ favorite features include a spacious cabin and cargo area, superior visibility with a large windshield and 360-degree cameras, and ventilated seats for fast heating and cooling — a must for Bayou City summers ... or winters, for that matter.


This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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