Nation’s first indoor dog water park attracts visitors to Harrisburg pet resort

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Many people in the Sioux Falls area are familiar with the drive down Minnesota Avenue to visit the Country Apple Orchard each fall, but now there’s another big attraction right across the street, designed for some year-round entertainment for man’s best friend.  

“This is the only indoor dog water park in the country,” owner Teri Jo Olean said. 

The Splash Bark is part of the million-dollar expansion Smoken Dakota Kennels made to its South Minnesota Avenue pet resort last year.

“The addition was added in January of 2020 and we opened February 1st of 2020,” Olean said. 

They had about six weeks of business in the newly double-sized facility before the pandemic began.

“We had a good run at it and then covid hit and we didn’t have a lot of visitors during that time frame of course,” Olean said. “That was pretty scary, but I had faith, I knew it would come back, I knew the concept was solid and it was something unique in the country.”

Now a year later, her indoor tropical dog oasis and adult tiki bar…

“We have our malt beverage license; we sell a variety of beers and seltzers,” Olean said. 
…are attracting lots of visitors.

“We had a gal drive up from Missouri a couple of weeks ago and made a day trip out of it with her dog,” Olean said. “We had a gal come up from Nebraska recently and last week we had a family come up from Chicago.”

Business is not only booming at the Splash Bark but also at the expanded pet resort.

“Our daycare program has exploded after covid, we don’t have enough room for all of the requests that we have. A lot of people got puppies during covid, so we’re seeing a lot of new customers, especially in our daycare department and our training department,” Olean said. 

“You never have to worry about your dog, when you bring him here, they’re so happy to get in and play with their friends, then when he comes out at night, he’s happy to go home,” Doggy Daycare customer Joe Bernhard said. 

Bernhard and his dog Zander are frequent customers at SDK south who both love the unique vision of this South Dakota entrepreneur.

“Couldn’t even conceive of it a few years ago, but now that it’s here, they just enjoy the heck out of it. They run and play and splash, just like kids at a hotel park,” Bernhard said. 

This is SDK’s second location in the Sioux Falls area. It started 14 years ago with a boarding and training facility near Wild Water West. They purchased the Harrisburg location four years ago that continues to see rapid growth.

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