Franchise opens in New London
By Scott Bellile
The city of New London is now home to Wisconsin’s first 24-hour tanning salon.
Chris and Kim Polanco and Katie and Wade Wisnefske all opened a Touch-n-Tan 24/7 franchise together on Feb. 15 at the former Sears building, 1819 N. Shawano St. The business offers six tanning beds, day or night.
Customers can walk in or buy memberships. They’re permitted to use a tanning bed for up to 15 minutes in a 24-hour period, to ensure they don’t get overexposed.
“Safety is big. They want safety,” Chris Polanco said about Touch-n-Tan 24/7’s corporate values.
Chris Polanco first thought of opening a tanning salon several years ago when he found people without gym memberships wanted to use the two tanning beds at his Anytime Fitness franchise down the street.
Because his gym users over there enjoyed the convenience of working out 24/7, he wanted his hypothetical tanning salon to offer the same liberty.
He researched and discovered he wasn’t the first to conceive the idea – a chain of four tanning salons called Touch-n-Tan 24/7 that formed in 2012 exists throughout Texas, Nebraska and British Columbia. Chris Polanco contacted Touch-n-Tan and got a franchise up and running in New London.
Given several other businesses in New London offer tanning services, Kim Polanco said the 24/7 element is what made the idea worth acting upon.
Kim’s mother Pam Behm will staff the family business. She said she’s happy to fill another empty building in the town where she’s grown up. Plus, she said, a tanning salon doesn’t have any online competition.
“I’m enjoying it,” Behm said. “I never dreamt that I’d be working in a tanning salon. I thought that this would be something different and fun to do until I retire.”