Tag Archives: Pike’s Peak

The Pitty Pat Club at The Broadmoor

The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs is a high-end, pet-friendly resort that has a long history associated with animals.  Many dignitaries including US presidents, actors and actresses, and others have stayed in the luxurious surroundings.

But my preference is the resort’s Pitty Pat Club.

The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs

Pet guests are welcomed to the Broadmoor’s own unique Best Friend in Residence Program.  A $50.00 per pet per day fee is added to your room charge.  With that surcharge, your pet receives a special Broadmoor identification tag to wear throughout their stay.   There are designated outdoor pet areas with clean up packs provided. The 24-hour Pitty Pat Pet Menu offers room service including Blue Buffalo adult dog food and health bars in three flavours:  apples and yogurt, bacon, egg & cheese, or chicken liver.

You are also encouraged to take your dog off-property in a safe manner.  A map of dog exercise areas is provided.  These off-property areas include:

  • North Cheyenne Canyon – dogs allowed on leash
  • Stratton Open Place – dogs allowed on leash
  • Bear Creek Park – off leash area called the Dog Loop Trail
  • Garden of the Gods – off leash exercise allowed in designated areas

A comprehensive list of other services is also given to dog owners.  This includes information on local veterinary practices, pet stores, and groomers.  Dog sitting and walking services can also be arranged.

If Colorado is on your list of destinations, then why not indulge yourself and your dog and stay at The Broadmoor?

The animal history (and how the Pitty Pat Club got its name):

Back in 1880, the land that the resort is situated on was a dairy farm.  In the 1890s, the owners realised that they could make more money by selling parcels of land for residential and commercial development.  A casino was built that was purchased in 1916 by Spencer Penrose, an entrepreneur from Philadelphia, and he began its transformation into a resort.

Mr Penrose saw the value of promoting Colorado Springs as a tourist destination.  He built the Pikes Peak Road leading to the summit as an alternative to the Cog Railway and he established the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, which is still considered one of the finest privately owned zoos in the United States.   Hence, another strong connection to animals.

Mr Penrose’s wife was Julie and she was accompanied everywhere by a Poodle named Pitty Pat.  So, when the resort decided to offer pet-friendly accommodation, it was a natural fit to name the program after Pitty Pat!

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Dog friendly shopping in Colorado

****This is a re-print of my column that appeared in the December 2010 issue of NZ Dog World magazine.  Since that magazine is currently available to NZ Kennel Club members only, I’m re-publishing it here because it is a topic I’m passionate about.****

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I thought I’d share my experience of dog-friendly shopping in the state of Colorado, where I recently traveled for my business.

Colorado is a state that clearly values the companionship of dogs.  They were everywhere:  in trucks, cars and – unlike New Zealand – they were welcomed in many shops and public shopping areas.   On my flight from San Francisco to Denver, there was even a passenger who had a small dog in a carrier.  (Many U.S. airlines now allow small dogs into the cabin as carry-on luggage.)[1]

I wished my Daisy could have traveled with me to enjoy the sites (but she wouldn’t have appreciated the long flight or the required three-month quarantine on our return to New Zealand).

Dogs welcome

Dog owners could easily identify shops where their dog would be allowed to enter.  These shops displayed a Dogs Welcome logo in their window.  Interestingly, these shops sold clothing and footwear for people and were not just pet stores.  An outdoor mall in Castle Rock went a step further by providing grassed park areas and dispensers of plastic bags for dogs to have a ‘comfort stop.’

Other shops made up their own signs, such as one retailer whose sign proclaimed, “Four Legged Friends Welcome.”

I asked a shop attendant if they get many shoppers accompanied by their dogs.  She replied, “Yes.  Lots.  Particularly on weekends when people who work all week want to be out with their pet.”

Dog rest stops

I noticed that many communities welcomed dogs in their shopping areas by providing bowls of water for passing dogs to drink from.  I quickly became accustomed to seeing these ‘dog rest stops’ in virtually every town that we visited.

Rest stops varied in style and offerings.  Some were simply a single water bowl or raised water bowls.   Pet shops would often include extras, such as a bench for owners to sit in.  In Manitou Springs, a popular tourist destination at the foot of Pike’s Peak (elevation 4,800 m), a sweet shop provided vending machines with dog treats.  For 25 cents, a passing dog owner could purchase a handful of treats.

Good behaviour required

In all of the communities I visited, dogs and owners acted responsibly.  There was never a pile of poo left on the footpath and dogs didn’t jump on passers-by.  Responsible dog ownership is clearly essential for communities to embrace dog-friendly shopping.

And so, I leave you with good wishes for the summer holiday season and encourage you to think:  Is dog-friendly shopping appropriate for New Zealand and, if so, what will it take to get dog-friendly shopping established here?


[1] The dog carrier is considered the single piece of carry-on luggage for the owner; the dog must have current vaccinations and is not allowed out of the carrier during the flight.

Additional photos of my trip can be found in this blog post.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand