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Best Friends Sanctuary to Open Pet-Friendly Hotel


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The Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile is set to open its doors Aug. 15, a week before SuperZoo, in Kanab, Utah, which is about three hours from Las Vegas.

With SuperZoo only weeks away, my colleagues and I have been making our plans.

One topic that comes up during these annual discussions is who’s going to stay in Vegas past the close of the show to take in local sights and enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation. There are a ton of things to do on the strip—gambling, of course, but also dining, shows of every kind, sunbathing during the day, pool parties at night and just plain old people watching. Within a few hours drive, however, there are sights of a totally different nature.

The majestic views at Bryce Canyon National Park, for example, are about a four-hour drive away. Personally, I have my eye on Zion National Park; it’s slightly closer and also offers stunning views—a landscape that is so different from the New York cityscape I’m used to that I might as well have landed on the moon.

So when I opened my inbox the other day, I was tickled to see an email about another nearby option that is squarely in keeping with the pet-focused experience we’re set to have in Vegas this August.

About three hours from Las Vegas in Kanab, Utah, there is soon to be a new lodging facility that is owned and operated by the Best Friends Animal Society, a national nonprofit, no-kill pet rescue and advocacy organization.

The Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile, which is set to open its doors Aug. 15 (a week before SuperZoo), promises to be a comfy, cozy retreat for animal-loving guests. Rooms are equipped to be pet-friendly, as are facility grounds with communal complimentary pet-washing stations and a fenced-in park with a water feature. The Mercantile will sell light vegan fare and branded merchandise, and offer a space where guests can commune and relax.

In addition, the lodge is located near the Best Friends Sanctuary, home to about 1,600 animals on any given day, according to the organization’s website. Complimentary shuttle service will take Roadhouse guests and visitors to and from the Sanctuary, where guests can volunteer for a few hours, take tours or look for a new member of their family.

“Every year, more than 30,000 travelers visit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary,” said Brooks Bradbury, director of hospitality for Best Friends Animal Society, in a recent press release. “These visitors need a lodging complex that will cater not only to them, but pets, too, including those who travel with their own furry companions and others who might be considering adopting from our sanctuary.”

The organization reports that it plans to apply the revenue earned from the Roadhouse and Mercantile to support its efforts to end the killing of dogs and cats in U.S. shelters by 2025.

It’s not the first time I’ve heard of an animal welfare organization that has established a revenue-generating arm that helps fund its efforts. The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Michelson Found Animals Foundation, for example, offer pet and people products and/or services. However, this is the first time I’m hearing of such an organization opening a hotel and an operation of this scale.

As those who view pets as central to their lives and families grow in numbers, so does the number of businesses, products and services available to support them. While the opening of the Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile seems to be an isolated event, it is one of many recent examples of the power of pet and just how strongly pet-centric culture has taken root in the U.S.

Those traveling to Vegas for SuperZoo this year will bear witness to yet another prime example of the strength and continued advancement of the pet industry. Aisle after aisle of pet products of every type and price point fill the sprawling show floor at the Mandalay Bay, offering a one-stop shop for retailer buyers looking to stock up for the holidays and beyond. In addition, the show offers attendees a jam-packed educational seminar schedule and several networking opportunities that can help business owners further strengthen the bond we share with our pets.

The Pet Product News staff is excited to once again serve as the official media partner of the World Pet Association (WPA), the organizer of SuperZoo. While we’re in Vegas, we’ll be working hard to deliver news and snapshots from the show floor for the Show Dailies, which will be distributed each day of the show. Be sure to pick up copies of the SuperZoo Show Program, Pocket Guide and the Dailies while at the show. Together, they serve as helpful navigational tools that will help you maximize your time at the show.

And, if you’re planning an extended stay in the Las Vegas area, you may want to add the new Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile and the Sanctuary to your list of places to visit.

We look forward to seeing you in Vegas!

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