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Pooch Hotel Plans Expansion in 2012 and Beyond

Posted: Aug. 17, 2012, 2:45 p.m. EDT


San Diego-based Petco is on track to unveil four more Pooch Hotels this year after opening a luxury dog boarding facility in Richardson, Texas, in mid-August and another one in Los Angeles in May.

“We have continued to open locations based on the fact that projected annual sales growth in pet boarding is expected to be 6 percent a year, with luxury boarding being a large and growing percentage of that,” said Jason Michal, vice president of pet services and hospitality for Petco and Pooch Hotel.

Petco's Pooch Hotel is expanding
Overnight suites at the new Pooch Hotel in Richardson, Texas, cost $45 to $85. Photo Courtesy of Mark Kitaoka/Tracy Martin
The American Pet Products Association estimates that more than $4.1 billion will be spent on pet grooming and boarding in 2012.

Petco operates five Pooch Hotels, including two in Chicago and another in Sunnyvale, Calif. The chain was started in Chicago’s Lincoln Park area in 2004 by Robin Tomb, who sold the brand and the first three hotels to Petco in 2011.

The Richardson location offer day care rates of $15 for a half day, $25 for one day and $375 for a 20-day pass. Boarding prices range from $45 for a standard suite to $85 for a “Palace Suite.”

Fueling growth in the luxury pet segment is the trend of people pampering their pets with human-type amenities, Michal said.

“Pooch Hotels are staying abreast of the many humanization trends we are seeing in the pet spa industry,” he noted. “This includes a focus in natural products, sustainable and environmentally conscious practices and materials, and even indulgent treatments such as blueberry facials, aromatic and purposeful offerings such as lavender and chamomile, and doggy pedicures.”

Pooch Hotel amenities include dog-oriented television content, grass play areas, 24-hour staffing, an exercise pool, glass-door suites and Web cameras.

Watch video
Click here to watch a video of Pooch Hotel.
“The boarding industry is very fragmented, with many operators having only one or two facilities, or operating in converted facilities that were not originally designed for boarding and day care,” Michel said. “While you may find a hotel that offers Web cams to allow pet parents to watch their dogs while they’re at work or on vacation, or televisions that allow the dogs to feel at home, or swimming pools, or treadmills to provide exercise, we typically offer all of those things under one roof.”

Petco is planning further expansion in 2013, with a focus on the Eastern United States, Michel said.

“We believe that our target market exists within dense, upscale urban centers where we are either currently operating or plan to operate in the near future,” Michel added.

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