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.
Absorb information, float, rinse, and repeat.
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 2 days of hands-on learning, in-depth planning, and floating.
This is quite possibly the best thing you could be doing in order to actualize the float center of your dreams.
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 internship 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 internship 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 internship 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.
Attended 5 Float Conferences, and counting, and completed two 3 day internships 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.
"Luke is a fantastic DIYer. After spending time with him, I now know I will be able to save some substantial start up costs by doing my own stuff on several items. I’d highly recommend anyone considering purchasing prebuilt tanks of any type to visit and check out Luke’s masterful work." ~ Susie Larson, Jonti Life
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 Internship outline
The internship starts on Friday morning and ends on Saturday evening. You are also welcome to float on Thursday if you are in town early. In your time here you will have the opportunity to absorb tons of information, float, rinse, 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 if you need help down the road. The internship also comes with email and phone support after you leave.
If you have a floor plan 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 diagnose a faulty pump
What to have in place before the public comes
Key things to communicate to customers
Ideally you can make it here for a float the day before your internship. Just go to www.floatdeep.com and set yourself up for as many floats as you want (use a credit card to hold the appointment, all of your floats are included in the internship.) Friday 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.
"Heather and I did our internship with Luke and it was very informative. From floating single and double, down to the details of our build out. We even went into trouble shooting and pump repair/replacement.
Luke's knowledge about floating and operating a float center are a must for anyone seeking to take that next step.
Thank you Luke for your honesty and an amazing experience." ~ Gordon
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. 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 and you will be on your own for the evening. Downtown you can find plenty of fun and/or healthy things to get into before and after hours, including:
Ice skating and swimming
Bike rental for our amazing paved and dirt trail systems
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 Float Center Internship cost is $800 plus 6.5% tax. A $400 deposit is required to hold your place, of which $125 is non-refundable. Internship includes 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 attend at a time, and if both are from the same float center the second internship is half off. If purchasing Mandala float systems with the Internship a $400 discount will be applied to the total.
If you're ready to get started, please fill out our float center internship form and we will be in touch!
"I feel much more comfortable and confident moving forward in my own Float centre after my internship there. Many of my concerns and anxieties were laid to rest thanks to Luke. I would recommend this internship to anyone opening a Float centre." ~ Sonia Pagliuso, Still Water Float Centre
Q & A
What if i'm not purchasing a mandala float system?
That is absolutely fine. 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.
Is friday-Saturday the only option?
If you have schedule conflicts just give us a call, we may be able to accommodate (most likely not on Sundays though.)
Adding a float room can be stressful. Doing it blindly is nuts! Actually meeting Luke at his center, learning everything from cleaning, chemistry and maintenance to brainstorming on ideas for my new addition made my blind leap more comforting and relaxing. Luke is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. If you're thinking of adding a float room, I HIGHLY recommend this intern program. If nothing else, go and enjoy some excellent food and great company! ~ Carla Cooper, Zaniya Massage
"Luke, has extensive knowledge of the float industry and has amazing float rooms - by far my best floats yet. I would recommend this internship to anyone looking to embark on the float world!" ~ Jenni