The Buzz: New Sauna Business Opens in Appleton
Alexandria Bursiek Kloehn Appleton Post-Crescent Feb. 3, 2023
APPLETON – With temperatures in the Fox Cities plummeting, a new business is offering a fun way to warm up — and cool down.
Kōv Sauna, a wood-fire, pop-up sauna located behind Moon Water Café on Sawe street, is providing customers with a new way to enjoy Wisconsin weather.
The sauna, a cedar trailer with a wood-fired stove, heats up to between 160 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. During a typical session, guests spend 12 to 15 minutes inside the sauna before stepping out to cool down. This process is repeated, on average, three times depending on the length of the session. Guests can book 75- or 90-minute sessions, private or with other community members.
Nate Litt, co-owner of Kōv with his wife, Bekka, launched the business at the end of December, which is what he calls "prime sauna season" because of the contrast in temperature inside and outside the sauna. Nate Litt compared the experience to cold water therapy.
"The feeling that you get of that being really hot and then going out into the cold and the more you do it back and forth, you get acclimated to the cold," he said. "It's pretty amazing how quickly the body can adapt and stand outside in like 20-degree weather for 10 minutes and not even be bothered."
Litt said the pop-up experience is only the first phase of the business. They plan to rent out sauna trailers in the future for events and parties. However, Appleton municipal code doesn't currently allow the renting out of commercial saunas because of the nature of the business. Litt is currently working with the city to navigate the future of Kōv.
Eventually, he said they hope to grow Kōv to the point where they can build a facility complete with multiple saunas, locker rooms, showers, cold plunges and even a café or bar.
According to the Kōv website, prices range from $40 per person for a community session, to $65 for a guided private session. All bookings can be made on online.
"I wanted to bring a new, different experience to the area," Litt said. "It's a good way to embrace winter and lean into it and to be able to do a fun activity that's indoor and outdoor that you might not have experienced before."
More information about Kōv Sauna can be found online at kovsauna.co or on its Instagram page.
Alexandria Bursiek Kloehn is a business reporter for the Appleton Post-Crescent. You can reach her at email@example.com or view her Twitter profile at @bursiekkloehn.