爱思英语编者按：本月下旬在美国得克萨斯州沃思堡(Fort Worth) 即将开张一家新酒店，酒店的高级套房可以为客户提供定制床垫口雪尼尔地毯和缎面毯子以及18英寸的纯平电视机──枕头上还会放上一份狗食。
The exclusive suites in a hotel opening here later this month will offer custom upholstered beds, chenille and satin blankets, 18-inch flat-screen TVs -- and a dog treat on the pillow.
This $4.4 million hotel is exclusively for dogs and cats.
Fort Worth, which is known for its stockyards and often called Cowtown, may be going to the dogs after Janice Ford Grimes opens her pet resort, where pooches and cats can expect to be in the lap of luxury. There will be facials, Swarovski-crystal collars (for sale in the boutique) and turn-down service every night in the rooms.
"There isn"t another hotel like this. It"s a hotel like you and I would stay in," says the 57-year-old Ms. Ford Grimes.
Ms. Ford Grimes, whose four cats drink Evian, is gambling animal lovers will think it"s worth every penny for a room that can cost as much as $200 a night.
The event hall at the Spa Paws Hotel, as it is to be called, will play host to pet weddings and birthday parties, and guests can sit for a portrait by a professional photographer.
The 20,000-square-foot complex will be anchored by a wellness center, where pets can heal their bodies and minds via Eastern medicine. The best suites will overlook an atrium, where robotic squirrels will be the floor show.
The luxury-pet-services race is on all around the country, taking the anthropomorphizing of dogs and cats to new extremes. Cages have given way to pillow-top beds, in some cases human-sized, and pet food is a very fancy feast. The most pampered dogs these days get their hair colored and their paws exfoliated."In this industry, nothing is really too outrageous anymore," says Gretchen Meienburg, vice president of the board of the Pet Care Services Association.
Her trade group, formerly known as the American Boarding Kennels Association, stopped using the word "kennel" two years ago to better reflect the services that doting owners have come to expect.
The industry has more than doubled in size since 2000, to $4.4 billion in 2008, according to the latest consumer-expenditure survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Michael Dillon, an industry consultant, expects that figure to grow to $5.10 billion by 2011.
Still, pet luxury can be a dog-eat-dog business. In Dallas, a $10 million dollar indoor park, where dogs could run in an air-conditioned environment by day and sleep together in a king-size bed at night, closed earlier this summer. Owner Kelly Acree says the recession forced her to scrap some of the services she had envisioned, including a restaurant. Without that revenue, the overhead was too high, she says, although she hasn"t given up on the idea. She"s now looking into smaller neighborhood parks.
Even shelters are upping their standards. At the SPCA of Texas, in Dallas, potential adoptees lounge in rooms with human furnishings; one room is called "Chateau Chardonnay."
"You want to be able to show these animals in a better light," says James Bias, the shelter"s president.
The switch to more human-friendly digs required some tinkering. After dogs chewed up the couches, Mr. Bias bought heavy-duty outdoor furniture.
At the Grand Pet Resort and Spa, Ms. Ford Grimes"s main competitor in Fort Worth, owner Steve Hotchkiss had to adjust the programming shown on the pet suite TVs after dogs attacked the screens. Apparently they found the squirrels and birds too realistic.
Dr. Hotchkiss, a veterinarian, says he invested $1.5 million to build his hotel, and lost $200,000 over the first two years. Now he"s making a return on investment of 10%, he says.
What has kept him in business, he says, is service.
Terri DeSio, a 51-year-old attorney, says she is happy to pay for her Great Dane-Labrador mix, Beau, to stay at the Grand. The hotel went to such lengths as changing him into his "swimsuit," a sturdy red collar, on pool day, and arranging for a cake and treat bags for his birthday party earlier this year. "It"s kind of silly, and I do have a life, but I have this dog and I"m very fond of him," she says.
If providing good service means fetching chicken salad from Whole Foods for a finicky eater, the Grand staff does it. Other services he offers are 10-minute PDAs (personal displays of affection) for $8 and, for $20, a 30-minute swim in the dog-bone shaped pool.
Ms. Ford Grimes, who wears a diamond-encrusted Hello Kitty ring and a matching gold watch, scowls at the notion of charging for affection. Love is included, she says, in the $65 or more guests will be paying for a room at Spa Paws Hotel.
Fashion-minded dogs can choose from a variety of pricey European couture offerings at the hotel"s boutique. Ms. Ford Grimes, who made her money from leasing cars, recently tried some of the outfits on her Imperial Shih Tzu, Shawnee Spirit. The hairy little dog seemed indifferent to a $400 pink argyle cashmere sweater, but appeared to enjoy strutting her stuff in a $3,000 wedding gown, its white train dragging on the floor.
But the heart of the hotel will be the wellness center, inspired by Ms. Ford Grimes"s beloved cat Dakota, who died of a brain tumor. Ms. Ford Grimes is prepared to subsidize the clinic with earnings from the hotel. Her business plan has her making money within the first six months, with occupancy at the hotel and salon at 30%, but she"s ready to be in the red for a year.更多信息请访问：http://www.24en.com/
A feasibility study required by her bank showed the demographics to support her business -- high-income empty-nesters, gay couples and what Ms. Ford Grimes calls the "Paris Hilton girls" -- were present in Fort Worth.
Ms. Ford Grimes says she has already heard from several people who promise to be regulars. One, the owner of a Yorkshire Terrier named Coco Chanel, requested a suite be decorated with a replica of the French designer"s brown-suede couch and a shot of the Eiffel Tower.
一条混种西施犬正在Grand Pet Resort and Spa酒店接受面部护理。这家名为Spa Paws的酒店耗资440万美元，是专门为猫狗提供服务的。
沃思堡以其畜牧围场而闻名，通常被称作“牛仔城”(Cowtown)。在格莱姆斯(Janice Ford Grimes)开办了这家为猫猫狗狗提供奢华服务的宠物酒店后，沃思堡又向宠物们敞开了怀抱。Spa Paws酒店提供面部护理服务和施华洛世奇水晶项圈（酒店精品店内有售），房间每晚还提供开夜床服务（开夜床指服务员将床上面铺的床罩撤走，然后将毛毯连上面一层床单打开一个大约是30度的角，以方便客人入睡，同时整理房间，补充必需的客用品）。
为宠物提供豪华服务的竞争正在全美各地展开，对猫狗的人性化关怀也由此发展到了新的极致。笼子已经让位给了双垫层床垫，有时候这些床的大小和人类所用无异，宠物食品更是丰盛异常。如今最娇惯的狗会得到“染发”和“修脚”服务。宠物护理服务协会(Pet Care Services Association)董事会副主席梅恩伯格(Gretchen Meienburg)表示，在这个行业，已经没有什么东西是太过奢侈的了。
该协会此前的名称为美国寄宿犬舍协会(American Boarding Kennels Association)，两年前他们不再使用“犬舍”一词，以更好地反映充满爱心的主人们所期待的服务。
美国劳工统计局(Bureau of Labor Statistics)有关消费支出的最新调查显示，这一产业的规模自2000年以来翻了一倍以上，在2008年达到了44亿美元。行业顾问迪伦(Michael Dillon)预计，这一数字到2011年将增长为51亿美元。
尽管如此，宠物奢侈业竞争还是很激烈。今年夏天早些时候，达拉斯 (Dallas)一家价值1,000万美元的室内公园就关门大吉了。在那里，狗狗们白天可以在空调环境里跑来跑去，晚上就一起睡在一张大床上。该室内公园的所有者阿克里(Kelly Acree)表示，经济危机迫使她取消了原先设想的一些服务，包括开设餐馆。她表示，缺少了那些收入，日常管理费用就变得难以承受了，但她并没有放弃做这个生意的想法。现在，她正打算筹建一些小规模的社区公园。
格莱姆斯在沃思堡的主要竞争对手是霍奇基思(Steve Hotchkiss)开办的Grand Pet Resort and Spa酒店。在酒店的电视屏幕遭到狗狗们的袭击之后，霍奇基思不得不调整了宠物套房内播放的电视节目。显而易见，电视上松鼠和鸟类在狗狗们眼里都太逼真了。
51岁的律师德西奥(Terri DeSio)表示，她愿意花钱让她的大丹和拉布拉多混种犬Beau入住Grand Pet Resort and Spa酒店。酒店对Beau提供的服务无微不至：比如在它玩水的时候给它换上“泳装”，并戴上结实的红项圈，在Beau今年早些时候过生日时还为它准备了蛋糕和各种美食。她说，这似乎有点儿傻，我的确也有自己的生活，但是我我非常喜欢这条狗。
如果说提供优质服务意味着要为一只挑食的宠物上Whole Foods店买鸡肉色拉，那么Grand Pet Resort and Spa的员工已经做到了这一点。酒店提供的其它服务还包括：花8美元对宠物进行长达10分钟的爱心展示，花 20美元可以让宠物在一个狗骨头形状的泳池内游泳30分钟。
戴着凯蒂猫(Hello Kitty)钻戒和相搭配金表的格莱姆斯对收取爱心费的理念不以为然。她说，客人们在Spa Paws酒店支付的65美元或者更高的房费中，就已经包含爱心在内了。
追逐时尚的狗狗可以在Spa Paws酒店精品店内一系列价格昂贵的欧洲时装中尽情挑选。格莱姆斯最近为她的西施犬Shawnee Spirit试穿了其中的一些衣服。这条毛茸茸的小狗对一件价值400美元的粉红色带有菱形花纹的羊绒衫并不感冒，但似乎喜欢穿一套3,000美元的裙摆曳地的白色婚纱礼服。
格莱姆斯表示，已经有好几个人向她承诺会成为酒店常客。其中一位养了一条名叫可可口香奈尔(Coco Chanel)的约克夏犬(Yorkshire Terrier)的客人要求，在房间内摆放这位法国设计师设计的棕色小山羊皮沙发的复制品，并悬挂埃菲尔铁塔的照片。