Klægager – Den Gamle Digegreves Gård (The Old Dyke Count’s Farm) is a Bed&Breakfast worth experiencing. It is located just a few hundred metres from the impressive Wadden Sea. The farm is owned and managed by the Lorezen family – the sixth generation on the farm.
The farm was built in 1857 and was one of the first farms built around a square in the marshland. The farm was a wedding gift from father to daughter. Until 1976 the farm was run as a cattle farm, but when the old dyke count, Niels Lorenzen – fifth generation, took over he replaced cattle breeding with pig production and plant production in consequence of the developments in farming. The preservation of the past was an important consideration in the upgrading of the farm. He strove to update the farm without losing the fundamental things from the past and without blocking the possibility of further initiatives in the future. Niles Lorenzen’s son, Christian took over the running of the farm in 1985, but it was not until 2003, when the dyke count past away, that the idea of alternative utilization and management of the farm developed. Christian and his wife Ruth decided to invite others to experience the farm and learn from the stories of the farm and the marshland. They opened a Bed&Breakfast in the farmhouse and a new milestone in the life of the farm was reached.
Klægager is designed with five double rooms and one single room. A total capacity of 12 overnight stays inclusive extra beds. Two of the rooms are located in the old stable and the remaining are located in the farmhouse, which also comprises a number of living rooms, a hall and a kitchen that unites modern facilities with nostalgia. The atmosphere in the farmhouse takes one back to the origin, as both arrangement of rooms, heating stoves, tiled walls, panels and doors are preserved. The feel of the place is particularly authentic due to the well preserved details, the original pieces of furniture and the decor.
This authenticity did not come about by chance. The owners started the project with the aim of offering not only a comfortable night stay to their guests, but also a historical, atmospheric and learning experience. They have extended the idea of the traditional Bed&Breakfast to include their own specialty, storytelling. They offer unique and reliable stories about the farm and marshland to their guests as part of their overnight package. This elaboration and innovation on the theme of farmhouse Bed&Breakfast makes the experience of staying at Klægager unique and desirable.
Due to the owners desire to pass on local stories the farm is not only open to overnight guests. They also welcome day visits from tourists visiting the area. Recently, family events, family parties and “folk school days” have become a part of the concept.
Combining farming with tourism has proved to be a successful decision. Overnight stays on an old farm incorporating storytelling are in high demand. The farm has approximately 1300 overnight guests per year as well as the daytime guests. Due to increasing demand for the experience the owners can no longer manage the service of their guests on their own. Most of the guests are repeat visitors, who come back to visit the farm with family or friends. The target group is mainly the mature Danish audience, who seeks open spaces and nature experiences in peaceful and beautiful surroundings.
Such a great concept and the increasing amount of visitors has brought various challenges and considerations to the owners. As the focus is on storytelling and dissemination it is complicated for the owners to take on new employees. Conveying the stories is straightforward to the owners, as they are a fundamental part of the farm and its history. But it is a challenge to pass on their knowledge and enthusiasm, which is a vital part of the farm, to new employees because the amount of stories about the farm and marshland is endless. Therefore, the owners are highly aware of the importance of educating new employees so they feel equipped to convey the stories and make the guests’ experiences complete. To overcome this challenge the owners invite new employees to attend their presentations and gradually assign parts of the stories to them. Moreover, they plan to organise an event on how to become a competent communicator for potential employees and helpers.
Tourists, locals and the area around undoubtedly benefits from the storytelling and dissemination of Klægager and the owners are highly aware of their roles in each context. They do not wish to become an “overrun tourist attraction”, and they do not exceed their capacity in relation to overnight stays or the quality of their impressive stories. They hope to be a honey pot, that brings people together, and not a lighthouse, that towers high above.