Bittersweet Update from The Kalamazoo House

To those who have reached out in such kindness after our temporary closure, and to all the friends of The Kalamazoo House, we know we owe you an update. We only wish it were less bittersweet and more definitive for you. We wish we could personally, as owners, be announcing a phased or limited re-opening along with our lodging peers around the state. Unfortunately, we are not yet able to do so.

While hopefully the inn will still open soon, Steve and Steph are sharing today the news of our formal return of the inn to its land contract holders and former owners, Terry and Laurel Parrott. At least for now, we are no longer the owners of The Kalamazoo House Bed and Breakfast. We will continue as cooperative caretakers of the historic property during the shutdown, and may even work to repurchase and personally operate the inn down the road, if planets can be brought into alignment.

Business was always brisk and above expectations since we bought the inn in 2014, so we have nothing but gratitude, and even pride, regarding our experience owning and operating this amazing historic site. We also have lovely new friends, and so many wonderful memories. But the reality simply was that we didn’t have the wiggle room to weather a financial externality like the one the pandemic quickly brought. We had developed plans to weather a number of existential threats, but a global pandemic of this scale was not one of them.

Things literally went from being sustainable and “on plan”, to an “oh sh–” moment—all in a matter of just weeks. It was a reality we faced head on; there was no use in delaying the inevitable. We reached out to Terry and Laurel and negotiated a termination agreement.

Terry and Laurel were kind and understanding, and we’ve worked hard to return the inn even better than when we found it. We also feel genuine sorrow for this unexpected interruption to their retirement. We will celebrate a re-opening for them, and help in what ways we can as they make their path forward. As we all know, The Kalamazoo House is a magic, sacred place.

In the end we have great memories. We are also safe and healthy, though we mourn and feel for so many who cannot say even that much during these challenging times.

On still a happier note, Stephanie has not been furloughed at the hospital—and things seem to be returning to some level of normal (many hospitals remain financially wounded and cutting staff). We also have been able to lay eyes on each of our four kids recently.

In closing, we again have to express our deepest gratitude to all who shared in our journey into innkeeping: those who stayed, who told friends to stay with us, who helped us, who came to our events, and who lent us hands. We’re forever changed by this experience, for the better.

We sincerely urge you to stay engaged with The Kalamazoo House, stay subscribed, and to support this and other mom-and-pop businesses everywhere, as we all work together to persevere. We thank you again, and wish you the best possible outcomes and successes on the other side of this very challenging time. Please stay safe, stay in touch, and look for news from Terry and Laurel about their plans for reopening take shape. You can expect to hear from them soon.

Much love,

Steve and Steph
steve@thekalamazoohouse.com / steph@thekalamazoohouse.com

PS—Laurel Parrott can be reached at laurel@thekalamazoohouse.com and Terry Parrott at terry@thekalamazoohouse.com

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