Dogs + Coffee + Wine + Beer + Wifi + Fun = Amazingness
Join us in the action!
When DOG Park KC is up and running, what all will you offer?
When DOG Park KC is up and running we will offer a 6,000 sqft INDOOR off-leash dog park with large bay doors that open up to an outdoor patio that will allow for airflow and outdoor play space on nice days. We will serve beer, wine, coffee and various bottled soft drinks. There will be a café area separated from the park space by a half wall where you can get some work done with our free wifi or just to hang out with your friends. We will offer DOG Park KC Hotel which is our personal brand of boarding with daily supervised exercise in the park. In a planned second phase, we intend to have pre-packaged local food and a weekend brunch. In a planned third phase, we intend to open DOG Park KC Daily which is our personal brand of day care with daily supervised exercise in a separate off-leash area. Everything with time. We want to build something that is a space for the Waldo and Kansas City community to share for years to come. Part of that means diligently planning for the future and not biting off more than we can chew from the start.
What stage are you at right now and what are the next few steps for DOG Park KC?
Right now we’re in listen, plan, work, build, repeat. Let’s be real, we’ll probably always be there, even when we’re (hopefully) amazingly successful. We are currently securing our small business loan. We have a space picked out and are working with the landlords and contractors about getting the space outfitted for our needs. Once we have the loan process finished we will be starting on construction!
What does the membership model look like? Will there be day passes, monthly memberships, and year long memberships? Will it be a pay-per-dog model or pay-per-family?
Day Pass (in and out privileges) $10
Monthly Membership (unlimited use of the park. Access to special member-only events/classes/activities. Discounts on DOG Park KC Hotel)
$40/month (includes up to 2 dogs. Same family.)
Annual Membership (unlimited use of the park. Access to special member-only events/classes/activities. Discounts on DOG Park KC Hotel)
$400/year (includes up to 2 dogs. Same family.)
Humans are always free!
We will also be offering punch card options for those that aren’t into memberships, but want to save a little by buying day passes in bulk.
Who do you see as your target demographic?
In a much more focused sense, our market is:
- Dog owners who seek a safer, more controlled environment to socialize and exercise their pets. We will be uniquely equipped to meet this need through temperament testing of all dogs and having park attendants trained to identify and defuse behavior that could lead to unfavorable situations. Another unique aspect we bring to the table is the ability to accomplish all of these things without dogs getting dirty or smelly. The parking is even covered! So in the rain, winter, or extreme heat, you and your dog will have a place to be.
- Dog owners who want to go out for a drink with friends after work, but don’t want to leave their dog at home. After all, their pup has already been home alone all day while they’re at work. Now their pup can come, too! - Parents who stay home during the day and want a place to go with the kids and the dog.
- Dog owners who want all of the pluses of the dog park, but with things for them, too. Ie. beer, wine, coffee, food, wifi.
- Dog owners who want all of the pluses of the dog park, but without the big ordeal that is packing up the car, driving out a ways, walking from the car all of the way into the park, cleaning off the dog before getting back into the car, etc.
What are your plans for future events you will host? Do you have some ideas for what people can look forward to attending in your space?
Do you have a space and if so what has to be done to get it ready?
We do have a space in mind in Waldo, near KC Bier Co and the popular trolley trail. The space has good bones, but needs some work to make it the most conducive it can be for our vision, such as remodeling the bathrooms, building a few interior walls for the DOG Park KC Hotel, installing the large overhead door that will allow a seamless indoor/outdoor experience for when the weather is nice, a large glass pane wall separating the food prep/purchasing area from the area where you chill with your pup and friends, and installation of plenty of outlets and awesome workspace via a custom work bar that overlooks the park.
So, how/why Waldo?
While completing my (Quinten) undergraduate at UMKC (2008-2012), I had spent many a day writing papers at One More Cup, Coffee Girls, or The Roasterie, and many a night bar hopping through Waldo with my friends. When Ellie and I began our house hunt, we knew we didn’t want to be all of the way downtown or out in suburbia, but somewhere in between. We wanted to a fun, tight knit, passionate community. A place with plenty of small businesses and friendly neighbors. What better place than Waldo? We are excited to have made Waldo our home and can’t wait to make it the home of DOG Park KC. We believe Waldonians will really embrace the space.
Kansas City definitely has a large dog-positive community. The attitude and want is there. It’s rather the facilities that are a little lacking. As dog owners ourselves we wish there were more places that our pups were welcome. If we ever want to go out with our friends on a Friday night after work, we have to leave the dogs at home, after they have been home alone all day already. We have a few places to choose from that have outdoor patios to go to, but they are few and far between and require our pup to essentially be tied to the table and laying at our feet. We understand not all establishments have the capacity or even the want to accommodate dogs, but we want to see Kansas City have at least a few legitimate options. We’re excited to be the first of what hopefully becomes at least a few more.
Risks and challenges
This is a large undertaking with startup costs that aren't unmanageable, but aren't cheap either. Due to the amount of work that goes into an undertaking of this nature, the park is not scheduled to be ready until March 2017. Ideally, we'd love to open sooner, but we need to make sure everything is the best it can be for our future members! This means closely monitoring every part of our custom build-out, double/triple/quadruple checking our offerings and services, and asking ourselves along the way if the decisions we're making are true to our vision of quality and commitment to our community.
We have selected a space and will be able to secure it when funding is complete via our small business loan that is currently processing. We have engaged three local contractors, with whom we have walked through every part of what we need for the build out. We have received quotes from said contractors and are ready for construction to begin as soon as the space is officially secured.
Our site has been zoned for this type of usage by the city.
When you introduce a completely new business concept to an area, understandably, there are not a lot of existing rules that fit your specific situation. We are prepared to be in vigilant communication with the city and our neighborhood. With our very detailed documentation and professional backgrounds in both animal science/behavior and business we are confident that we will be able to find an amicable solution to challenges that will inevitably arise.
- (30 days)