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Dogs Have Their Day at Aloft Orlando Downtown

July 23, 2019 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

On July 27, the Aloft Orlando Downtown will throw a special party to mark a warm-and-fuzzy milestone that is dear to the hearts of hotel associates, guests and people in the community.

It’s called the Bow Wow Luau, and it will celebrate the 100th dog to be adopted in a partnership with the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. The luau is not your everyday canine mixer. The event will include two Hawaiian-themed food trucks, live music, a Pawaiian costume contest and other fun activities. Special drinks such as Whisker Sours and Barky Marys will be served at the bar.

Hotel staff is reaching out to people who’ve adopted dogs in hopes of getting all 100 to attend, reunion-style Additionally, the event is open to dogs from all over — and their owners can drop by too.

In addition, the Pet Alliance will showcase 14 tricked-out dog houses featuring custom tile work at the Bow Wow Luau. They’ll be part of a silent auction and raffle.

The foster dog program is exclusive to Aloft hotels managed by Tampa-based McKibbon Hospitality. It began at Aloft Asheville Downtown, and was so successful that it has spread to Aloft Greenville Downtown and Aloft Tallahassee Downtown.

Aloft Orlando Downtown adopted the program on May 23, 2018. Dogs, who have been vetted and chosen by the Pet Alliance, reside a 12-square-foot space next to the front desk. Inside the enclosure is a dog house that’s a replica of the hotel building, designed and built pro bono by a local architect.

The pooches are chosen for their ability to thrive in a hotel-lobby environment, and, of course, for maximum cuteness. Over the course of the program, canines have been adopted by locals as well as hotel guests, some of whom have changed their travel plans to accommodate the adoption.

One of them was Travie McCoy, the frontman for the rap-rock band Gym Class Heroes, who was staying at the hotel for a few days as part of a tour stop at nearby Amway Center. He became smitten with Panda, adopted her and took her home to New York. Panda was adoption No. 26 for the hotel.

*Image of Travie and Panda below

Overall, the program, currently active in the four Aloft hotels run by McKibbon and likely to expand, has yielded benefits well beyond placing dogs in new homes. It provides guests with a novel and heartwarming experience unusual to a hotel stay, infuses a sense of purpose in the staff that transcends their daily workflow, and rallies the community to the cause.

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