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Hyatt Centric Old Town now has an option to spoil your pooch with its “Bark, it’s your Birthday!” package (courtesy of Nano Betts)

(updated at 4:45 p.m.) While more than half the hotels in Alexandria are pet-friendly, one hotel has added a package to go above and beyond for your furry friend.

The “Bark, it’s your Birthday!” package from Hyatt Centric Old Town Alexandria figuratively rolls out the red carpet for your pooch.

The package that comes at a price of $250 ensures Fido’s favorites are awaiting him at your hotel stay. Ahead of check-in, the hotel will call the dog parents and ask about all the pet’s tail-wagging favorites from treats to toys, and deck out the room with the assistance from local “bonetique” The Dog Park. Also included in that additional fee is a pet-friendly itinerary created by the hotel.

Visit Alexandria says that there are more than 2,000 pet-friendly hotel rooms in the city. And there’s plenty for owners to do once they do get to Alexandria with their best furry friend from pet-friendly patios, dog happy hours, pet salons and doggie gyms.

Alexandria is known for its pet-friendly accommodations. U.S. News and World Report lists the top four hotels in Alexandria for Fido as The Lorien Hotel & Spa, The Alexandrian Old Town Alexandria, Morrison House Autograph Collection and the Westin Old Town Alexandria. Hyatt was not included — Perhaps next year.

The U.S. News list includes hotels where pets stay for free by taking into account “amenities, reputation among professional travel experts, guest reviews and hotel class ratings,” according to its website.

Hotels nationwide are embracing amenities that cater to dogs. During the Covid pandemic, many people stuck at home adopted pets and many in the travel industry, eager to capture an increased demand, have leaned into making it easier for people to travel with pets.

“The pandemic created just the right recipe for an uptick in pet-travel,” a spokesperson for the Hyatt stated. “Starting with the puppy adoption boom during the initial weeks of lockdowns and the stay-at-home orders that followed, parting with a pet seemed more dreadful than ever. On top of that, COVID led to a decline in air-travel, the most difficult type of pet-travel, and an increase of more accommodating modes of transportation such as road trips.”

Hilton’s CEO said on an earnings call last year that he hoped the surge in pet ownership would help the hotel chain appeal to those would be customers through a partnership it announced with Mars Petcare in an effort to make its hotels more pet friendly, according to the Washington Business Journal.

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Thinking about going into business in the Alexandria area?

It can sometimes be easier to buy an existing business, and the latest listings on BizBuySell show all kinds of companies in and around the city.

The website aggregates numerous business sale listings, and the names and locations are generally left out.

Reasons for selling, when provided, typically do not mention economic hardship, but more often involve the owner retiring or not having time to actively run the business.

Here are some that are currently listed:

  1. Low rent bakery for sale — “Specialty bakery for sale in the heart of Alexandria. This bakery is located on a very busy road surrounded by residential and retail businesses. The current owner is looking to retire and we are looking for a new owner/operator ready to expand this current business by adding a new menu with more options than the current menu. Seating inside and outside. Bring your concept to this turn key location.”
  2. Dog boutique in Old Town — “Incredible dog boutique store in charming and wealthy Old Town Alexandria. The business has been growing since inception in 2010.The high visibility location draws in hundreds of customers each week.”
  3. Truck parts distributor — “Turn Key Truck Parts Distributor! This business has been profitable for 60+ years. Loaded with Goodwill!”
  4. Alexandria-Falls Church nail salon — “Established, nice nail salon/spa with good income available for sale in the Falls Church, Alexandria area. Good rent. Potential for growth if adding more nail techs. Nail services comprise 80% of the business, the rest is hair services. Highly visible from main road. Good reviews. Nice and well decorated. Owner can stay and work on a part time basis. Staff will stay if new owner want.”
  5. Plumbing company in Alexandria part of Fairfax County — “Recent Price Adjustment a must see business. PROFITABLE, GROWING, Fully Staffed with great growth potential.”
  6. Former hair salon in Fairlington — “Formerly a hair salon by the name of Primary Colors, a hair salon that was in business for twenty years. Now the space is open, and is still built out to be a hair salon, but the space can also be altered to become a different business.”
  7. Hair salon for sale — “Great opportunity to own a small business for hairstylists who dream of owning their very own salon or a low capital investment for seasonal beauty salon owners who want to expand their business networks. The important fact to know is not about the price to buy this salon, it’s the financial ability and assets to prove to the Landlord in order to get the Landlord approval on the Leasehold of this great and unique business location.”
  8. Profitable restaurant for sale — “Great location, great visibility, long lease term, plenty of parking spaces, in a busy shopping center with many other businesses that crowded with customers on the daily basic, this restaurant is built up from the cold cell condition with new kitchen equipment, freezer, cooler, HVAC….., that’s clean and presenting a long useful life for new owner to do business in years to come without any major upgrading. This restaurant can be converting to other cuisine given there is no other restaurant of that cuisine is currently operated within the shopping center.”
  9. Highly profitable well-established restaurant for sale — “Located in the big shopping mall with a lot of traffic. Business serving dine in and high volume of carry out and perfect for any type of cuisine. Ample parking all around and lease is inexpensive. Owner is seeking a retirement.”
  10. Busy high-end Mediterranean restaurant — Sales at this location are listed at  more than $75,000 monthly, and the seller claims that the owner income is $250,000. The restaurant seats 104, has 12 trained employees and is surrounded by commercial and residential properties.
  11. Dog waste removal company — “Currently have 500 active customers and growing quickly! Fully staffed and great reviews. Owner is looking to relocate and invest in a new venture.”
  12. Full-service restaurant with outdoor seating — “Prime location full service restaurant in the heart of Alexandria. Located on a heavy traffic road surrounded by residential, retail and offices. This restaurant has 3 floors which is great to host private events, lounge area as well as the sit down restaurant portion. The menu/concept can be kept the same or converted to your own. Large kitchen area with top of the line equipment. This is a must see location for any restauranteur looking to expand or take over an established turn key location. The current owner is ABSENTEE but ready to retire and we are looking for a new hands on owner/operator to bring this location to its full potential.”
  13. Profitable fast casual restaurant — “Profitable Thai restaurant in a very busy shopping center on a high traffic road in Alexandria VA. This restaurant has been in business for almost 10 years and has a great following with excellent google reviews by serving the most authentic Thai food with the highest quality ingredients in the area. All furniture, fixtures and equipment are in excellent condition and are included in the sale of this restaurant. Can be converted to fit most concepts & menus.”
  14. Mexican restaurant in Alexandria part of Fairfax County — “Fast casual dine in & carry out Mexican restaurant in a high traffic shopping center. This restaurant needs an updated menu with a hands on owner to manage daily business and take this location to the next level. The current Mexican menu can be changed to fit most concepts. Great layout for almost any type of fast food restaurant. All furniture, fixtures and equipment are in great working order.”
  15. Optometry practice — “Turnkey Optometry and Optical Business. Lease is assignable. Business is established and profitable. Optometry is considered “essential” business. Sellers will stay for transfer training. Beautiful store fully stocked with inventory, equipment, lab, exam room. 5 star location. Database, business name, website, inventory, and seller training all included. Priced below market.”
  16. Pizza restaurant — “Pizza restaurant established in 2014 for sale in Alexandria. This restaurant is located on a heavy foot traffic road surrounded by residential, retail and businesses. Great location with very low rent. Perfect starter restaurant for anyone looking to get into the restaurant business as well as a great location for restauranteurs looking to expand. This restaurant serves hand crafted pizzas, sandwiches and pasta’s as well as beer and wine. All furniture and fixtures are in excellent condition. High end kitchen equipment.”
  17. Japanese restaurant — “The restaurant is located in a busy area, and has been in the operation more than 8 years. More than 5000sf, high-class construction and decoration. The menu includes sushi, hibachi, and ramen. First generation owner since the business was founded, tons of the local customers and Japanese food fans from other places, the business can make $180k sales per month, lease can be extended definitely.”
  18. Barbecue chain with food trucks — “An American-style (Kansas City ) BBQ Restaurant with food trucks. They also have a nice catering component to the business. Decorated in a rustic decor, these units are located in great locations in easily accessible areas close to Washington DC.”
  19. Remodeling business — “After serving the community for 7 years, the current owner is ready to retire from this successful construction business. Ranked as a Top 100 Remodeling Company in the United States by Remodeling Magazine, the company provides exterior remodeling, windows, roofing, siding, gutters, doors, and attic solution services to their residential clients, tailored to fit their needs.”
  20. Auto sales and repair shop two blocks from Metro — “Auto use is grandfathered making this literally a once in a lifetime deal!”
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Oshkosh, a two-year-old terrier mix up for adoption in Alexandria, is shy… At first. Adoption fees have already been paid for by a generous donor to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, which means that he is ready to go home to a new owner for free.

“Oshkosh is ready and raring to meet his new family,” AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter said. “Since Oshkosh can be a bit reserved, he’d prefer a quieter household with adults or older children who understand that sometimes dogs want to snuggle and, just like all of us, sometimes they like to have their personal space.”

Find out more about Oshkosh by emailing [email protected] or call 703.746.4774 opt. 2 to learn more about Oshkosh and schedule time to meet him.

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French bulldog Lilac needs a new home to chew up her toys, and the squeakier the better, says the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

The nine-year-old pooch is up for adoption, and may need some medical attention in the future.

“Lilac is best described as a snugglebug, and as soon as you are on her level, you should anticipate that she will soon be in your lap, ready to cuddle,” AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter told ALXnow. “Lila has a condition called IVDD, which may cause her spinal problems in the future, but she is not bothered by it right now; she’s far more concerned with toys, treats and snuggling.”

To learn more about Lilac or to schedule time to meet her, email the AWLA at [email protected] or 703.746.4774 opt. 2.

Via AWLA

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Kip‘s serious face is balanced by floppy ears. The six-year-old male brown German shepherd mix is up for adoption with the Animal Welfare league of Alexandria.

“Kip loves a good game of Toss the Toy, and he’s equally happy for you to throw it or he can do it himself,” AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter told ALXnow. “Kip is an energetic guy who could see himself meshing with families of all types, especially if they are active and love to keep busy. He would prefer to be the only pup in his new home, though.”

Learn more about meeting Kip virtually or in-person at AlexandriaAnimals.org/Adopt-By-Appointment.

Via AWLA

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Like big dogs? This weekend (Feb. 18 to Feb. 21) the Animal Welfare League has waved adoption fees on all pets weighing more than 30 pounds.

One of those big pooches is Mars, a 56-pound three-year-old fawn-colored terrier mix.

“Mars is an active guy whose favorite game is tug-of-war, which he’d be happy to play with his new best friend all day,” AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter told ALXnow. “Despite his sometimes silly demeanor, Mars is a mature adult gentleman who would prefer a home with adults or old children.”

Find out more about Mars and other big dogs by emailing [email protected]AlexandriaAnimals.org or calling 703-746-4774 to schedule an appointment.
Via AWLA
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The nominations are in for the annual Heart of Del Ray Award, and all the community has to do now is find the love.

Voting closes at noon on Thursday (Feb. 10) for the Del Ray Business Association’s annual award to the business that best represents the heart and soul of the community.

“We are excited that YOU — our neighbors, customers and friends — will determine the winner of this prestigious award,” DRBA said. “(W)hat business warms your heart when you hear its name?”

The nominees:

Votes can be cast here, and the deadline is noon on Thursday, Feb. 10. The winner will receive a large heart-shaped award on Friday, Feb. 11 — just in time for Valentine’s Day on Monday, Feb. 14.

Previous Heart of Del Ray award winners:

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Mango is super sweet. The five-year-old Australian cattle dog is up for adoption with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

“Mango is a girl on the go and loves to run around the yard, especially when accompanied by a squeaky toy,” said AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter,  She’d love to keep up her active lifestyle in her new home. “Mango is such a sweet and fun girl that she would prefer to be your only baby.  With all her love, she doesn’t think you need any other pups.”

Learn more about meeting Mango at AlexandriaAnimals.org/Adopt-By-Appointment.

Via AWLA

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Rotttweiler mix Baxter weighs 95 pounds and likes nothing more than cuddling. The seven-year-old is also up for adoption with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

“Baxter can be a bit shy at first, but once he gets to know you, he bonds hard, so expect a friend for life,” said AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter. “Baxter is quite the gentleman, who walks attentively on a leash even in the hustle and bustle of Old Town.”

Baxter’s adoption fees have been pre-paid by a generous donor, and he is available to meet from his foster home.

If you are interested in learning more or scheduling time to meet him, email [email protected] or call 703-746-4774, extension 2.

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Tilden, the two-year-old mastiff mix looks tough, but he’s a complete marshmallow. He’s up for adoption, too, with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

“Tilden’s an all-around cool guy who would be a great addition to any family,” AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter told ALXnow. “Whether they are active or looking for a couch potato, Tilden’s got you covered.”

He also knows a few tricks, like shake and sit.

Tilden’s adoption fees have been pre-paid by Priority Automotive, as part of the AWLA’s annual Home for the Pawlidays adoption event.

Not able to adopt but still want to help animals? AWLA needs donations for their (Stocking) Stuff the Van event on Dec. 24. Donations will be used at the AWLA, as well as to help pets throughout the community.

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