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Pet-centric southern Utah hotel gives shelter pets a night out in paradise

Posted at 7:41 AM, Mar 30, 2023

KANAB, Utah — A southern Utah hotel welcomes humans and animals with open arms while giving shelter pets a night out in paradise.

The Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile opened in late 2019 – just weeks before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It took us a long time to do the renovation and just as we opened it COVID hit,” said Julie Castle the CEO of Best Friends Animal Society. “We had to kind of wait out the storm.”

READ: Utahns work toward ending euthanization of healthy shelter pets by 2025

The pandemic storm has passed and now, on any given night, the hotel is full of guests and their pets.

Many who stay at the hotel travel to Kanab to volunteer at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary located just a few miles down the road.

The hotel building has stood for over 50 years in downtown Kanab but was only recently acquired by Best Friends.

“This used to be an old motor hotel. It was a roadside motel called the Four Seasons,” Castle said. “I knew that if somebody bought this property, they would probably tear it down and probably build a box chain motel.”

To preserve this piece of Kanab’s character, Best Friends acquired the property and completed the massive renovation.

READ: Possible parasite outbreak surfaces in Utah dogs

“It was this crazy idea that we came up with as I was driving through town one day,” Castle recalled. “How cool would it be if pets were served first.”

Rooms are equipped with comforts for humans and animals with a vegan complimentary breakfast, pet grooming station, complimentary laundry and a dog park with seasonal splash pad.

Those who don’t travel with their own pets have the option of hosting an adoptable shelter animal for an overnight sleepover.

Dogs, cats and rabbits in need of homes can get some one-on-one time with humans and be pampered with treats, long walks in town and a good night’s rest on a comfortable bed at the hotel.

“They get that opportunity to socialize in a real environment with a human being,” Castle said when asked what the experience means to the rescue animals.

To host an adoptable animal for a sleepover, a hotel guest must have a current volunteer account with Best Friends.

More information about the program can be found here.