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The Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS), the premier annual event for spa and wellness industry leaders, today announced the winners of its fourth annual “Spa of the Future” Student Challenge Competition. Top honors went to the University of Denver for its creative “Power Spa” for teen girls, while Cornell University, the University of Houston and Penn State University received second and third place awards respectively.

Each year leading universities submit designs for the most innovative and potentially profitable “spa of the future,” competing for cash prizes and global industry recognition. Student teams are responsible for developing all the conceptual and financial details of their project, and are then assigned a professional architect to bring their ideas to life. Not only first prize, but a standing ovation, went to the University of Denver’s Defiant!, a spa that rejects the typical “pampering-patronizing-pink-and-sparkly-manicure” teen spa model to tackle the emotional, physical and social needs of real girls.