California Fires Fill Hotels with Many Kinds of Animals

 |  Oct 25th 2007  |   5 Contributions


Way to go hotel and motel management! Big barks to those of you who have stepped up and stepped down those no pet policies for now.

I hope we can all remember these inns in the future when we travel to their areas or, if you live near them, when you need to recommend a place to stay. A few years ago when St. Louis was completely stopped in its tracks by the ice storm, the local Marriott's dropped their rates for those of us without power. I haven't forgotten that and have made a point of trying to stay in Marriott's now when I travel (and I do a lot of that!). Let's reward those businesses that are good citizens!

Thanks to USA Today for this article.

It's raining cats and dogs at California hotels

Southern California hotels are checking in a menagerie of pets with their owners as they house evacuees from more than a dozen fires.

When David Peckinpaugh checked into the upscale Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego with his wife, two kids, two dogs and a hamster, even he was surprised by what he saw.


"It looks like Noah's ark down there," says Peckinpaugh, who is CEO of the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Loews is one of the many hotels across the price spectrum hosting more animals this week.

Some hotels lifted pet restrictions to accommodate evacuees, and some have waived fees they usually charge pet owners to cover extra cleaning. Others already had pet-friendly policies.

The Loews resort where rooms usually start at $280 a night but now cost evacuees $169 has allowed pets for about seven years, says Kathleen Cochran, general manager of the Loews Coronado Bay.

The hotel staff is used to seeing guests bring little dogs, but this week has been different.

"Today, we have a chinchilla, a goat a very cute little goat we have a couple of potbelly pigs and quite a few bunnies," Cochran says. "Loews loves pets, so we don't discriminate."

Guests at the Loews never know where an animal will turn up.

The goat and its owner trot across the lobby whenever the animal has to go outside to relieve itself. One of the potbelly pigs attended the hotel's family movie night on Tuesday.

At the San Diego Marriott, the dog business boomed so quickly that the hotel created an impromptu doggie park by the pool for dog walking. The hotel also added two amenities: poop bags and dog food.

"It almost looks like a kennel around here," says Ray Warren, the hotel's general manager and a dog lover who's staying at the hotel with his dog.

The Marriott hotel usually charges pet owners $75 extra, but it has waived the fee, he says.

When the fires started to become a threat late Sunday night, Debbie Ferris says the hotel she manages the Motel 6 in El Cajon near San Diego became a popular spot with pet owners.

Some customers told her that rival hotels were charging extra for pets or limiting their stay, she says. Motel 6, where rooms cost about $50 a night, is pet-friendly.

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