Casing the Revolution: AOL Co-Founder Steve Case’s Next Goal

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Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, revolutionized the way people use the internet. His next goal is to revolutionize the way we live through Miraval Living, coming soon to the upper east side

By Stephanie Wilson


 Miraval Living is a residence center, featuring one-to-five bedroom residences in the heart of Manhattan, ranging in price from $350,000- $3.5 million.

New York City offers plenty of everything but time. Our hectic lives have us gallivanting all over this expansive city, running uptown for a yoga class, downtown for a meeting with a nutritionist followed by a lunch at an organic café midtown. While we love New York, getting around can be time consuming and stressful. The question burning into many people’s minds is, can one choice change everything?

When the choice is Miraval Living, the answer is a resounding yes.

Much in the way that AOL offers one-stop shopping for the Internet, combining the aspects of the Internet with one easy-to-use provider, a new lifestyle living center will be brought to New York, finally providing the one-stop answer to calm our chaotic worlds.

As co-founder of AOL, Steve Case helped make the Internet part of everyday life by improving the way people connected and communicated. He improved the overall quality of life for people worldwide, allowing open lines of communication to prevail.

When Time-Warner merged with AOL, AOL Time-Warner became the largest media conglomerate in the world. Steve saw how hard it was for large companies to innovate, leading him to step down as Chairman of the mammoth company. As a lifelong entrepreneur and innovator, he was drawn back into the business world, founding a company called Revolution, which launched in April 2005.

Revolution lives up to its name: It revolutionizes the marketplace, seeking “to drive transformative change by shifting power to consumers,” as the company’s website proclaims. Steve says, “I started Revolution with the goal of building businesses that can change the world. Our mission is to give people more choice, more convenience in the important aspects of their lives-and build significant companies in the process.”

It is in this mission that Miraval Living was born. Miraval Living, majority owned by Case’s Revolution, is a radical new idea coming to the Upper East Side at 515 East 72nd Street. Miraval Living was born out of the Miraval Resort in Arizona, which Steve visited a few years ago. Miraval Resort is the world’s premier destination for helping people bring their lives into balance by learning to lead a mindful and inspired life. Readers of Conde Naste, Travel & Leisure and Spa Finder magazines rank Miraval resort as the #1 Destination Spa. “When I visited Miraval, it was clear to me it was not just a place, but also an idea,” Steve recalls. “The core of that idea is embodied in Miraval’s tag line, which is ‘Life in Balance.’ For ten years, the Miraval Resort has set a standard for how a vacation can change your life; now, Miraval Living in New York is ready to change how people live.” Upon returning from the resort, Steve became passionate about wellness living, which led him to purchase a majority control of Miraval- Life in Balance. As John Vanderslice, CEO of Miraval, explains, “For a long time, people have come to our resort for a week or ten days and said when they are leaving, ‘Your location has really changed me.’ Now we want to work on the other 51 weeks of the year, and work on changing the way people live.”

Miraval Living is about building a better quality of life, a balanced life. Miraval provides a way to control the pace of New York with the relaxed luxury of a private residential environment. Steve says, “There is no better way to encourage people to live more balanced lives then by enabling them to live in a place that embodies that idea, each and every day. Miraval Living is not about a place you visit occasionally, it is a lifestyle you live daily.”

John points out, “There are 10,000 units coming onto the New York market, but yet only 300 of them will help you improve your overall well-being. Our niche is improving the way you live your life.”

So what exactly is it? Miraval Living is a residence center, featuring one-to-five bedroom residences in the heart of Manhattan, ranging in price from $350,000- $3.5 million. Each apartment features floor-to-ceiling windows, offering spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline. Tranquility builds high above the city, while most apartments offer private balconies with splendid views. Zamir Equities, C&K Properties, and Miraval Life in Balance combined forces to make this project a reality.

“New York City is the perfect place to introduce the Miraval ethos,” says Steve. “New Yorkers have long accepted a stressful lifestyle as the price of living in the city. Now, with Miraval Living, they will have the ability to balance those stresses with a better way of living when they are at home.”

Miraval will accomplish this with an all-inclusive blend of classes, programs, lectures and private consultations. John explains, “Our whole idea is very integrated. We have 170 programs in the building in New York, 85% of which are offered at our Miraval resort. Every person that lives here will get their own Miraval advisor to work through the programs with those living here to determine their objectives, and then prescribe a program that will fit those perspectives.”

Here is what a typical program for a 40-year-old male could look like:

Monday 5:30am: “Morning Meditation” class, followed by a 6am “Revolutions Within,” a type of spin class, with a steam after in the luxurious spa.

Tuesday 6am: 30-minute run on treadmill. 6:30pm: “Making Lasting Changes” series, which is a six-week program that helps residents learn important truths about making changes.

Wednesday 5pm: Visit with teenage daughter as she works in the art studio. Thursday 6:30pm: Enjoy a wine tasting event with wife.

Friday 6:30pm: Strength Training workout, followed by a steam

Saturday 7am: Enjoy some private time in the Meditation Room overlooking the bamboo garden.

Sunday 2pm: Quantum Leap TM. (More on that later.)

This does not even begin to scrape the top of all that Miraval offers. The property literally covers everything from A-Z, from Ashtanga Yoga to Zen Boot camp, from Ballroom Dancing Lessons to a Journaling Class, which teaches residents how to record their thoughts in order to increase self-awareness. There are classes in Healthy Choices while Dining Out, in Poetry Reading and Writing, and in Tea Ceremonies. There are classes for the children, including “Mindful Manners,” where children and teens learn social etiquette, and “Eating Meditation,” where you and your child learn to enjoy the smell, taste, and texture of food to practice mindful eating. As John points out, “The only thing Miraval can’t determine for you is what kind of job you have-We can do everything else in this integrated environment!”

Miraval also offers consultations for its residents, like the Body Composition and Fitness Assessment, Fitness Program Designing, The Healthy Eating Plan and Personal Training. All of this is designed improve residents overall quality of life.

The programs culminate with the Quantum LeapTM, a 25-foot pole with a small disk on top. The challenge is to climb to the top of the pole (assisted by belayers and rope holders), and leap. This leap can represent a complete immersion into the Miraval lifestyle, where you let go and trust the experts.

As is the Miraval’s philosophy, nutrition and enjoyment of cuisine are core elements to a life in balance. “We work continuously on educating the family on how to eat properly,” John says. “We have classes on mindful eating, ways to eat better with your family, and then downstairs we have the Garden Café, which is really nutritious, delicious, healthy and seasonally organic.” The on-site spa offers a range of treatments, including a plethora of massages, body treatments, and Oriental bodywork such as Acupuncture, Reiki massage and Thai Body Work.

To sum it up, living at Miraval is good for you, which was Steve Case’s main goal. He has an active philosophy that has pervaded his life’s work: Do well while doing good. As Chairman for The Case Foundation, Steve is a major philanthropist, building houses in his home state of Hawaii for Habitat for Humanity. He also builds power centers with PowerUp, a group that created a network of 1,000 community technology centers for underprivileged youth across the country. Steve and his wife Jean also helped found Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2), a non-profit created after Steve’s brother Dan was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Once Miraval Living New York is underway, expect the brand to continue to grow and expand. John says, “I think there is a big demand for people that want to live this integrated lifestyle worldwide.” Steve echoes this: “Miraval Living is just the first tangible manifestation of our expansion strategy to turn Miraval into a global lifestyle brand. We anticipate building Miraval Living communities all across the country.”

So can we expect Miraval to take over the globe in a way similar to AOL? “Revolution’s mission is to create and grow businesses that empower consumers to lead better lives, which is exactly what we are doing with the Miraval brand,” Steve says. “Miraval Living is just the first tangible manifestation of our expansion strategy to turn Miraval into a global lifestyle brand.”

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