Meet The Owners

Meet The Owners

Deer Park Inn and Rustic Tavern at Deer Park Inn is owned by husband and wife team Russ and Coralee Meeks. The couple fell in love with Deer Park—and each other – more than twenty years ago. Operating the inn combines this duo’s shared passion for historical architecture, fine foods and beverages, meeting new people – and helping guests enjoy a wonderful experience while making lifelong memories.

Meet Russ Meeks

Executive Chef and Owner of Deer Park Inn – Buckhannon, WV

Russ Meeks is the executive chef and owner of Deer Park Inn and Rustic Tavern at Deer Park Inn in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Russ is a Buckhannon native who takes great pride in preparing the finest comfort cuisine wholly from scratch with an emphasis on the freshest and highest quality foods from local specialty butchers, organic dairy and produce farmers, artisan beekeepers, and food specialists.

In 1996, immediately after graduating high school, Russ began a direct one-on-one culinary apprenticeship at the exclusive, reservation-only Verde Cheval in Hogansville, Georgia. There, Russ learned fine French culinary technique under one of Washington, D.C.’s most senior French chefs.

Russ began working at the elite 5-Star, AAA Five-Diamond, Forbes Four-Star Greenbrier Resort just outside White Sulfur Springs in 1998. He was then invited on as a chef at the Greenbrier Resort-managed restaurant in Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia.

Russ furthered his culinary repertoire by attending The Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts (now Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts) in Pittsburgh, PA. There, he perfected the arts of Parisian cuisine, pastry and bakery, gastronomy, boulangerie, wine and spirits, and gained expertise in culinary art and hotel management. Russ then returned to Tamarack for a year to complete his professional culinary externship.

Russ was then hired on by Black Wolf Lodge (now Great Wolf Lodge) to open as the chef of their initial Great Wolf Resort property holding in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. During his 21 years with the company, he opened 21 resort restaurants throughout the United States. Russ served as corporate chef during his last 8 years with the company, living and working in several major metropolitan cities including Sandusky, OH, Charlotte, NC, and Colorado Springs, CO.

Meet Coralee Meeks

Head Caretaker, Pastry Chef, and Owner of Deer Park Inn—Buckhannon, WV

Coralee Meeks is the head caretaker, pastry chef, and owner of Deer Park Inn and Rustic Tavern at Deer Park Inn. She is passionate about creating a wonderful, carefully curated experience for our guests. From making sure each room, every dessert—and the overall atmosphere – is perfect to ensuring our guests have what they need and putting the finishing touches on everything, Coralee welcomes you to Deer Park Inn. She makes you feel like family.

Coralee is a proud Buckhannon native. She graduated high school and immediately pursued her studies in Culinary Arts at Horry-Georgetown Technical College in Conway, SC. While there, she completed an internship at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, SC.

After finishing her training in the culinary arts, Coralee moved back to West Virginia and worked as a professional chef at Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia. She was then hired on as pastry chef at Great Wolf Lodge, where she delighted guests with her kitchen and bakery creations at breakfasts and banquets.

Coralee stepped away from her work in hospitality to devote her care and attention to raising Russ and Coralee’s three wonderful sons before joining Russ in their new adventure together as owners of Deer Park Inn and Rustic Tavern at Deer Park Inn. Coralee looks forward to bringing a fresh experience to the community while continuing to enjoy quality time with family and taking care of our guests.

The Meeks Welcome You to Experience Deer Park Inn and Rustic Tavern at Deer Park Inn

For the Meeks, their shared dream was always to own and operate a bed and breakfast. Deer Park Inn has been in Russ’s blood throughout his life, having worked as the summer groundskeeper each summer during high school. Russ and Coralee were married on the grounds in 2003. When the property became available in April of 2019, the couple immediately purchased their beloved Deer Park Inn, the place that initially spurred their careers.

The Meeks invite you to join them at their casual, upscale rustic getaway for honest to goodness southern hospitality in the Allegheny Mountains. Extraordinary personalized service, comfortable rooms, warm hospitality, and delicious gourmet farm-to-table food prepared with meticulous attention to detail await you. We hope to see you soon!

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Once you make a decision,

the universe conspires to make it happen.”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson