Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

January 06 2015

This Hotel Wants To Send You Home With A Four-Legged Friend

By David McMillin

Remember what you brought back from your last business trip? Some new sales leads, a stack of receipts and the copy of Fast Company you picked up at the airport. Well, if your next trip happens to take you to Asheville, North Carolina, you could be bringing home something a lot more cuddly.

The Associated Press reports the Aloft in downtown Asheville has partnered with Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue to organize a pet adoption program. Guests are greeted by an animal-in-need at the registration desk. For guests who want to spend more time with the potential pet, the dog can accompany them to the restaurant or bar if kept on a leash. Christine Kavanagh, Aloft’s director of sales, told the AP that guests love the program. The hotel has not received one complaint about allergies, messes or fighting dogs. Some of the dogs are finding homes, too. Kim Smith, president of Charlie’s Angels, told the AP that 14 dogs have found new families since the program launched in July.

The Power Of Pet-Friendly

While I used to associate “pet-friendly” with concerns of in-room stench and dog hair on my pillow, some of the hippest hotels in the country are aiming to make dogs the definition of cool. Consider The Fairmont in San Francisco where the Pampered Pooch Package includes bottle water served in Fairmont doggie bowls, a doggie biscuit and a silver dog tag welcome amenity, or the Iron Horse in Milwaukee where each dog’s name is listed on a welcome chalk board. If you’re looking for a really over-the-top evening for your pup, I suggest the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in Colorado where a spa employee will actually give in-room doggie massages.

The pet-friendly trend may prove to be useful for leisure travelers and families, but let’s hope it doesn’t spread to the convention industry. I pity the meeting professional that needs to accommodate a special request for a name badge on the collar of an attendee’s pooch.


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