NEW BERLIN — When John Tsiampas bought Lanai Beach Tan, established in 2010, he promised the owner that he would do his best to take the business to the next level.
He said hopes he has kept that promise, by adding spray tan prized for special events, by having a vast array of lotions to promote tanning and even offering a teeth whitening product that works better under tanning rays.
The tanning salon opened at 15425 W. Howard Ave. under the new ownership of Tsiampas and co-owner Renee Bremberger in December. The response was enthusiastic, Tsiampas said.
"It was 10 times more than I ever thought," he said.
Although this is his first business, Tsiampas is no stranger to the business world. He runs his father's restaurant, Omicron, in West Bend. He also is a dental hygienist.
Those two backgrounds make him adamant about cleanliness, he said.
"I can't stress how important that is," he said.
He also stressed how the staff, all kept on from the previous owner, are critical to providing a safe and pleasant tanning experience.
"We absolutely could not have done this and accomplished what we have without our fantastic staff," Tsiampas said.
12 tanning beds
Lanai Beach Tan has 12 tanning beds and can accommodate those who want to lie down or tan standing up. It also has a bed for those who don't want any UVB (ultraviolet B) rays.
"It's a fairly large place," Tsiampas said. "We don't like having people wait for a bed."
The salon has six types of tanning systems. While people can come for just one or two visits, the salon offers four-month silver, gold and platinum packages ranging from $25 to $94. All allow an unlimited number of visits (at least 24 hours between visits). The difference in price reflects the differing strengths of the beds, he said.
The staff helps newcomers choose the right strength. Someone with fair skin will benefit more from a less intense bed, he said.
Single visits cost $8 to $29. Lanai Beach Tan offers lower prices for its breakfast club, 7-9 a.m. and its happy hour, 1-3 p.m.
To help give a faster tan, the salon has a selection of sometimes up to 50 lotions that maximize tanning and moisturizing, Tsiampas said. Some lotions also keep the colors of tattoos from fading, he said. The salon sells lotion samples for those who want to try before they buy.
For those who want a fast tan for a wedding or other special occasion, the salon will have a spray tan any day, now, he said.
"It's an instant tan," he said.
Tsiampas, a Brookfield native, lives in Pewaukee. He and Bremberger have three children, ages 8, 11 and 21. Both he and Bremberger are dental hygienists and they met as they were training for their occupations.
Ed Holpfer, executive director of the New Berlin Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, welcomed the new tanning salon owners.
"It's great when you can keep another business in New Berlin," he said.