Dog days and nights

Michael “Gunner” Stanson shown with some of his guests at the recently opened Bear Creek Pet Resort in Lakewood.

This is a tale, or perhaps tail, of two of the newest entries in the fast-growing doggy day care business.

They both opened last November and represent two sides of the $60 billion pet care industry.

The larger of the two is the most recent Camp Bow Wow franchise to open in the metro area.

Camp Bow Wow itself was founded in Denver about 15 years ago and is based in Broomfield.

Camp Bow Wow is ranked No. 1 in the pet category on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list.

In the first half of last year, the most current numbers available, Camp Bow Wow outpaced the pet care industry in both revenue and franchise sales growth.

While the overall industry grew by 5 percent, Camp Bow grew almost three times as fast, with a 13 percent year-over-year growth.

Gina Paradiso is no stranger to Camp Bow Wow.

She opened a Camp Bow Wow in Parker in 2009.

More recently, she opened the 10,000-square-foot Camp Wow Centennial, which she believes is the largest in the metro area.

(A similar sized Camp Bow Wow, however, opened in Westminster last summer.)

A typical-sized Camp Bow Wow has 7,500 sf.

“Having owned and operated Camp Bow Wow Parker for nine years, we are thrilled to be able to offer the same premier dog day care and overnight camp to pet parents in the Centennial community,” Paradiso said.

“Our experienced team’s top priority is not only to provide local dogs with a safe and fun environment that will feel like a second home, but to also offer pet parents peace of mind that their dogs are in great hands,” she added.

The energy-efficient facility at 7009 S. Kenton St. is loaded with amenities to pamper pets.

They include:

  • A newly constructed, stand-alone building;
  • Large indoor and outdoor play areas;
  • Certified camp counselors;
  • Luxury pet suites;
  • Spacious cabins with “comfy cots,” including 10 “Teacup Cabins;”
  • Overnight campers; and
  • A 24-hour monitoring system.

“We are extremely eco-friendly,” according to Paradiso.

Camp Bow Wow Centennial utilized the latest in building materials to keep everything cool or warm inside depending on season.

“We have a lot of windows to let in natural light as to not waste energy,” according to Paradiso.

“All of the bulbs in the building are also eco-friendly. Our cleaning supplies are enzyme based, which has less of a negative impact on the environment.”

Camp Bow Wow Centennial is in a high-demographic area.

The average household income is $117,038 in a 3-mile radius and $107,945 in a 5-mile radius, according to CoStar. The median household income is $89,802 within a 3-mile radius and $83,781 within a 5-mile radius.

In addition, within a 5-mile radius, residents spend $89.8 million annually on hobbies, pets and toys, according to CoStar.

Christina Russell, president of Camp Bow Wow, is “thrilled” by the Centennial store.

“We’re excited that that Gina and her team will continue to serve as great representatives of the brand and deliver our message of happy, healthy pets and happy, healthy people at her second location,” Russell added.

At the other end of the spectrum, Michael “Gunner” Stanson and his wife Dru Davis, longtime pet lovers, changed careers and opened the Bear Creek Pet Resort at 3225 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Suite F, in the Westgate Centre, a neighborhood retail center built in 1985 in Lakewood.

“Business has been pretty good, actually,” Stanson said.

“Over Christmas, we had 40 dogs and one cat, and we estimated that was about a third of our capacity,” he said.

He expects to compete against the large franchise operators by providing “exceptional customer service. We pride ourselves on providing each animal with individual attention. We want every dog to have minimal cage time and maximum outdoor and play time.”

There are 327,593 residents living within a 5-mile radius of the Bear Creek Pet Resort, which is about 100,000 more than the population in the same radius around Camp Bow Wow Centennial.

And while the median income within a 5-mile radius is $61,329, about $20,000 less than around the Camp Bow Wow Centennial, the larger population around the Lakewood facility spends $96.3 million on hobbies, pets and toys, about $7 million more than in the Centennial area.

“There has been a strong influx of people in the area and because of the strong economy, people have more discretionary dollars they are spending more money on their pets,” Stanson said.

Stanson believes he can successfully compete against the bigger, corporate operators.

“We would not have jumped into this if we did not see a strong upside,” Stanson said.

Also, he boards cats, in addition to dogs, while some facilities are dog-only operations, he said.

Stanson does not believe that the pet care boarding business is oversaturated.

He recently was told by an official from the Pet Animal Care Facilities Act, the licensing and inspection program dedicated to protecting the health and well-being of animals in pet care facilities throughout Colorado, that there is enough demand for 10 more pet care facilities in the metro area.

Featured in CREJ’s Jan. 18-31 issue

John Rebchook has been taking the pulse of the Denver-area and Colorado commercial real estate world for almost 35 years. He joined the editorial staff of CREJ in 2011. Prior to that, he was the Real Estate Editor of the Rocky Mountain News from 1983 until it closed in 2009.