Country Club Pet Resort: Setting The Standard For Three Generations
Profile Of Success
By Kathy Hosler
Photos by Wendy Brooks
Just imagine vacationing at an exclusive resort nestled on twenty private acres near Calgary, Alberta Canada. A breathtaking panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains can be seen from the balcony of the themed guest rooms of the all-inclusive resort.
It features a fresh water swimming pool with a cascading waterfall, acres of nature trails for hiking and exploring, and even an exotic bird park. And the staff provides one–on–one attention to every guest.
Who wouldn’t want to vacation in a place like this? Sorry, you can’t. This resort destination is only available to pets. The Country Club Pet Resort is the largest kennel in Canada. It has been owned and operated by the Brooks family for more than 65 years. In the mid–1940’s Jack Brooks opened the Foothills Kennel & Dog School. Then Jack’s son, Don, and Don’s wife, Marlene opened the Calgary Pet Hotel in 1962. As their business grew, they needed more room, and in 1982 the Country Club Pet Resort opened in Calgary. Today Wendy Brooks, Don and Marlene’s daughter, is the owner/operator of the resort.
“Our family opened the first boarding facility in Calgary,” says third generation owner, Wendy Brooks. “Our mission has always been to keep the pets in our care safe, happy, and having fun”
“We specialize in outdoor activities and exercise programs for the pets,” says Ms. Brooks. “The resort can accommodate up to 350 dogs, and 70 cats. We have an exclusive Bird Cabin where we can board small and medium sized feathered friends. And we also have 10 condos where we can board small pets such as rabbits, chinchillas, and guinea pigs.”
A personal itinerary is formulated for each pet based on his/her individual interests. The Country Club Pet Resort is an all-inclusive facility—which means that almost all of the activities they offer are included in the daily boarding rate.
As you enter the expansive resort, you will see numerous off–leash park areas, the swimming pool, a five acre exotic bird park, and many nature trails. As soon as clients step inside their beautiful reception area, they and their pets are warmly welcomed by the resort staff.
The accommodations at the resort are geared toward giving each pet a cozy home away from home. They have multiple buildings which makes it easy for them to accommodate pets of all different sizes and needs. Fabulous murals decorate the walls of the facility. Each guest room has its own unique decor to make it more calming and home-like for the pet. The rooms have many themes including western cantinas, rain forest, beaches, and many more. Many of the rooms include both indoor and outdoor areas, and many of them have heated floors. Each building is individually climate controlled in the summer and the winter. Soothing music plays continuously and there is 24/7 security monitoring.
Feline guests are really pam-purred at the resort. The cats have their own exclusive area on the upper level. They can choose from 22 individual suites with Jungle rooms, Roman Villa, or Windsor Castle themes. Twenty five penthouse accommodations also feature outdoor balconies. There is a glassed-in atrium with a glorious mountain view and climbing trees. The cats have 5,000 sq. ft. of a backyard garden type of atmosphere to play and roam in.
A nose to toes wellness inspection of every overnight guest is done once a day. That gives the staff an opportunity to interact with and to assess how the pet is doing in a boarding situation. This includes up to ten minutes of brushing.
“We focus on individual one–on–one attention to our boarding guests. We do not group-run dogs for safety reasons,” Wendy says. “We have 40 large 5,000 sq. ft. enclosed romping corrals where every canine guest is exercised three times a day. We also have seven 45,000 sq. ft. off leash parks. If the weather is bad, there is plenty of indoor play space too.”
There are lots of fun indoor and outdoor activities for the guests. They can romp through the beautifully manicured and landscaped areas and enjoy the fresh water swimming pool with its waterfall and other water features, statues, and plantings. There are also hiking trails all around the exotic bird park. They have many different species of birds, pigeons, turkeys, chickens, and ducks. They even have thirty peacocks. There are also a couple of adorable mini donkeys that love to entertain the visitors.
The resort strives to fill all the needs of their guests during their lifetime—and beyond. They have a beautiful memorial park to care for the pets afterlife needs. There are areas for ground burial and a mausoleum for interment of cremated remains. Paved trails with comfortable resting benches provide access to the beautiful and spacious memorial park. There is a pet chapel where bereaved owners can spend time and find comfort.
Modern technology plays an important role in the day–to–day operation of the resort. “You have to keep up with the times. If you don’t, you will definitely lose business,” says Wendy. “A lot of our customers find us online. Our website www.countryclub-petresort.com is an essential part of our business. It’s really convenient for the owners to be able to register and book their pets’ reservations online. Of course, there is nothing like an in–person visit. We encourage every potential client to come to our facility for a tour.”
The resort fills out pet report cards for each of their guests. It summarizes their pet’s special interests and the activities they enjoyed. They also offer a three to four minute video of their pet participating in some activity and it is posted on their Facebook page and YouTube channel. Every day they post a variety of guests photos.
“Our staff is a huge part of our success. We have thirty full-time employees. Some of them have been with us for thirty years,” says Wendy.
“We have a very extensive training program for each employee. We do a three month one–on–one training. Then, the training continues and after six months we have them test to become a Certified Pet Care Technician through the IBPSA (International Boarding & Pet Services Association).”
The individual care and attention to detail that the Brooks family and the staff of the Country Club Pet Resort give to each of their guests has made them the premier pet care destination for several generations of Canadians.