Your Innkeepers

The Inn’s Zuni personnel,
as well as all 30 staff members
at Halona Plaza are eager
to welcome, host, and share
the Inn At Halona’s guests.

Innkeeper Roger Thomas, a native of Chambéry, France, and his spouse, best friend and overall Muse, Elaine Dodson Thomas (a “genuine” New Mexico native)  arrived in Zuni in 1974 to work at Zuni Shopping Center/Halona Plaza alongside Elaine’s brother Richard, general manager at the time. They eventually purchased the company as Richard elected to move on and pursue academic work; the Inn at Halona itself debuted in 1998. Elaine was the granddaughter of Andrew  and Effa Vander Wagen , and the daughter of the 9th Vander Wagen child, Gertrude Vander Wagen Dodson Wall.

Elaine passed away on May 30th, 2011: she succumbed to aggravated cancer, following a 20 month battle with that disease and the side effects of the treatment applied to it. Her bravery, gallantry in duress, enthusiasm in purpose, artistry in lifestyle, commitment and persistence in projects and relationships, purposefulness in life and dedication in family & community matters even amidst her last moments, remain with us, and we are strongly motivated to continue to do good work in Zuni in a manner consistent with the family legacy she so proudly and steadily documented & upheld. Elaine was also the main architect and decorator when we were setting up the Inn, in 1998. Her taste in colors and furnishings, as well as the ample collection of works of art locally purchased by Elaine & Roger and displayed throughout the Inn, shall continue to characterize our establishment.

Elaine and Roger have 3 adult children and 8 grandchildren. The only “youngsters” now in residence at the Innkeepers’ nearby home are a couple of friendly  cats,  P.T. and Justin. P.T. thinks he oversees the Inn and he may (or may not) be there to greet you at the gate and escort you. He actually exhibits an uncanny way to sense when Guests (NOT mere visitors!) are on their way to the Inn. Justin, as a mere “beginner”, is a little more unpredictable. Obviously, P.T. caters to human guests only and does not wish to welcome other pets; so his recommendation is that you do not bring your own “favorite (four legged) best friends”!   Most importantly, none of our feline “staff” intrude upon people who might be adverse to cats and are not allowed to Guests’ rooms or other  indoor areas reserved for Guests! Some of our feline-friendly Guests (generally missing their own cats, left behind at home) do of course occasionally attempt to lure P.T.  to the inner confines of the Inn…

Now company overall CEO/CFO Loren (Innkeepers’ son), who took the corporate reins in June 2009, a few months (most fortuitously!) prior to Elaine’s cancer diagnosis, exhibits a welcome  fondness for the wonderful Guests who honor the Inn at Halona with their presence, aside from his high level of business education and savvy, while spouse Crystal is performing a lot of professional work to invigorate the Inn’s image, especially online. In such good  hands, the Inn at Halona and its parent company certainly shall continue to flourish. As to their daughter Maya (3 years old in January 2012)), she does not miss an opportunity to meet Guests either.