Kent offers variety of tanning options

Brenna McNamara

Sitting at a desk may have replaced sitting at the pool, but there’s no need to say goodbye to summer completely.

Kent offers plenty of opportunity to catch some refreshing ultraviolet rays at local tanning salons.

Darque Zone

Darque Zone offers 40 beds and reasonable pricing.

The beds vary from the standard 10 and 20-minute beds to the Matrix, the monster bed with less than a 1 percent burn rate.

“I don’t know of any bed with less burnage-percentage,” said employee Stephanie Vincent, a Kent State psychology graduate.

Located at 1720 E. Main St., Darque Zone is the biggest of the Kent tanning salons and sits along the campus bus route.

“We call it the tan bus because so many people pile off the bus and run across the street to tan,” Vincent said.

Customer Craig James said his reasons for choosing Darque Zone are its cleanliness and amount of beds.

“I rarely have to wait for too long,” he said.

Darque Zone offers three free tans that must be used consecutively for first time customers. For $65, one can tan until the end of the year, a deal Vincent said beats out any other she’s seen.

More discounts can be found in the coupon section of

Darque Zone is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m Sunday.


Located on the corner of Summit and Water street, TanSpa has 37 beds, including standard, stand-up, Mystic tan and their best, the 850 Super Extreme.

“Choosing a tanning place depends on where you’re located on campus,” sophomore nursing major Megan Reed said. “If you live near Tri-Towers, it’s probably easier to go to Darque Zone. But if you’re near Stopher, TanSpa is closer.”

The salon doesn’t require appointments.

“There may be a rush of students during our busiest time from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., but generally no one waits longer than a couple of minutes,” said Katie Donati, TanSpa employee and senior hospitality management major. “We get people in way quicker than some of the other salons around here.”

Coupons and deals can be found on the salon’s Web site at, including 20-percent-off lotions and 14 sessions for $25 discount, Donati said.

TanSpa, which has a location in Ravenna as well, uses a finger ID system so if people choose to go to another location, they are in the system.

TanSpa, in business for 18 years, is open 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m Sunday.


Colorfully decorated in an island theme, Sunsations offers five types of beds ranging from its standard “Midday” beds to the most powerful “Starpower.”

Sunsations, located at 1110 S. Water St., offers 30 percent off lotions and a two-month unlimited membership for $45.

A huge draw for students is its two free tans for new visitors.

“The free tans don’t have to be used in a row,” said Renee Rawlings, sophomore special education major. “I went tanning only five times last year and all of them were free – the three from Darque Zone and the two from Sunsations.”

The place is laid-back and friendly, employee Rachel McDowell said. She said the employees look out for tanners and make sure they aren’t going in a bed they have the potential to burn in.

Sunsations is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to Sunday. Sunsations takes its last customer 30 minutes before closing time.

Contact features correspondent Brenna McNamara at [email protected].