Indoor Tanning

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Personally, I’m not a big fan of tanning salons. Not only are the beds usually disgusting, with visible lines of sweat on the glass from the person who laid their naked ass on the bed before you, but I’ve often found dead bugs in my tanning beds. I forced myself into believing they just died from the excessive heat, but then again that wasn’t too comforting knowing I was about to spend 20 minutes laying in those harmful rays.

I’m all about tanning in the summer. Something about laying in a pool absorbing rays somehow seems more justifiable than fake baking. I know that any kind of exposure is harmful, so I guess I have lightened up on my tanning over the years. But I’m going to Miami in two weeks, then on a week long cruise down in the Caribbean, and my winter white skin can’t afford to see the sun without a base tan, unless I want to spend my vacation dousing myself with aloe vera and hiding inside my room.

I have only gone tanning for special occasions: when I was a bridesmaid in a wedding, vacation to the Bahamas, etc. For a halloween party once I went ahead and tried that Mystic Tan where you pay something kind of ridiculous and you get a quick spray tan. That had a little bit of an orange effect, and it started flaking off within days. I resorted to lotions just because I was sick of looking so pale and deathly ill during the winter, but these lotions are a pain in the ass.

Anyways the point to all of this rambling is this: I’ve begun searching for an affordable tanning salon in New York that I can just buy a few visits and leave it at that. Apparently, it’s impossible. Most places want something like 100+ dollars for their cheapest package, usually being like 2 weeks. I think the most I heard was $160 for 1 month unlimited. In Toledo, tanning was usually 2 bucks a single visit, and around 20-40 for monthly unlimited.

This place was about to open 2 blocks from my apartment on 23rd and Lexington, Beach Bum Tanning. I had researched them a bit online and though they did not mention pricing, their deals sounded pretty good so I figured they wouldn’t be too bad. I went down there every day for a week, and they kept telling me COME BACK TOMORROW WE’RE NOT OPEN YET. So I went in today, and they were “kind of” open. They were still setting the place up, but it looked pretty nice. The computers were having problems and they didn’t have a sheet to show me the beds, prices, or anything, nor did any of the staff members know anything about that. Then the guy told me that a single visit in the lowest power bed was 20 bucks, and 3 sessions is 76 bucks. It usually takes me at least 5-8 sessions to even get a base tan. I had a coupon for “buy one session, get 1 week of consecutive tanning free” but of course they didn’t have that level of bed in their salon. So as I was about to leave, the guy told me to go ahead in the stand up booth, and this one is on him. It was the second most powerful bed, which the maximum time is only like 12 minutes, but he put me in for 7.

Now I don’t know if you know anything about tanning or not, (most likely you do because I don’t think anyone who doesn’t tan would be interested in this story) but usually when they send you to a room they pre-set this “get ready” timer so that the bed will turn on in X amount of time, giving you time to get your lotion on and get ready. Well this guy only gave me 3 minutes, AND he didn’t give me any goggles. I deffinitely got fried. I used tingle lotion, which turns your skin slightly red and opens your pores so that you tan easier, but when I left this place I was as red as a fire truck, no joke. I threw my hood on and my huge oversized sunglasses, pulled my scarf over my mouth and bolted out the door.

Moral of this story: I really hope when this place is totally open and running normally that they get their shit together a little more. I understand it was their first day and all, but they didn’t even know pricing, and the guy selling me the packages continually said YEAH, IT’S NOT CHEAP IT’S PRETTY EXPENSIVE. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that’s a very good sales pitch. Has anyone else had any experiences with other Beach Bum locations? I’m thinking about visiting another one uptown if I can get the “one week free” deal.

2 Comments so far

  1. jaime (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 10:35 pm

    I frequent Beach Bum in my neighborhood in brooklyn. All tanning salons are expensive and in comparing them you will see the difference in prices is small. Look out for the sales (beginning of spring, middle of summer) because they are really good. Also, this may be because they were just opened, but at all the Beach Bums i’ve been to they have a 2 bowls on their counter, one containing goggles, the other containing eye stickers and i am always asked if i need eye protection. Give em a lil while. I also love Hollywood Tan, there machines are great and they are really clean (although they have stand ups only in the one i go to)


  2. kayla (unregistered) on February 28th, 2007 @ 5:17 pm

    beach bum tanning at 86th and lex was fine when i used to go there. they were pretty good about getting me in and out, although every now and then the wait was a little long. nonetheless, the packages are expensive (as are all in ny apparently.) I ended up paying $200 for 1 month unlimited.



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