Dogtopia developer eyes Boulder County

BOULDER – If Randall Clark has his way, a Dogtopia could be in Boulder County within the next 6 to 12 months.

Clark announced on Monday he has signed a regional developer agreement with Dogtopia, a dog day-care, boarding and spa franchise based in Maryland. As part of the deal, Clark’s company, Circle Canine Colorado LLC, acquired the only Dogtopia location in Colorado, which is in Highlands Ranch. Clark’s company has plans to open its own stores as well as find franchisees for other locations.

Circle Canine’s agreement with Dogtopia covers all of Colorado, and Clark said he is aiming for 13 to18 corporate or franchise-owned stores along the Front Range and, eventually, a few more in the mountains.

Clark said he’s in the process of screening locations in Boulder County, and said that the area could end up having more than one store.

“I’m very excited about planting the Dogtopia flag in Boulder County,´ said Clark, who lives in the Denver area. “If I had my preference, it would be one of my next locations for operation.”

Dogtopia stores, generally consist of about 5,500 to 7,000 square feet, are laid out similarly to a children’s day-care facility, with a design meant to mirror an upscale spa with multiple playrooms and a self-service dog wash.

While there are lots of dog day-care facilities in the marketplace already, Clark said he believes Colorado is ripe for more given that its per capita rate of dog ownership is among the highest in the country. The Dogtopia in Highlands Ranch is one of the top performers in the nation, Clark said.

“It’s not a discretionary spend, and it’s remarkable what people spend on their dogs,” Clark said.

Clark said the “all-in costs” of starting a franchise, depending on the size of the location, can range from $300,000 to $400,000.

The ramped-up expansion in Colorado is part of a growth track that has Dogtopia planning to open more than 400 locations across the United States and Canada during the next seven years. Founded in 2002, Dogtopia has grown to 24 franchises and five company-owned locations in about a dozen states, with at least 34 new locations in the pipeline.

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