With a quivering little nose, a diminutive 2-year-old Chihuaha named Momo became the first four-legged patron to enter Petco as it celebrated a grand opening Saturday morning in Dillon.
“We actually encourage people to bring their pets here,” said store manager Brad Augustine.
“We’re dog people, and we wanted to be here for the grand opening,” said Whitney Tatarek, Momo’s owner.
Tatarek made the trip from her home in Leadville to be at the pet store’s opening in the 200 block of Dillon Ridge Way. Momo, her baby nephew Ryker and her mom, Martina, were all in tow. With no pet supply stores in Lake County, the family said it was worth it to make the trek to Summit.
They were three among scores of pet lovers and city officials who gathered for the opening.
“We’re very excited to have Petco open here,” said Dillon Mayor Kevin Burns. “It’s a good store and a great addition for Dillon and the county.”
Burns predicted the store should do well considering how many pet owners there are in the area.
“There’s probably more dogs than people in Dillon on Sundays,” added Councilman Tim Westerberg.
And there were more than just pet supplies inside. A small area of the store to the right of the entrance housed several cats available for adoption from the Summit County Animal Shelter.
The new store employs 18. It’s open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It’s one of at least 25 Petco stores opening throughout the nation this month from New York to California.
The first Petco opened in 1965 in La Mesa, California. It’s grown to more than 1,200 stores in 49 states.
Seth Basham with Barron’s, a financial magazine, estimated last week that there’s a greater than 50 percent chance that the nation’s other pet supply giant, PetSmart, will absorb Petco sometime within the next year. It was analyzed as PetSmart’s best strategic action. If the deal goes through it’s predicted PetSmart will undergo a 30 percent earnings-per-share accretion.