Our float center, Deep Floatation Therapy, is located in a small friendly town in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota.
The apprenticeship program is 3 days of hands-on learning, in-depth planning, and plenty of floating.
This is quite possibly the best thing you could be doing in order to actualize the float center of your dreams.
"You don't know what you don't know.."
The planning and building stages of starting a float center come with steep learning curves in all directions. It can be daunting to know that the decisions you make now will be subject to scrutiny by government officials, and have lasting effects on your business and sanctuary. We have been there multiple times ourselves, and we continually experience the intricacies and pressures of float center design & construction through our friends and customers. We are elated to offer help in this supremely important stage of planning your business.
Who we are
Prior to getting involved with floating in 2011 my primary professional background was in hospitality. After my first float I began to disattach from the work I was doing and started diving into the world of floating. First I attended the International Float Conference in Portland, Oregon, where I made some friends in the industry who ended up being invaluable resources on my journey. Next I did a 3 day apprenticeship in Colorado. Being present with the operators, customers, tasks, and lots of float time was the best thing I could have done in order to reach my goals. My second apprenticeship was in Alberta, where I had some theories confirmed and even more were completely reimagined. While some things we can research and learn from a distance, I believe that real life experience gives us what we need to move forward.
After my first apprenticeship I found a used float tank in very bad shape, it literally showed up in damaged parts and pieces. Cleaning, repairing, reconstructing, and eventually floating in that tank was a huge learning experience that I would later draw on when creating Mandala products.
My partner Monica and I offered floating to the public out of our home one summer with that tank, and we saw enough interest to validate our desire to open a commercial float center. Then began our 3 year journey to find an adequate space, secure funding, and construct the float center we were dreaming of and talking about every single day. We negotiated in depth with 5 different locations and I built comprehensive floorplans for each of those spaces. It was exhausting.
Thankfully we eventually found the space that works, negotiated a great long term lease, and began construction. 6 months later Deep was born, and next to my children it is one of the things I am most proud of in my life. Coming here to float and to share this special space with others is a continual source of insight, inspiration, and gratitude.
My goal when consulting is to help people be creative and efficient when planning and building their float center. It fills my cup to be of service in this tiny beloved niche that is not only an industry, it is an involved and enriching practice.
Luke's resume highlights:
- Designed every aspect of Deep, worked with city officials, and performed as both the grunt and the project manager in the build out. Excavated the plumbing lines, hung the drywall, installed the showers and pools, and laid the flooring.
- Involved on site at 6 float center buildouts, and counting.
- Floated at 9 different centers and counting.
- His inventions for float tanks are in 200 + float centers and counting.
- Hosts floats 30+ hours per week, and does all the maintainance on the float pool chemistry & equipment.
- Built and maintains both www.floatdeep.com and www.mandalafloat.com, and makes all marketing materials for Mandala and Deep.
- Attended 5 Float Conferences, and counting, and completed two 3 day apprenticeships at float centers.
- Experience building countless comprehensive floorplans which include electrical, HVAC, soundproofing, and ADA requirements.
- Loves floating, and talks with other float center owners every day.
Monica is the co-owner of Deep and active massage therapist of over 15 years. She loves our float center and is happy to welcome you here and help however she can. Monica knows bodywork exceptionally well, and is naturally talented at customer relations. She will be in and out of Deep doing massages during your time here and she is excited to meet you.
The apprenticeship outline
The apprenticeship starts on Thursday morning and ends on Saturday evening. This gives us 3 days together where you will have the opportunity to absorb tons of information, float, eat, and repeat. We will foster a felt sense of what it's like to operate a float center, and establish a rapport between us for when you need help during construction. The apprenticeship also comes with email and phone support after you leave.
If you have a floor plan bring with accurate measurements bring it along so we can obsess over the intricacies of your plan while you are here!
What you can expect
Because everyone's strengths and needs are different, we will impress little structure on your time here. We want you to guide process by communicating where you are at and what you hope to achieve. We do have a list of things we wished we knew when we were starting out, which include:
- How to efficiently transition between floats
- How to maintain solution chemistry & cleanliness
- How to swap out and repair a pump
- What to have in place before the public comes
- Key things to communicate to customers
- In person training with Float Helm
Ideally you can make it here for a 6pm float time the Wednesday before the apprenticeship so you can float first. Thursday morning we will have an in-depth tour of the facility and get you acquainted with how everything works, and you'll help us get the rooms ready for the public. Deep will then be open for business for the majority of your apprenticeship. We operate in a laid-back manner, and we are grateful that you are here.
What we expect
Deep is our sanctuary and our livelihood. We expect you to treat it and its customers with respect. Our standards are practical wisdom and include:
- A presentable appearance and smell. Dreadlocks, tattoos, (tastefully) tattered jeans, etc. are all totally fine. A huge coffee stain, BO, or cigarette stench is not ok.
- A kind and relaxed temperament around our guests. We have food, exercise, and meditation space readily available when needed.
- Communicate your comfort zone. If you are here to learn nuts and bolts and you don't like talking to people, we can stick to design and maintenance. If you have someone else to do your maintenance and don't want to rebuild a pump we are not going to make you do it. Just let us know where you are at.
Rapid City is a very affordable place to visit. There are two great hotel options downtown starting at $60/night. A healthy meal from a local restaurant is $5 to $15. Unless you plan to visit attractions in the area like Mount Rushmore (30 minute drive) and the Badlands (45 minute drive), you will not need a rental car.
Here is some helpful information for making your travel arrangements:
- Airport code RAP
- Hotel Alex Johnson has an amazing rooftop bar and a storied past. If you're not spooked by ghost stories the Alex Johnson is in a great location with reasonable rates.
- The Rushmore Hotel is more modern. Both hotels have multiple room sizes and levels of luxury.
- Air BnB options.
- Airport Express can bring you downtown from the airport for $25 each way.
Outside of working hours we will most likely be spending time with our family. Downtown you can find plenty of fun and/or healthy things to get into before and after hours, including:
- Sol Yoga Collective
- Three breweries
- The Elks Theater
- Ice skating and swimming
- Bike rental for our amazing paved and dirt trail systems
- The Journey Museum
- And live music almost every night.
We believe it's important to have a good time and to balance learning with non-related activities. So please, plan to do something fun while you're here!
The apprenticeship cost is $1200 plus 6.5% tax. A $125 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve. Apprenticeship includes 24 hours in the float center and 2 hours of distance consulting. If additional consulting time is desired after an apprenticeship it is discounted 50% to $30/hour. Up to 2 people can apprentice at a time, and if both are from the same float center the second apprenticeship is half off. If purchasing a Mandala float system with the apprenticeship a $600 discount will be applied to the total.
If you're ready to get started, please fill out our float center apprenticeship application and we will be in touch!
Q & A
What if i'm not purchasing a mandala float system?
Honestly we do not care. We are happy to get to know you! Luke has experience with many different float tanks, and is happy to help however he can.
I kind of need to bring my family..
Fun! While we do not want children at Deep when we are open for business, there are numerous awesome activities nearby for the family while you work.
How much can I float?
How much do you want to float? A few shorter floats? A 3 hour and a 1 hour? Two 2 hours and a 45 minute? We will make sure you get plenty of float time. Note we do not do overnight floats.