Some of you have already heard the news that I (Amy) and my family are going to be moving in 2019 from St Croix Falls, Wisconsin, to sunny Southern California! Well, if that's the punchline, let me now back up and explain why we are making this change and also what it means for Luminaries. This past summer our family came to the mutual decision that we needed to make a large-scale change in order to maximize the limited years left with our sons before they officially "grow up" and perhaps all leave for college! Our oldest is a ninth grader and if we were ever going to make a move, it seemed like now was a better time than in say 5-10 years. The decision to move out of our beloved town for both residence and business (both for Jamey and I) was a hard decision both personally and also professionally. Our family has absolutely loved our decade in Wisconsin but we also decidedly do not love certain things about the long, long winters and the limited recreation that we personally like to do for so many months of the year - i.e. we are all drawn to fitness, sports, and recreational opportunities in the warm months and do very little in the winter months (but of course, you all know that I spend a lot of time in the gym indoors from Nov - March). And, from a Luminaries standpoint, I greatly enjoy getting our guests outside into nature and the past retreat season in 2017-2018 the winter months were limited for our outdoor excursions because of extreme cold and a myriad of days of large snowfalls. Additionally, we noticed from a business standpoint that we have many many inquires for the months of May - October and few inquiries for the winter months. Since we only have 3 Lofts to book guests in, it was tough to have to turn away people during the "boom" months and more difficult to book retreats during the winter months. Our wellness and nutrition ministry business has grown abundantly here in St Croix Falls and its been a wonderful opportunity to work with many guests, but after being in our current spot for a few years, I'd like to have a different building with less restaurant and lounge space and more lodging space. Ideally we would like to have our new facility accommodate 6-8 guests at a time in individual mini-apartments with shared lounging and kitchen space for group cooking demos and seminars.
Naturally this means a huge change for Luminaries Retreat as we have been doing residential wellness retreats here for the past few years and have had the blessing of our wonderful staff, guests, and volunteers. Although the antique building we have owned is special and will be missed for some of its unique attributes, the biggest hole in our heart will be for our special and amazing "Luminaries friends" who have worked, served, socialized, and sweated with me to endeavor to make Luminaries a safe place for weight loss and wellness goals to be realized by our guests. I would be remiss to not take a moment to publicly thank the hundreds of people who have been on staff, volunteered, and have come as guests for both short-term and long-terms stays. I look forward, truly, to having many of you come to our future location in Southern California. And yes, perhaps now you are wondering, "what next" and "when" and "where" will this take place? The short answer is "I do not know, but God does". Meaning, there are no plans that are official (yet) that I can share with you so please sit tight and stay with us and we will do our best to communicate all this with you when it is finalized. In the meantime, I am taking requests from past guests to do traveling Luminaries to your individual towns or if you have a small group of friends and you'd like me to organize a "traveling retreat" in 2019 or 2020, please drop me a line and we can begin brainstorming together about some ideas. In the past I've done traveling retreats to various states and usually they have been 2-4 days in duration and held at retreat centers or hotels. I'd be open to doing one for a week in duration and in fact, one of my September guests and I are talking about doing a week-long traveling Luminaries in Cozumel, Mexico in Spring of 2019. I will also continue to do tele-coaching and nutrition services via online sources. If you are interested in that, please let me know!
Our building is on the market for sale and we are presently still having guests for lodging only and working on various aspects of moving our lives to a whole new state. Thank you for your understanding and patience with me if I have not been as communicative. If I can do anything to help you in your weight loss and wellness goals, please keep in touch.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity in the past to "Provide a spark toward toward wellness" for you and I hope to get to do the same for you in the future! It has been an honor to work with so many of my wonderful staff and both Jamey and I will miss you all tremendously! May the Lord bless you this Christmas season for a well and safe 2019 and beyond.
PS. Just say "no" to Christmas cookies! Bah humbug! Its still a good time to get outside and workout or hit the gym and for my past guests who have tried many vegetable-based substitutes of old favorites, don't be afraid to bring your own food to holiday gatherings. I am very proud of several from our Monday night wellness support group who are presently doing a sugar detox over the month of December - woot woot!! :).
With all my gratitude and love,
Amy Sotis Owner & Nutritionist, Jamey Sotis, Right-hand Man