Local Business Spotlight - California Tan

Thursday Jan 07th, 2021


California Tan – Local Business Spotlight

You don’t get more local than California Tan. They have been in business for 37 years and are the 2nd oldest business in Willow Park Village. The owner, Chris has been with California Tan for 20 years, starting as a bed cleaner when he was 16. When he was 16, he never dreamed of being the owner, he never would have pegged himself as the golden employee. Flash forward 10 years and the opportunity to buy into the partnership presented itself. Three years later he bought out the partnership and became the sole owner. Although Don (original business partner) still pops into the studio.

Setting California Tan Apart

In the 20 years that Chris has been with California Tan, the tanning industry has changed dramatically. Chris remembers sitting on the studio stairs just waiting to clean beds, having 6 people running to keep up with the number of people coming in. Tanning technology has changed as well, gone are the days of needing to spend 30 minutes in a “coffin” style tanning bed, now you can tan in an open-faced bed for 5 minutes. California Tan has embraced the new tanning technology and has all the newest bed models; stand up, laydowns, airbrush tanning, and UV light therapy, but they also have the older style beds. This is something that sets California Tan apart from other studios; they have a bed model for every type of tanner and budget; the get in and done, the benefits without the UV (red light therapy), the warm napper, no matter your tanning style, California Tan has a bed for you.

With all the industry changes education is key, explaining everything, the equipment, the tanning process, tanning benefits, safety, the products, and moderation. California Tan offers services other than tanning (Red Light Therapy, Spray Tan, Laser Hair Removal), getting clients into the studio for one of the many services offered, and making sure they are educated means having long-lasting customer relationships.

Another thing that sets California Tan apart from other tanning studios, is its great staff. Most of the staff have been with the studio for years. Starting out when they enter post-secondary school and working at the studio until they have finished school and are moving on to the next chapter in their lives.


California Tan is a big believer in community. Every December they hold a Food Bank fundraiser; the first week of December you bring in a donation for the food bank and receive a free tan “bring a can for a tan”. They also help support Coats for Calgary a community jacket drive by having a drop off box in the studio. Building and maintaining relationships in the community is what Chris loves about California Tan. When Don was looking for a business partner, he was looking for someone that would keep California Tan independent and continue to build community relationships, treating the clientele like friends. Chris was that person! California Tan is the biggest studio in Calgary and still has that welcoming friendly atmosphere that keeps bringing people back.

BLB Final Thoughts

I first met Chris when I was 16 years old. He was always the one with the best sneakers on and wearing a polo shirt showing off his great tan. Chris has always had a great personality and it does not surprise me that he has become the owner of California Tan. His loyalty and hard work have paid off. He and his amazing staff have made sure that California Tan has prospered. I love that he and his staff have always made sure that people are educated about skin health and what products to use to protect your skin. Chris has continually updated the tanning bed selection at California Tan, ensuring you get the best tan possible. His kind and generous personality are qualities that I admire. He has a great sense of humor and has always been able to make me laugh and that is the best thing a friend can do. I am always telling Chris to stop rushing us into our 40’s…. We still have 3 more years! He will be there first; he is older by a month after all.

Cheers to many more years of success Chris!


Follow Chris on Facebook and Instagram



Brenda Bolig Dec 2, 2020
Love California Tan
Service has always been awesome , everyone is very friendly and welcoming!

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