Canyon Ranch founders step down after 40 years of service

(The company's founders will leave future operations in the hands of CEO Susan Docherty, who was appointed to her position in 2015.)

The two founders of Canyon Ranch, Melvin and Enid Zuckerman, along with Jerrold Cohen, are retiring from the legacy brand after nearly 40 years. Canyon Ranch is an operator of two wellness resorts in Tuscon, Ariz., and Lenox, Mass., and the company's founders will leave future operations in the hands of CEO Susan Docherty, who was appointed to her position in 2015.

“I wish to personally thank Mel, Enid and Jerry for their inspiring commitment and our successful partnership which dates back to 1996,” John C. Goff, chairman and CEO of Crescent Real Estate Holdings, owner of Canyon Ranch, said in a statement. “Their vision of transformation through holistic wellness has had a profound effect on tens-of-thousands of lives, including my own and I wish them a fulfilling retirement embodying the Canyon Ranch lifestyle they created. I am confident that our CEO, Susan Docherty, along with her new executive leadership team -- are poised to pay homage to the founders’ promise and enliven the Canyon Ranch narrative for decades to come."

Mel and Enid Zuckerman and Jerry Cohen launched their flagship property Canyon Ranch in Tucson in 1979. Since then, the brand has opened doors to  sister resorts in Lenox, Mass., and Kaplankaya, Turkey, and operates numerous brand extensions including the world’s largest day spa, Canyon Ranch SpaClub at The Venetian & The Palazzo hotels in Las Vegas, and Canyon Ranch SpaClub at Sea facilities onboard Cunard's Queen Mary 2 luxury ocean liner, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and on Celebrity Cruises.

Canyon Ranch has been at the forefront of the now $3.72-trillion global wellness space, expanding the concept of a health resort by introducing a professional approach with a staff that includes board-certified physicians, registered dieticians, exercise physiologists, licensed therapists and other highly-skilled staff.  

Before joining Canyon Ranch, Docherty spent three decades at General Motors, during which she was the first female in the company’s 100-year history to be appointed and hold a corporate officer title as VP of sales. During her time at Canyon Ranch thus far, Docherty has guided the company into its next chapter of growth, with milestones including the brand’s first international foray, as well as the launch of the brand’s twentieth SpaClub at Sea location onboard the Regent Seven Seas Explorer – setting a new standard for luxury ships with the first ever in-room Canyon Ranch spa suite, sprawling nearly 5,000 square feet. Docherty also spearheaded development of the Residences at Bellefontaine, 19 condominiums at the Massachusetts destination.

“I was drawn to Canyon Ranch because of its pioneering spirit and vision," Docherty said in a statement. "I want to ensure that this cherished and respected brand thrives and evolves, impacting the physical, mental and spiritual lives of new audiences domestically and globally. Canyon Ranch remains a fast-growing and forward-looking company that remains fiercely devoted to the mission set forth by its founders:  providing transformative wellness to enable people to live their fullest lives.”

From 2015 to 2017, Docherty has also been a catalyst to initiate new management expertise, including the appointments of COO Thomas Klein and chief marketing officer Kathleen Shea, as well as global directors of resorts, food & beverage, retail and merchandising, communications and more.