Health and wellness retreats underway in Vail |

Health and wellness retreats underway in Vail

Melanie Wong
Trista and Ryan Sutter lead the way in a recent health and wellness retreat with Peak Wellness hike the Vail Trail. The participants were part of a test group for the new business' customized retreats, and owners Gaby Milhoan and Lauren Arnold hope it will draw high-end fitness/wellness vacationers from around the country.
Special to the Daily |

VAIL — A few months after announcing the launch of Peak Wellness Retreats, the health and wellness company hosted its first group of healthy vacationers in June and are gearing up for the rest of the summer.

Peak Wellness, started by Eagle County locals Gaby Milhoan and Lauren Arnold, hosts high-end, customized fitness and wellness vacations utilizing existing resources around the valley. A client might come in for a weight-loss focused two weeks. In the course of that time, they’ll consult with some of the renowned medical professionals in Vail, train with the town’s celebrity athletes and eat carefully crafted, nutritious meals from gourmet chefs. Of course, they’ll do so while enjoying Vail’s outdoor activities, staying in the village’s boutique hotels and recuperating at luxurious spas.

Round one

A test group, consisting of four locals and two women who have extensive wellness retreat experience, went through a two-week sample of a retreat in the early summer. Their website, http://www.peak recently went live, and Milhoan and Arnold said they expect interest to grow for the end of summer and fall.

Support Local Journalism

A slew of local businesses, including rafting companies, fishing guides, fitness trainers, spas and restaurants have jumped on board. Peak Wellness acts as the concierge, coordinating and crafting the retreat itinerary, and the individual businesses and experts pay a fee for the opportunity to get the business from participants.

“The test group really helped point out what makes our retreats different,” said Milhoan. “First, we incorporate integrative medicine. We start the program off with a medical visit, so that it is medically based from the get-go.”

Also, participants mentioned that other retreats were great while they lasted, but didn’t help them continue with lifestyle changes once they got home. Peak Wellness sends participants home with a month’s worth of workouts and plans, then offers them a chance to purchase continued training and monitoring.

New programs

While the original intent of the business was to draw tourism business with a focus on health and wellness, the company has also started a component geared toward locals. The 360 Fit program offers valley residents a 1-month, 3-month or 6-month program that includes performance tests, medical support, training sessions and nutrition plans.

The retreats turn its attention toward women during the week of the USA Pro Challenge — from Aug. 23 to 25, participants of the PwrHer Women’s Wellness Weekend will hike and fly-fish, raft, cook with chef Kelly Liken.

“It’s for the women who might not want to spend the whole weekend watching pro cycling,” said Milhoan. “It will include fun combination activities like yoga on the river, or a raft trip that includes a boot camp.”

Meanwhile, the Vail business community and town have given Peak Wellness its approval. The town has pitched in some money toward Peak Wellness programs, and many businesses are eager to participate.

“This is really exciting,” said Beth Slifer, owner of Slifer Designs and chair of the town’s marketing district advisory council. “This is really putting some meat on the bones of health and wellness in Vail.”

Assistant Managing Editor Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2927 and at Follow her on Twitter @mwongvail.

Support Local Journalism