There is something peaceful about having a dog around, yours or someone else’s. If you’re not a dog lover, that may not ring true but even then they are a welcome break during a busy day of meetings or trade show booths. Lately, I’ve received news from three hotels in the U.S. Mountain West very purposefully integrating dogs into their programming for leisure and business travels, something that makes me smile and want to visit.
Some of it stems back to my black Lab, Sasha, who keeps my feet warm and heart happy while working in a home office in Colorado. She also encourages me to take breaks with her, like a walk, hike or ski. Before her, it was Apollo, a black Lab mix who was equally as faithful and happy to keep me company. I’m happy to share the uber-friendly, waggling Sasha with people who we pass on neighborhood streets and area trails in the mountain town where we live. That’s what we all do, as mountain town residents and visitors tend to be dog lovers.
I love the new Meet the Hotel Dogs program offered by Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, located between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Groups have the chance to greet and play with pups who are at work with staff that day, ranging from Oreo, who is General Manager Herb Rackliff’s Newfoundland mix, Cannoli the Chihuahua, Bagel the beagle, Beau the golden retriever mix and Stubbs the Pomeranian, among many others.
“Being a pet-friendly resort, several of our team members bring their pets to work on a regular basis,” says Marketing Manager Jolene Mauer, “and we usually have anywhere from two to 10 dogs in our offices at any given time.”
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole in Wyoming welcomed Emma Matilda, a 16-week-old Bernese mountain dog last May. She has been melting the hearts of guests, groups and staff ever since. Tillie is named after the wife of William O. Owen who was the first, along with three other climbers, to ascend to the summit of Grand Teton in 1898. Follow Tillie’s adventures in Jackson Hole on the property's social channels and the hashtag #FSJHTillieDog.
Utah’s Montage Deer Valley has a canine ambassador program featuring two Bernese Mountain Dogs, Monty and Summit. In between meetings and during conference breaks, these friendly, fluffy ambassadors offer endless puppy kisses and bounds of energy, providing a much needed midday pick-me-up. All guests are invited to take part in daily canine greetings in the main lobby at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and groups can arrange appearances with Monty and Summit based on availability and with an additional fee. Embracing both the winter snow and cool summer breezes, this Swiss breed naturally embraces the vibe and surrounding landscapes of Deer Valley and Park City.
Other neat options I’ve heard about over the years include groups bringing in dogs and cats awaiting adoption from local shelters for meeting breaks that benefit both attendees and animals and taking on community service projects that involve improving shelter facilities and purchasing needed supplies. There are likely all sorts of options if you have a group of dog lovers, just ask the local destination marketing organization, destination management company and hotel you are working with for ideas. You might even be able to tie into a local event like the Canine Fashion Show during Wintersköl or Hearts for Hounds in Aspen, Colorado.
It’s sure to be a howling success!