Pura Vida Salon and Spa, across Campus Court from the Administration Building, will close its doors on March 31.
The university has decided that the cost of running the store does not benefit the school financially enough for it to remain open, said Steven Holley, vice president and chief business officer. He said the university soon will notify customers of the plan to close.
With school money going toward the new stadium and scholarships, Holley said his office aims to have a cost-effective outlook in all academic affairs. Pura Vida has reset its business model twice within the past four years to achieve the financial goal for the university but has not hit par, Holley said.
“At a high level, (keeping Pura Vida open) would be the equivalent of several scholarships, in the neighborhood of 5-7 scholarships easily as an example,” he said. “They did great work. It’s a great customer experience and a nice thing to have. But I can’t turn around and not consider the other opportunities.”
Students said they were sad to see the salon go, many expressing satisfaction with the service and proximity to campus. Charlie Lauerman, a sophomore marketing major from Chanhassen, Missouri, said his experience exceeded his expectations.
“They were very easy to deal with while making an appointment, and when I went to get a hair cut, I described what I wanted and she did exactly that,” he said.
Shelby Bridges, a junior elementary education major from Abilene, said she was disappointed.
“I love going there because of the environment,” she said. “The people were so nice and welcoming, and there was always Christian music playing on the radio.”
In addition, employees of the store expressed disappointment as well, but would not discuss the closure on the record.
Holley said he appreciated their hard work.
“One, I am very appreciative of the Pura Vida staff for creating a unique and loving environment for our students,” he said. “Secondly, my commitment is to identify a longer term investment that would even more enhance the student academic experience on this campus.”
Pura Vida is prepared to honor the value of gift cards with services before March 31 or to offer a monetary refund, Holley said.
“Those people on their sweat equity made a great brand,” he said. “The problem for us is the investment versus many student activities. At the end of the day, we are an academic institution that’s creating a unique student experience.”