Brothers Steven and Jason Parker are on a mission to create the ultimate five-star hotel experience but their accommodations are very exclusive … only dogs can check in!
“We wanted to get into the luxury pet care business because there's two things in life we love and that is dogs and owning our own business,” K-9 Resorts Daycare & Luxury Hotel co-founder Steven Parker told CNBC.
We gave the Parker brothers just 60 seconds to pitch their award-winning pet care facility. Will their idea get five-star approval from our panelists? Watch the video and see if K-9 Resorts has what it takes to succeed in the dog-eat-dog start-up world.
More than just puppy love
The Parker brothers are not newcomers to the business world. At just 12 and 14 years old, instead of riding bikes after school, they were running a dog walking business.
“Jason and I always loved dogs growing up and our parents weren't really big dog people so we wanted to find a way to prove that we were responsible enough to care for dogs,” Steven Parker told CNBC.
So to show how responsible they were the brothers started caring for their neighbors’ dogs. Their neighborhood business grew to 50 customers and in a few years it turned into 500, and it became the paw-print for a doggy day care and hotel.
Now, at just 26 and 29 years old, they are the founders of K-9 Resorts Daycare & Luxury Hotel. It currently includes three luxury dog hotel locations with 10 franchises in development. According to the Parker brothers, the company's mission is, “To grow our already proven pet care concept into a nationwide franchise.”
The company offers doggie day care and overnight stays. The brothers told CNBC they welcome more than 1,500 furry guests per month system wide in a “cage-free” environment, designed for dogs that are social with other dogs.
Overnight amenities offer dogs 9-by-9-feet private rooms with glass privacy doors that are sound resistant. Hotel guests can lounge on orthopedic, chew-proof doggy bedding and watch plasma screen TVs, and if their bored with what's on the tube they can join group exercise or private playtime. Doggie day care costs $32 a day, while overnight stays range from $42 to $73—dog baths, administering medication and special treats like dog ice cream and bottled water are extra.
Doggy room service anyone? For an extra charge K-9 staff will even serve upscale meals to their four-legged guests. For instance if Fido likes filet mignon they’ll prepare and serve it to him!
And if those rates are too pricey for your pooch, “For budget-minded customers or for smaller dogs or puppies, we still offer our clients the option of cage boarding,” Steven Parker told CNBC.
Can K-9 chew through the competition?
Fifty-six million households own a dog in the United States and $4.16 million is spent on pet grooming and boarding alone, but K-9 Resorts is not the only provider aiming to be top dog in the boarding and grooming industry. One major establishment K-9 competes with is Camp Bow Wow, which also offers doggy day care and overnight stays. According to its website, Camp Bow Wow has opened 55 franchises nationwide in the past three years (including three New Jersey locations), and the website says the company generated between $648,000 and $1,084,000 in annual sales in 2011.
“Power Pitch” judge, certified dog trainer and host of Animal Planet’s “Dogs 101,” Andrea Arden, questioned how K-9 Resorts differed from other dog day care and boarding facilities.
“We have specially designed floors that have micro-bend built in that will kill bacteria on contact. So everything is designed to be as close to the home experience as possible,” Steven Parker responded.
The brothers added that all hotel and day care staff must also go through the American Kennel Association's independent training program to become certified before they can join the K-9 team.
Barking to the bank
Jason Parker told CNBC the franchise fee is $40,000 and the initial investment to get up and running with a hotel can range from about $700,000 to more than a million dollars.
When “Power Pitch” panelist Kay Koplovitz, chairman and CEO of Koplovitz & Co., questioned Jason Parker on how long the franchises would take to become profitable, he responded about two years.
K-9 Resorts was founded in 2005, and is headquartered in Fanwood, N.J. Jason Parker told CNBC that in 2005, the total funds needed to start K-9 Resorts was well over a half a million dollars. The brothers also told CNBC they plan on expanding on the East coast first to be closer to the first franchises. The company’s rollout plan is 100 stores within the next seven years.
The Parker brothers would not disclose any exact amount of revenue so far, but told CNBC they've generated millions since opening K-9 Resorts.
Watch the Parker brothers Power Pitch their pooch hotel and see how our judges voted. On the panel: Andrea Arden, certified pet trainer and Animal Planet's “Dogs101” host (@Andrea_Arden); USA Network founder and CEO of Koplovitz & Co., Kay Koplovitz (@KayKoplovitz); and CNBC entertainment and media reporter and this week’s host, Julia Boorstin (@JBoorstin).
--Additional reporting by Erin Barry
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