Pineapple and Pampering
By Monica Heger

(Business 2.0) - What do a $5.3 billion fruit brand, a luxury hotel chain, and a medical insurance company have in common? Nothing--until they form a joint venture to get into the spa business. In August, Dole Foods will open its California Wellbeing Institute, a $300 million resort in which health-care insurer WellPoint (Research) has a 15 percent stake, with lodging operations to be managed by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (Research). Located near Dole's headquarters in Westlake Village, Calif., the hotel aims to be a destination unto itself, with a fitness center and spa as well as a medical facility where physicians and nutritionists will offer programs on dieting and cooking. Championed by Dole chairman David H. Murdock, the Wellbeing Institute is an extension of the new Dole Nutrition Institute, which educates consumers about healthy eating. "The center is the physical and tangible representation of Dole's wellness mission," says Dole president Richard Dahl. The company plans to open a similar center next year on the Hawaiian island of Lanai. Top of page

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