FARGO — This one has gone to the dogs.
Rainy Days Indoor Dog Park, the Fargo-Moorhead area's first indoor dog park, officially opened Monday, Dec. 21, at 467 34th St. S., founder Easter Simbe told The Forum.
The idea was born out of necessity because Simbe's dog Reign loved going outside, regardless of the weather.
"It came out of a personal need," she said. "He loved going outside and as the winter came in last year, the idea just came up to me."
Simbe bounced the idea off fellow dog-owners who agreed that it would be a welcome addition to help dogs exercise in the winter while avoiding the cold.
"I talked to a couple other dog owners and they thought it was a great idea, so I started working on it," she said.
The facility will feature roughly 6,000 square-feet of an artificial grass play area, divided into sections for small and large dogs. There will also be a dog treadmills and an agility course. During the summer months, a dog swimming pool will also be available. Dog trainers have also expressed interest in using the facility, Simbe said, so the park will include dog training areas.
Owners can rent a private room for gatherings or events. The facility will also offer coffee, tea and a gift shop.
Dogs are required to have updated vaccinations for rabies, bordetella and DHPP. Once inside, dogs are required to be on a leash unless within the fenced-in play area. Owners must be at least 16 years old.
Park hours are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to noon on Sunday. Standard rates are $10 for a daily pass, $60 for a monthly pass and $450 for an annual pass. Simbe encouraged those with further questions regarding membership to call, email or contact the park via Facebook.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused numerous challenges to sourcing equipment, which forced Simbe to push back the opening date.
With snowy weather around the corner, Simbe reported that customers are eager to get their dogs to the park. Overall, the response from the community has been strong, she added.
"We have almost 700 registered dog owners ready to come in. Over 3,000 people reached out on Facebook," Simbe said. "It's been overwhelming and very exciting."