December’s Public Sauna of the Month brings us to Steven’s Point, Wisconsin, where Nicole Terrill introduced field correspondent Tom Carlson to her amazing creation, Nordic Night Sauna.
Start with “Why?”
Nicole carefully studied the “why” of sauna for years before she began planning a sauna business of her own. And for Nicole perhaps the strongest “why” of sauna is the long list of health benefits. As fans of sauna we can be quick to repeat the things we hear about the health benefits of sauna. And often to the point that some of us likely sound like snake oil salespeople to our friends. “It improves sleep” “it’s good for mental health” “it detoxifies you”, “it cures baldness and cancer, reverses death and taxes!” While most health benefits sauna fans mention may be true, careful scientific research backs only some assertions.
In pursuing her clinical Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) Nicole learned to responsibly validate health claims and Nordic Night makes no unproven statements. Every health benefit mentioned on their website is legitimate, everything covered in staff training, every point made by a session host… Nordic Night makes no B.S. health claims. Period.
Thorough and Thoughtful Curation
Nordic Night officially opened for business in June, 2023. It is a truly excellent sauna, and that’s no accident. For a well over a year now Nicole has essentially made the startup her primary job. With lots of support from her husband, Josh, she devotes to the sauna nearly all of the time that otherwise would go to more financially lucrative work. And lots of time that would normally go to fun and relaxing things too! So, bringing the business to life required assistance from countless members of the community. All these folks amazed Nicole with their willingness to help, especially in the months they converted an empty lot into the unique spa that it became.
At each step Nicole carefully considers the options and the potential impact of each on achieving the sauna’s ethos. For example, who would build it, what should she stress in her design requirements, where to locate the sauna, how to market it, etc. Countless decisions carefully made. Nicole credits her manager, Abbey, who became a critical component of the formula early on. In Nicole’s own words:
“Abbey makes this business sustainable because while I have big ideas and the ability to vision cast and create lasting relationships, Abbey can meet me there but also can get details in order and make sure everything actually keeps running. The business would be in a very different place without her.
All of Nicole’s devotion and contentious decision-making shine through in the execution. Nicole and the now 8 hosts are trained to facilitate sessions for Nordic Night’s busy schedule. The team aims to deliver an unparalleled experience. The community has noticed and bench spaces are filling up. And busy Nordic Night is: the week of this writing the sauna will host 23 different events! 16 Community sessions, 4 private sweats, a guided meditation session, another guided experience called “The Unwind”, and the weekly “Sweaty Betty” session just for females and people who identify as non-binary.
A Community Asset
Nordic Night doesn’t simply reside in Stevens Point, it’s woven into the fabric of the community. Nicole’s love of the people of this town shines when she talks about the sauna. She constantly looks for synergistic relationships between her business and other organizations that benefit the community. Nordic Night sits on land leased from a non-profit that promotes and distributes healthy, locally-grown food. They share the lot with a florist that focuses on native and wild flora. Nicole strives to keep her prices reasonable so the sauna is accessible to people at all economic levels. The business hosts community events. And, of course, Nordic Night provides a healthy, social space to bring together the people of Stevens Point
So, for their devotion for sauna’s health benefits, careful research and planning, and dedication to the community we are proud to name Nordic Night Sauna our Public Sauna of the Month for December. Incredible job, Nicole and crew!
Use our Public Sauna Map to find great heat at Nordic Night and nearly 200 other carefully-selected businesses (with more added all the time.) We provide the map and these Public Sauna of the Month features as a service to sauna lovers everywhere and receive no payment for them. Enjoy!
Author’s note: Nordic Night Sauna’s website is worth a visit. Of all the public sauna businesses I’ve visited and researched none boasts a site that so accurately represents what they do and why. Part of me felt this story should be little more than a link to the site, for fear I’d fail to do justice to this amazing sauna .