YONSGAN GARRISON — Dragon Hill Lodge’s hair and nail salon is undergoing a $177,000 expansion that will offer more space and privacy for customers who want massages, haircuts and pedicures, according to officials at the on-base hotel.
And eventually it will, for the first time, offer massages to men.
The expansion at Clippers signals more than just a larger space for people who want to get their nails done. It’s part of an overall plan to transform the lodge into a coveted destination as U.S. Forces Korea’s troops and workers transfer to the southern part of South Korea, according to the Dragon’s general manager, Rich Gorman.
“As Yongsan relocates, we will become much more of a ‘leave’ space,” Gorman said Friday. “We want to provide the services we think the soldiers deserve.”
So as he reviews each of the expiring contracts with the stores and services in Yongsan, he said, he’s thinking about what will be needed at the Dragon not just now, but in coming years. That’s what he did with Clippers, and the salon offered to pay for the expansion to provide better services, he said.
USFK is working with South Korea’s government to decrease U.S. troop strength by about 12,500 and consolidate U.S. forces in the country’s central part. Current plans call for Yongsan Garrison eventually to shrink by more than 95 percent, to about 30 acres surrounding the Dragon Hill Lodge.
For the past 15 years, the lodge has depended on the influx of servicemembers, contractors and civilians needing lodging while on temporary or permanent assignment in Seoul. In a few years, Gorman said, that flow of customers should dry up.
To prepare, he plans to adjust the Dragon Hill’s services slowly to more resemble The New Sanno, a military hotel in Tokyo. The next change will involve adding a stretch room at the lodge’s gym, The Point. In a few years, he said, he envisions the Point offering more spa services, like aromatherapy and massages.
Gorman said Clippers, to reopen May 6, has leased additional space in the adjoining, and former, game room, adding 1,000 square feet to the salon.
“It’s a busy space,” he said Friday as he took a break from helping to choose wallpaper for the remodeled space.
Roxanne Holland, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing, agreed. To get a pedicure now, she said, “you have six (stations) and you’re sitting on top of each other.”
The new salon will have nine permanent manicure and pedicure stations; hair stations will be increased from eight to 11. The salon also will be able to offer massages to men for the first time. Currently, Clippers has just one massage room, which has been reserved for women customers, Holland said. Now, it will have five massage tables, she said, including one in a private room.