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Kiowa County Signal - Kiowa County, KS
  • Topeka couple buys St. John Country Inn motel

  • St. John's Country Inn has new owners and new name.
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  • When a Topeka traveler checked into St. John's Country Inn motel she probably wasn't planning on it becoming such an extended stay.
    Marcel "Marcy" Burns booked a room at the rustic motel just south of the overpass for her and her 20-year-old son Isaac when they came out to meet her father to do a cemetery tour.
    "My dad, who has ties to the area has been trying to get me to come out here and go cemetery hopping for 10 years." She said. "When we turned the corner to pull in I looked at Isaac and said 'I could do a place like this.' He said, 'ya you probably could.'"
    Burns said her and her partner Kevin McGael had talked about moving out of Topeka into a small town and drop off the grid somewhat. Her father, Henry Barstow, was originally from Macksville and had stayed at the Inn a couple times on hunting trips.
    Patty Maxon owned the motel for 23 years, but had put it on the market recently.
    "Her father told her it was up for sale," Maxon said. "She talked to me about it some. I showed them around and we talked about it some more, and it just progressed into a very friendly business deal."
    Burns and McGael have a myriad of experience ranging from floral design, sports and aquatic instruction and even substitute teaching, but according to Burns, "Running a motel is about he only thing I haven't done."
    The couple plan to refurbish a large recreation room building that can used for group gathering for church groups, weddings, club meetings and possibly hosting women's retreats.
    "I would love to book women retreat weekends out here," she said. "Being a woman, I know we love to get away from our men."
    The motel has had a multitude of owners over the years, and according to Burns it has had a lot of add ons stating that each room "has its own personality."
    While they have many changes in mind, most will come over time. The rooms currently have WiFi access, with microwaves, mini-fridge, private bath, air conditioned rooms, off-street parking, and parking for larger vehicles.
    The basic rate is $38 single $48 double with business, multiple night discounts and children free with paid adults.
    "It was a nice place to live," Maxon said. "I enjoyed St. John and the area down here.
    "They are really nice people, and seem to be open to joining the community and getting involved. I think people will enjoy them. I wish them a lot of luck."
    For more information go online to www.wayfarersinn.com.
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