Rosehill Pet Resort
When Glenda Parisher started building an ambitious luxury pet resort on a back road in Cypress, TX, she was warned by the locals that it was never going to take off. But Glenda’s research told a different story. And with her pet resort averaging a compounding annual growth rate of 25% since opening, she has spent the past 17 years proving it out.
But back to the beginning…In 2004, Glenda’s 30-year career in corporate healthcare was coming to an end. Taking a severance package offered when her employer was acquired, she started to research what it might look like to start her own business caring for dogs while people travel.
“I never liked where I had to keep my dogs while I traveled, because I had traveled quite a bit. So, when I had thought about running my own business, I thought the way to go would be to run a pet resort that’s as much like home as possible. I would try to make each stay a little more detailed, and take more dogs that had issues, such as seizure dogs, geriatric or other health issues like diabetes, instead of being so restrictive.”
With that idea in mind, Glenda couldn’t help noticing the growth in a nearby town about 15-minute drive from where she lived. “The demographics were really growing in Cypress, and there really weren’t any boarding facilities around, so I knew that would be a need. But a lot of people said that it wouldn’t make it out there because it was not developed enough.” But Glenda had also taken the trouble to survey the eight or nine veterinarian practices that surrounded her chosen spot, and they assured her there was demand. “I had my eye on the land due to the demographics, but I did not want to impose on any of the veterinary practices in the area, because if boarding was a big business for them, I didn’t want to hurt their business or step on their toes. So, I went around and talked to all the vets. They were all for it and said they would also support me with the dogs that had a heavier diagnosis.”
Finding a 30-acre tract for sale on a one lane road, Glenda talked the owner into dividing it up into 5-acre parcels so she could buy one. The smaller parcels sold like hotcakes, and she found herself the owner of the new location of what would eventually become a best practice, hurricane and flood-proof luxury pet resort, and an integral part of the growing community.
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Glenda set about drawing up plans for what the resort would look like, handing them off to an architect to see if they would work in reality. “I ran numbers on profit margins, expense vs. income, and what kind of services that particular market could bear...So that was really how I came up with the number of kennels and how many square feet I needed. I was ahead of my time and put in 12 luxury suites as well as indoor/outdoor kennels long before they were popular. If I have one regret, it is that I didn’t put in more suites.”
The hard work for permits, well, septic, a freshwater pond, dog park and building construction began and while the building process took two years, growth in the surrounding area started to accelerate just as Glenda had predicted. The one-lane road became a two-lane road, and a new highway went in not far away.
Boarding both dogs and cats, Glenda reveled in running Rosehill Pet Resort. She took on many students new to working and taught them responsibility and leadership skills. “It’s been so great seeing some of these students who came to work their first-ever job with me, now coming back with their children and boarding their dogs with us.”
Like most pet resorts, Rosehill had difficulties getting through covid shutdowns. But that was not as challenging as things like Hurricane Harvey, when Glenda, her staff and volunteers found themselves kayaking through flood waters to retrieve 37 dogs from the second floor of a neighboring pet resort on the brink of disaster. “We were able to rescue all of the dogs that day and transfer them to other safe places,” she recalls.
All through the running of the business, Glenda kept a close eye on growth. Hitting her mid 60s in 2023, she decided it was time to look at selling, while the resort was still on the up.
“In Q3 of 2023, we were still showing 16% YoY growth. I didn’t want to sell when the pet resort’s growth had flattened. I wanted to sell while it was still in growth mode. With another 600 houses being built in the area, things will continue to grow here for another two years at least.”
She reached out to Teija Heikkila of PET VET M&A, Sales and Advisory in July 2023 and asked for an appraisal. To her surprise, even before the appraisal was officially completed, a very attractive offer came through Teija from a buyer, which Glenda evaluated and accepted.
Glenda is no stranger to mergers and acquisitions from her life in corporate healthcare. She has high praise for Teija and her team. “The deal got a little complicated and we had to create a holding company for the land and building, and then sell the business separately. So, we had two sales to two different buyers going on simultaneously, and that made it a lot more difficult. And there were some stipulations on the land that made it even more complicated. But Teija and her team were amazing - efficient, helpful and relentless. I don’t think anyone else could have pulled it off. “There’s really no one out there like Teija because she’s so experienced. She’s incredibly efficient, and her whole team is amazing. Doing more than one transaction at the same time
and being so detailed is impressive. A lot of people give up because the due diligence is so taxing. I’ve been through transactions like this before in a corporate setting, so to watch them work was a treat. It was the smoothest transaction I have ever been through.”
Having closed in November, Glenda is pleased that the new owner is focused on looking after her staff. “Over the years, I’ve always been blessed with wonderful staff. I have a wonderful manager and assistant manager. I also really liked the company making the offer. Their reputation was good, and I always wanted to sell to a company that could offer the employees great benefits - more than I could - so they would have a future there.”
Glenda will miss both staff and clients, some of whom stayed almost the entire life of the pet resort with their various animals. But she will now have valuable time with her mom who lives nearby, more time volunteering with the National Native American College Fund, and more time to run her own farm in a neighboring county.
“I don’t really consider this retirement. I consider it that I sold my business. But, at the same time, if I waited a couple more years, and Teija was not the broker, I know in my heart this would not have turned out as well as it did.”