Pet-friendly Merriam!

In celebration of National Pet Day on April 11th (yes, it’s a thing–the National Calendar at a Glance says so), we thought it fitting to celebrate and share the fur babies in our lives, and educate travelers about Merriam’s pet-friendly places.
Ladi Dadi
Meet Ladi Dadi—she’s a toy poodle who is the sweetest, most loving and smart girl around. Fiercely protective of her travel bag (her mohawk hairstyle all the more intimidating), Ladi loves to tag along with her humans on various trips and excursions, happily obeying all the puppy laws when livin’ it up at a pooch-friendly spot.

This is Pip! Pip is a temperamental rabbit who lives in a custom-made triplex rabbit condo and is too spoiled for her own good. She enjoys lounging near her hay rack by day and wreaking havoc by night, keeping her human (and human’s parents) awake until the wee hours like it’s her own personal bunny nightclub. Pip is portable and has traveled on occasion—thankfully never being snubbed since she’s not a typical traveling pet.

Pip the Rabbit

If you’re a pet parent, you know the struggle is real when trying to decide to travel or not to travel with the critters in tow. In fact, according to DogVacay.com, “pet owners aren’t fully enjoying the benefits of what should be a relaxing travel experience because they are worrying about their pets.” This nifty infographic shows that 73% of people feel guilty about leaving their pet in a kennel when they travel and 21% of them have trouble finding pet-friendly accommodations. Fortunately, since there are so many of us pro-pet travelers out there, lodging, attractions and other visitor-friendly locations are starting to pay attention and make special packages and allowances so people and pets can travel more freely together.

Sure, there are times when the grandpet parents are a more suitable option or the Rover.com sitter just makes more sense, but for times when you really want to get away with your fur-baby, it’s good to know the pet-friendly odds are shifting in your favor.

Here in Merriam for example, pets are heartily welcomed in our community. From overnight lodging to a doggie day-care if you prefer a parents’ day out activity, the plethora of pet amenities are certainly a good reason to consider Merriam when traveling to the Kansas City region. Take a peek at our pet-friendly spots across town and be sure to swing by the CVB office (M-F 8:00a.m.-4:30 p.m.) for a pooch treat if you’re in the neighborhood.

  • Lodging: Drury Inn, Super 8, Extended Stay America and Quality Inn Merriam all have pet-friendly policies. Please inquire with each property for specific details–click here for easy access to the hotels online.
  • Daycare/Boarding: Woof’s Play & Stay offers boarding options when you must leave them behind and day-play if you need a PDO. Grooming services are also available, and who knows, your pooch could win Top Dog Award.
  • Grooming: Jenny’s Pet Care & Dog Grooming on Merriam Drive is a great spot for a spiffy new do! Mention her website coupon and receive $3 off your first dog groom.
  • Supplies: PetSmart at Merriam Town Center and Merriam Lawn & Feed at Johnson & Merriam Drive both have pet food and supplies if you forget an essential supply when visiting.
  • Parks, parks, and more parks: All of Merriam’s parks and trails are pet-friendly and nary a moment goes by without seeing a leashed fur baby leading the way of park goers and trail walkers. Bonus: all Merriam parks have pet waste stations, so there’s no worries when duty calls. Click here for a list of parks in Merriam!
  • Day for the Dogs: No community would be complete without an event entirely focused on the four-legged furries.  Merriam’s Pooch Paddle is a fun, tail-wagging, all-dog swimming party held on Monday, September 4, 2017 at the Merriam Aquatic Center.
  • No Pets? You may be reading this blog thinking, “I don’t even have a pet.” We’ve got that covered too. Merriam is home to Great Plains SPCA, a local shelter housing dogs and cats (and sometimes other animals) in need of caring, loving homes and humans. Give them a shout if you’re looking to adopt, or feel free to make a little donation to keep this worthy organization stocked with supplies.

Now that you’ve got the perfect pet-friendly place to visit, come see us in Merriam! We’re pawsitively certain you’ll love our pawspitality–fur real!

The Millennial Traveler

selfie photo - millennials
By the year 2020, millennials* will make up 50% of the workforce. That’s half of all other generational types combined–an astounding number for companies who sell travel related services, especially since millennials are one of the highest traveling age segments too. As a destination that welcomes all ages, young and old, it’s important to routinely review our community’s offerings for the ever-changing traveler interests. Here’s what we know about millennials and their travel preferences:

Five Trends in Millennial Travel

  1. They value experiences over things. In fact, six out of ten prefer to spend their disposable income on travel rather than material items. And, they 24% plan to take more overnight trips in the coming year. In terms of spending, millennials will spend more on travel services than any other age group in the next 12 months.
  2. They use ALL or most of their vacation time. Rather than hoarding it for a rainy day like generations past (read more here), millennials believe their time is earned and should be used! Score one for the millennial mindset.
  3. Not your typical destination travelers, millennials like to experience things that are out of the norm, adventurous or hands-on. While sand and surf might be on the itinerary, a week-long beach vacay is not normally in their plans. Instead, they’re out on foodie adventures, exploring the lesser known community gems or zip lining through the woods.
  4. Have pets, will travel. As more and more destination amenities become pet-friendly, millennials expect to bring along their furry companions, so it’s a good idea to roll out the red carpet (and pet hair roller).
  5. Millennials trust their peer network. They seek out travel opinions on social networks. They’ve grown up along with new digital options that didn’t exist in the Gen X generation so their trusted resource comes from posts, likes and shares of those they know.

As we embark on the busy summer travel season, it’s important to remember that not every destination has a mountain to scale or a volcano to explore, but that doesn’t mean we have to miss out on the millennials. Some are here for meetings and events and others are visiting friends and relatives, so they may only have time for one or two additional excursions during their visit. It’s the unique things found within our communities like food truck festivals, art walks or paddle boarding local streams and rivers that can also have an impact on millennial travel decisions. Here’s a few options for millennials (and all generations) to consider in Merriam this summer and year-round!

Go, See, Do in Merriam…

  • GoStrawberry Hill Povitica Bakery — sample the dessert bread and watch artisan bakers create this popular and tasty treat made right in Merriam!
  • See – Visit the current exhibit on display at the Tim Murphy Art Gallery, then stroll south along Merriam Drive to check-out our newest art installation, “Still Time.”
  • Do – Grab a few friends for a fun afternoon of geocaching in Merriam. Enjoy a game of seek and find along this digital treasure hunt–click here for caches placed by the CVB!

*millennial = person born between 1980-2000