Best Friends Animal Society:
RoadHouse and Mercantile

This hotel will be the most pet centric hospitality experience in the world, reinforcing that Best Friends is creating a better world through kindness towards animals. 

–Julie Castle




Kanab, Utah




Best Friends Animal Society


This journey began with our Roadmap process to determine how to transform a 1970’s Motel (with a sea of asphalt parking), into the world’s most pet friendly Motel(with a site that would be pet friendly) in the heart of Kanab Just outside the Sanctuary itself.

best friends animal society logo

After working closely Best Friends we helped guide the project to a  place that would include:

The Hub: Consisting of an Ambassador Center, a Boutique Grocery Store and the Mercantile.

Hotel: The pet friendly motel.

Plazas: Two plazas, one is open for public and the other is protected pet area.


Creating a new structure to anchor the Site affectionately called the “HUB” for all guest experiences on and off the sanctuary. It is the epicenter of converging activities that are filled with energy, excitement, and education of how to “save them all” and achieve the no kill by 2025 mission. We space is optimized so it can accomodate the many needs Best Friends has:  By day it’s a combination of retail space and lounging nooks for guests and their pets, by night, it can transform into a restaurant, bar, or event space. Because this space was so mutable, and store bought furniture would not do, we designed, fabricated, and installed the tables, movable storage areas, and transformable merchandising walls.

And amenities galore you can order from the front desk ranging from CatNip Satchels, doggy play dates, afternoon walks, calming music, and other special treats only Best Friends can deliver.


The rooms themselves  we believe are the world’s most Pet friendly rooms in the world. Attention is paid to every detail to make this the ultimate place to stay with your family pet, or companion from the sanctuary for the night. Space works twice as hard in these rooms; Pet Murphy beds fold out of the wall and beds at night so your pet can sleep in luxurious just like you!  Front doors open in a way to allow fresh air in, and visibility out, but still offer a safespace that your pet can not get out.

best friends animal society logo


Splitting the Hotel in half, and creating a passageway to the back of the site that include a 2025 contemplative communal space, 300’ long mural inspired by special animals from Best Friends past, and a enclosed safe space for dogs to run free through their own splash pad, and ample shade to get away from the hot sun.


Gregory Walker, Chimso Onwuegbu, Jon Turkula, Kristi Faught, Hakam Misconi, Benjamin Wiemeyer and John Burdick


Best Friends Animal Society: Francis Battista, Silva Batista, Gregory Castle, Julie Castle, Cyrus Mejia, Anne Mejia, Brooks Bradbury, Paul Altherr, Patty Hagewood, Mica Hill, Kari Hartkorn, Carrie Smith, Rose Malina,

KOBALT Construction: Matt Jeppson, Bruce Muraida, Tony Buist,

Iron Rock Engineering: Tam Avant, Joshua D. Beazer,  Santosh Mudunur, Michael Downward,

Jillian Kliewer design: Jillian Kliewer

best friends animal society roadhouse exterior