A new season and a new way of life begins as the inn says farewell to founding owners Richard and Lani Eklund and hello to new owners Dean and Connie Thayer.
It is a match that was meant to be. Both couples recognized that as they began negotiations and transitioning stewardship of the inn.
Like the Eklunds, innkeeping will become a new way of life for Connie and Dean. Connie, formerly a legal secretary for a patent and trademark law firm, sees the stewardship of the Locke House estate as her contribution to maintaining the historic legacy of this place. She envisions innkeeping as a way of life which will allow her to be of service to others and facilitate joy within their lives. As a very little girl Connie said one of her ambitions in life was to “pick weeds and maintain the highways”. Now as a grown-up she has nearly two acres of garden in which to pick weeds. For her, gardening is a passion which feeds her soul and delights her imagination. It is something she will foster for the guests she will warmly welcome.
Like Lani, Connie truly enjoys cooking. She is looking forward to providing excellent breakfasts in the same tradition for which the Locke House is already known. And when Dean gets Connie’s “pie safe” up and running, guests are in for a real treat!
Welcoming guests and helping to facilitate a special experience for them are pleasures to which Dean also aspires. Dean’s profession in graphic communication and making products that graphic designers use will be evident in the technical upgrades to systems within the inn. His photography skills will provide a service for guests who book events at the inn. He sees the growth potential of the property where he will concentrate on making the barn a multifaceted structure to be used as it was in its historic legacy – a place of gathering for many occasions. “What an honor to shepherd a National and California Landmark”, he said. As Richard did, Dean enjoys making and fixing things and looks forward to working on the barn. He and Connie eagerly anticipate hosting intimate weddings, parties, classes, and meetings within.
Their love of travel, kayaking, camping, mountain biking, and off-roading are bound to spark many adventures for their guests.
Both Connie and Dean are excited about being small business owners in the warm and welcoming community of Lockeford. They want residents and visitors to the valley to feel that the Locke House and Barn are part of their heritage also.
“Experience a Treasure; Create Treasured Memories” is the theme that grew out of the Eklunds’ life at the Locke House. It will continue to be exemplified as the Thayers take over and thrive.