Red Hydrant Lounge & Suites opens in July, adding dog boarding option for Grand Forks

The business, which offers boarding and day care for dogs, is set to open July 15 with an open house from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. July 13. Adoptable animals from Turtle Mountain Animal Rescue will also be there.

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Owner Genevieve Spicer (left) and trainer Ally Becker stand outside The Red Hydrant Lounge & Suites, which is set to open July 15.
Jacob Holley
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GRAND FORKS — Genevieve Spicer and Ally Becker met and bonded over a shared interest; what they call “an obsession with dogs.”

“We’ve always loved dogs, but we’ve always wanted to offer better care for dogs (with) really intentional practices, not just throwing them into a room and letting them play, but giving them what they need,” Spicer said.

Spicer is the owner of The Red Hydrant Lounge & Suites at 3180 Gateway Dr. in Grand Forks. The business, which offers boarding and day care for dogs, is set to open July 15 with an open house from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. July 13. Adoptable animals from Turtle Mountain Animal Rescue will also be there.

Spicer met Becker, who will serve as a trainer at The Red Hydrant, about a year ago when Becker was her youngest dog’s trainer.

“He struggled a lot with dog-to-dog interaction, and Ally specializes in aggressive dogs, and that's how I met Ally,” Spicer said. “And I worked with her, and I was like, ‘Oh, this is good. I need her on my team.’”


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The Red Hydrant Owner Genevieve Spicer's dogs (from left) Francie, Clark and Argus.

Becker worked independently after getting her training certificate and worked at various dog-related businesses before deciding to bet on herself and work independently, when she met Spicer. Becker said Spicer didn’t have to do much convincing to get her on board at The Red Hydrant.

“A lot of my clients that I work with, I love working with them, but it had been a hot minute since (I had) worked with somebody who really took the coaching as well as she did,” Becker said. “And so when we she approached me about it, I was like, ‘I'm a little on the fence.’ And after a couple minutes, it was a no-brainer.”

The two clicked from a business standpoint not long after.

“We were almost interviewing each other without really knowing what the other one was doing waiting for the hole, and when we never got it, we were like, ‘Wow, OK this works,’” Becker said.

It has always been one of the biggest questions looming in business. The North Dakota Small Business Development Centers has released a new exit and succession planning guide to help business owners prepare for a step that is sometimes uncomfortable to think about.

The name “The Red Hydrant” came from wanting something dog-related for people to remember the business by, but Spicer’s favorite part is the “Lounge & Suites” tacked onto it. She said she thinks it confuses a lot of people about what the business actually is, but she said it was a very intentional choice.

“I wanted it to be, ‘Well we go out and we have a good time with our friends at a lounge,’ or you stay at a hotel and you look for the suites,” Spicer said. “I wanted that for dogs. I wanted dogs to have a place to come and also have a good time with their friends. So I thought, ‘Yeah, we'll go with (it).’ A few people might be confused, but eventually they'll catch on.”

Also an intentional choice, The Red Hydrant’s building is about 14,000 square feet and, once opened, will have a capacity of more than 100 dogs boarded at a time.

“I've been in probably 12 boarding facilities, and none of them, all the way from the horse gate doors to even just the way the kennels are laid out… It's just going to flow so nicely,” Becker said. “I'm so impressed.”

Related Topics: LOCAL BUSINESS
Jacob Holley joined the Grand Forks Herald as its business reporter in June 2021.

Holley's beat at the Grand Forks Herald is broad and includes a variety of topics, including small business, national trends and more.

Readers can reach Holley at him on Twitter @JakeHolleyMedia.
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