It’s the lap of luxury — a resort located conveniently near the airport, individually themed bedrooms with views, private TVs, sheepskin covers, and a day spa, as well as the finest food money can buy.
The Jet Pet Resort is Canada’s first airport location dog and cat resort, allowing owners to drop and pick up their pets on the way to and from their various destinations. Some rooms are fitted with a 24/7 webcam for those separation anxiety sufferers to see how their pets are doing whenever they please.
Now owners Camila and Marcus Dahl have pitched their business model to the ruthless panel of judges on CBC’s “Dragons’ Den”, hoping to receive $200,000 for a location in Toronto. The episode airs on Nov. 14.
“We’ve never done anything like this, but as a family, we watch the show and thought it’d be fun to apply,” said Camila Dahl, back from the three-day trip to Toronto. “It was really quite an amazing experience and very memorable.”
The process began when a casting crew came to B.C. and the Dahls did a mini pitch for them. Chosen as one of six out of at least 150 applicants across the province, they then packed up and prepared for the trip out east with an extra bit of confidence.
“That mini pitch really gave us that extra push, and made us realize, okay this is actually a good idea,” said Dahl.
A first timer in Toronto, Dahl brimmed with excitement as soon as the plane hit the ground. For their pitch, the couple built a mini version of their “Dragon Suite” — a themed suite for the year of the dragon — and found local puppies as stand-in actors for their presentation.
Before filming, they were prepped with information such as how they were to introduce themselves to the “dragons” and then they were thrown into the den.
With the puppies nestled in the laps of each dragon — with only one minor accident — the Dahls presented their business model.
“It was pretty much what I expected, so I wasn’t too nervous,” said Dahl, who’s been watching the show religiously for the past couple of years.
The judges consist of Internet mogul Bruce Croxon, Arlene Dickinson, a marketing maven, the notorious investment guru Kevin O’Leary, Jim Treliving, franchise baron, and the newest den inhabitant David Chilton, publishing powerhouse, as described by CBC.
Business entrepreneurs present their models or ideas to the panel, looking for an investor. If a judge supports the idea, he or she makes the deal, investing his or her own money in the project.
Though some ideas are successful at catching the eye of a dragon, most provide entertainment as viewers watch some rather outlandish pitches and the resulting response from the judges.
“I was most worried about Kevin (O’Leary),” said Dahl with a nervous chuckle. “He tends to be pretty brutal with the presenters.”
Deal or no deal, Jet Pet Resort will continue to pursue its plans for expansion, hoping to open a new location in Toronto’s Pearson Airport after two years of success at YVR. It’s also cast its sights on Seattle and L.A. as possible west coast opportunities.
Tune in next Wednesday (Nov. 14) to see how these Richmond entrepreneurs did.