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Luxury Hotel Opens For San Diego Pooches

Evening Edition

Pet owners spend an estimated $41 billion a year in the U.S. From vet visits, to food and shelter, the costs can really add up. In fact some dogs are treated just as well as their owners. That brings us to a new upscale facility now open in Mission Valley.

About a dozen dogs are in one of three play areas designed to look like a backyard with real grass included. They're separated by size, temperament and energy levels, but this isn't your typical shelter or daycare. It's the seventh Pooch Hotel opened in the past year-and-a-half by San Diego-based Petco. Like any fancy hotel it includes 72 suites.

"We have six palace, six presidential and the balance being our standard suites," said Charles Simpson, operations director of Pooch Hotel. Even the lobby is designed to show clients what's offered when you walk in the front door.

"This is our palace Suite. It's $100 per night, luxury human bedding, 40 inch wide screen TV showing Dog TV," Simpson said. "And the dogs actually sit up and watch it. Boarding services range from $100 a day to $75 for the presidential suite and $50 a day for a standard room with no frills, but plenty of space to stretch out.

"We have web cams in all of our play areas so you can watch your dog via computer where ever you are," Simpson said. The $4.1 billion luxury boarding industry is expected to grow five to six percent a year.

There are approximately 260,000 dog owners in San Diego and boarding and grooming services account for 15 percent of the industry sales.

Justin Cyrul is one of them who also manages the hotel with help from Moma, his one year old mutt. "They took the idea of a basic kennel and like made it for humans almost. A lot of people ask if they can stay here when I give tours."

The Pooch Hotel just opened two weeks ago and already has 25 reservations for Thanksgiving weekend. The hotel in Mission Valley also offers daycare services ranging from $20 to $35 for a full day.

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