Earlier this summer, the CVB Board of Directors elected Doralee Rees (pictured above), as one of its newest members. She just celebrated her first year as owner of the Hotel Leger in Mokelumne Hill. We caught up with her recently – read below.
It was barely two years ago that Doralee Rees and David Albert were in Southern California, looking for a new opportunity. When David spotted the online listing for the Hotel Leger in Mokelumne Hill, they decided to come up and have a look. The idea of operating a B&B or small inn appealed to them, but Doralee wasn’t so convinced – she and been running busy martial arts studios in the LA area and this was a huge shift. Something about the backyard of the Leger made her stop and think that perhaps this could work. They continued to visit the Mokelumne Hill community several times and as Doralee puts it, “It was the people, they really captured me.” The friendly hometown atmosphere reminded her of the neighborhood where she grew up and so in June of 2013 she took over the Hotel Leger and has fallen in love with her new hometown.
In her first year, Doralee, along with David as the hotel’s general manager have initiated a steady schedule of events – many utilizing that great backyard she first noticed – including Spaghetti Western Wednesdays, a springtime Mardi Gras party and this summer’s ongoing Backyard Blues and BBQ. “Word of mouth has been great,” she says, “people are returning after years to see it – and they see there’s life back at the hotel.”
Joining the CVB board was definitely something new for her and she’s excited to bring a fresh perspective to the table. Part of her role as she sees it is to shed light on the northern corner of Calaveras County, especially its artist community. She has also noted that the State Historic status of the hotel is an important touchstone for visitors and locals alike. Some visitors are looking for new experiences in an old fashioned setting – while many locals are keen to see their old fashioned tastes preserved, but want to see new life in the place. For Doralee her goal is to show people a slice of small town pride and community life.
“We want to keep it as ‘historic’ as possible,” she adds, while providing good music, good food and a great all around experience. In the near future, Doralee and David will continue creating fun events, reaching out to travelers and small groups to come experience the Leger, and welcoming back longtime patrons who are due for another visit. “We’re looking forward to growing with the area.”
8304 Main Street
Mokelumne Hill, CA 95245