Ever since the Umpqua Kennel Club was established in 1958, it has attracted many competitors from around the country for its annual dog show, often boosting the economy in Douglas County.
Elaine Zech, show chairwoman and officer of Umpqua Kennel Club, said this year’s event, slated for today through Sunday, is expected to bring 805 dogs to the Douglas County Fairgrounds. She estimated there are at least three people who come along with each dog entered in the competition, and that’s not counting all the spectators who will visit the area to watch the show.
“Those are all people who need to eat and sleep and be here for four and a half days,” Zech said, adding they’ll be spending money in local restaurants, shops, gas stations and hotels. According to surveys by the American Kennel Club, each exhibitor spends an average of $685 per show weekend at dog shows in Oregon.
Zech expects at least 80 RVs to park at the fairgrounds, and nearby hotels will be busy. The Windmill Inn in Roseburg is planning to host the 21 judges coming in from all over Oregon, California, Washington, Canada and New Jersey. Zech said she booked the judges’ hotel rooms, spending $3,500 in Roseburg.
Allen Pike, general manager of the Windmill Inn, said every year during the show, dog enthusiasts combined with the regular amount of guests get close to filling all the rooms at the hotel.
“For our hotel it’s always been great to have them,” Pike said. During the dog show weekend each year, the Windmill Inn opens all its rooms as pet friendly, and conducts an annual cleaning following the show.
Last year, the handlers and dogs were from 35 different states, Canada and Mexico. Several local competitors plan on showing their dogs as well.
Vendors from around the state, including Douglas County’s own Chocolate Fandango and Susie’s Stitches, are planning to set up their booths at the fairgrounds this weekend.
Casey Scanlon, owner of Chocolate Fandango, said the dog show has increased her business significantly.
“I have a little booth and lots of people visit it all day long and so many people are excited about chocolate at the dog show,” Scanlon said, adding her booth stands out because it offers treats for humans, while many other booths offer dog treats and accessories.
“Once I started doing dog shows three years ago, I started being able to put money in my company savings account and before that everything I made went right back into the process,” Scanlon said. Since she offers chocolate bark, her slogan for dog shows is “our bark is worth a good bite.”
For more information, visit www.umpquakennelclub.org/shows.htm.