Business goes to the dogs with second location

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Peggy Barron believes every dog is different and deserves care that takes into account unique characteristics.

That includes dogs that might constitute proverbial square pegs that don’t fit into the usual round holes at boarding facilities — extra large breeds like great Danes and mastiffs as well as dogs that don’t enjoy a lot of activity.

Barron has opened a second location of the Wag Resort in Grand Junction in part for that very reason.

The second location includes larger rooms for bigger dogs as well as a private quarters for dogs that prefer peace and quiet. “We can accommodate their particular needs better,” she says.

The second location at 2509 Industrial Court opened five years to the month after Barron opened the first location for Wag Resort at 398 Indian Road.

Both facilities offer boarding, day care, grooming and training for all breeds, sizes and dispositions.

Barron said she purchased the second location earlier this year after the grooming and boarding business previously located there closed. In the process, she said she recognized an opportunity to remodel the building to better meet the special needs of some dogs.

An area dubbed “Tiny Town” at the first location offers enclosures for small breeds. But Barron said she was surprised by the number of her customers with large breeds — and some customers with three or four large dogs.

The second location includes large rooms that accommodate not only one large dog, but several in the same room.

The second location also includes an oversized area for bathing and grooming even the largest dogs.

The facility includes play areas where dogs can play, but also private spaces in which they can rest alone. Walls and doors separate enclosures rather than chain link and gates.

The combination of exercise and solitude reduces stress as well as nuisance behaviors, Barron said.

At 3,000 square feet, the second location includes a total of 20 rooms and enclosures. That’s less than half the size of the first location with 7,600 square feet and 76 rooms.

But the second location is better equipped to care for dogs with special needs. And that makes the operation at the first location more efficient, Barron said.

The second location offers other benefits, she said, among them more convenience for customers who live on the west end of the Grand Valley,

The two groomers who worked at the previous business at the second location now work for Wag Resort. With four employees at the second location, Barron said her staff at the two locations totals 32.

Barron operated a dog boarding facility in the Northwest before she sold the operation and returned to the Grand Valley. When she discovered a similar facility wasn’t in operation here, she decided to open Wag Resort.

She anticipated the demand for pet care services driven by a growing population and improving economy. “We took a risk with that and it’s worked out fantastic.”

But an operation that takes into account the unique characteristics and dispositions of dogs has also differentiated her business, Barron said. That’s especially true of discriminating customers with higher expectations for pet care.

The second location for Wag Resort fits well into that business model, she said. “This allows us to accommodate very special needs.”

Wag Resort operates locations at 2509 Industrial Court and 398 Indian Road in Grand Junction. For more information, visit www.wagresort.com.