Highland News Leader

Highland doggie hotel expanding so more guests can stay

Dog hotel owner explains plans for business expansion

Double J Doggie Play N Stay is expanding business with private suites for their guests and an outdoor play area. The project is expected to be finished in May in Highland in Southern Illinois, near Belleville, IL and St. Louis.
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Double J Doggie Play N Stay is expanding business with private suites for their guests and an outdoor play area. The project is expected to be finished in May in Highland in Southern Illinois, near Belleville, IL and St. Louis.

When its expansion is complete, this boarding house in Highland will include amenities such as a swimming pool, an expanded outdoor play area and private suites. There's just a couple requirements to stay — four legs and a wet nose.

Double J Doggie Play N Stay, 803 Third St., has been playing host to the area's canine companions for three years. The business provides long-term boarding, overnight stays, daycare, grooming, and training. During their stay, dogs are allowed to play with each other in a fenced play area, as long as they get along.

"We want your dogs to not want to leave when they leave," said Jason Prichard, who along with his wife, Jessica, owns the business.

The business also recently launched a retail section with a variety of American-made doggie goods, and pet-friendly treats made by a Highland-based pet bakery.

And business has been booming. The place has been booked to capacity — about 40 dogs — so much lately that the Prichards are looking to create a bigger space, including the addition of 14 private suite areas.

"The private suites are a little bit more easy-going for the dogs," Jason Prichard said.

The suites will be walled off, instead of being separated by kennel walls. This helps the suites to be more private, quiet, and stress-free. The suites will have the option of having radio or television played to simulate the feeling of being at home.

The expansion will also include a 3,200 square foot outdoor play area, which will be surfaced with AstroTurf, and will have a pool, as well as various ramps play features, and challenging toys.

“It’s a much more enriching experience for the dogs,” Jason Prichard said.

The Prichards hope the project will be finished in late May. At the time of completion, they said they expect to hold a grand re-opening barbecue.

Jason Prichard said this project could not have been made possible without the cooperative collaboration with Bradford National Bank, who helped finance the project.

"The bank listened to our current needs and future plans. From a small business perspective, this is a very big deal," Prichard said.

The Prichards said the establishment is also looking to hire a sixth staff member, and a new location in Clinton County or the Greenville area might be on the business's five-year horizon.

Double J Doggie Play N Stay is now accepting reservations. For availability, call 618-882-6699 or visit doublejplaynstay.com.

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