Bicyclers On Your Mark! Kalamazoo's Bike Trails Await You!

Bicyclers On Your Mark! Kalamazoo's Bike Trails Await You!

Don't let my picture from the 100-year flood of Feb 26th, 2018 fool you. Or for that matter, the few remaining slushy snowfalls that are still inevitable (as of this writing on Feb 28th, when the waters have already receded). The fact is, bikers love Kalamazoo! And The Kalamazoo House is the perfect place to combine your cycling with evening entertainment, great breweries, outstanding music and theatre, and access to miles and miles of great bike trails.

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Your Check-in just got easier with Streamlined Self Check-in

Your Check-in just got easier with Streamlined Self Check-in

From printing your boarding pass and skipping check-in at the airport, to going straight to your rental car, the travel industry has gotten the message: Take the hassles and friction points out of travel! So last year when over 44% of our guests enjoyed our “hassle free self check-in,” it got us thinking: it might be time to rethink some of the traditional, default B&B practices like “check-in appointments” and “check-in windows.” And maybe time to stop badgering people about when they’ll arrive. After all, they're on vacation, or traveling for business. Let's make it easier!

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'Back to School Season' Has New Significance

'Back to School Season' Has New Significance

Sometimes if they don't get a chance to meet her during a short stay, guests will ask "where's Stephanie?". I will often joke about how hard I make my "sugar mama" work. I may say something like, "Someone has to earn the health insurance for the family," or, "We certainly don't want to let grass grow under her feet." It's a joke because those who know Steph know she's always on the go—about as busy as anyone I know. And it's true now more than ever.

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All Are Welcome Here

Through the years we've experienced our share of mission statements, strategic plans, visioning, and other "isms" designed to clarify what a person or business stands for and is. When we bought the inn, I (Steve) always had a desire to articulate something that captured the spirit and intent of our genuine desire to make the home a warm and welcome place for everyone. Today, given all the unsafe places in the world, we wanted to post a draft of our plans for it to always remain this way.

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Inside the Life of an Innkeeper

Inside the Life of an Innkeeper

Ever thought of being an Innkeeper? Ever wonder what it's really like to run a ten-room inn? Me neither. At least not until early in the summer of 2014, when a mutual friend encouraged us to talk with Laurel and Terry Parrott about their intentions to sell the Kalamazoo House. Obviously we have ever since been on a crash course in innkeeping, and it's my goal to better document that journey for those guests, family members, and friends who wish to join us as vicarious new innkeepers. 

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Two Observations

Greetings again from the loft apartment at the Kalamazoo House. My best intentions notwithstanding, you might notice our volume of posts here and on Facebook were down a bit these last two weeks. In a word: flurry. That could apply to our days, or it could just as well apply to the weather; who'd have thought we'd be snowblowing that amount of snow in mid November? Indeed it made for a busy several days, but as our weekend retreat guests begin to arrive, I wanted to comment on a phenomena that Stephanie and I have already observed here at the Inn. Two things, actually.

One--how incredibly kind and cool our guests have been! Seriously. Nice. People. That makes it so fun for us. They see the relatively new innkeepers working hard, and ironically many seem to be giving us energy and support. They genuinely want us to be successful in pleasing them. That's huge. And it makes it some much more fun and easy to do.

Two--Stephanie and I have been masters of the “getaway experience” in our own personal world for some time. Just a little thought and planning for the other goes a long way; when funds were short, we did many a “hotel Gibby” weekend even just at home. It’s the effort and down time that matter, and we’ve already seen the three-day transformation of our guests after R&R and TLC. They literally look and act very... well, different ... by the time they leave. And we can honestly say that the Kalamazoo House is a magical and unique place for those seeking a romantic retreat.

Whether getting a massage (short walk down the street), doing the nightlife, hitting nearby brewpubs, movie theatres, or shows, or better yet being sequestered by your fireplace and soaking tub and never leaving the room—you can create the weekend you wish at the Kalamazoo House. Need ideas? We're here to help.


A Special Day!

Greetings, dear friends of the Kalamazoo House. The focus here is always on our guests, and still is today, but we hope you might indulge us in a bit of shop talk. You see, it's an exciting day for all of us today. Terry and Laurel finally get to start their transition to some travel and well-earned relaxation, and Steve and Steph begin a new chapter in their lives, and a new chapter in the history of the facility and experience that so many have come to know and love. Cheers to Laurel and Terry Parrot on their special day, the result of so much hard work and loving care. We'll do our best to build upon your amazing work.

Steve & Steph


**FOR RELEASE 10/31/2014 **

EDITORS: For further details or interview requests, contact: Steve Gibson, Cell: 269-720-4283,  Sneak Peak Website prior to 10/31/14:


Landmark KALAMAZOO HOUSE BED & BREAKFAST Deepens Its Local Roots

Local Entrepreneur Buys Award-winning Bed & Breakfast on a Special Date


            KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The award-winning Kalamazoo House Bed and Breakfast has been acquired by Steve Gibson, a third-generation Kalamazoo entrepreneur, and his wife Stephanie Nelsen. Their purchase of the historic house at 447 West South Street was completed Oct. 31, a date of personal significance to Gibson.

“Stephanie and I are honored and excited to have this opportunity to care for such an amazing landmark,” Gibson said. He emphasized their commitment to "show locals and travelers alike the amazing kinds of entertainment and hospitality that only downtown Kalamazoo can deliver.” 

Laurel and Terry Parrott owned and operated the Kalamazoo House since moving to Kalamazoo in 2007 to purchase the inn.  “We’re just overjoyed that we found the Gibsons, who have such deep roots and love for the community, and who will continue our passion for exceeding customers’ expectations,” Laurel Parrott said.

Gibson said he admires the skill and diligence with which the Parrotts built the Kalamazoo House both as a business, and as a recognized Michigan leader in providing the personalized, warm hospitality for which B&Bs are known. He said, “Check out the five-star reviews on TripAdvisor—230 of them and counting—so many with words like ‘Perfect’ and ‘Amazing’ in the headlines. Laurel and Terry created the magic that inspired people to write those things. We want to build on that."

The processes they created resulted in commendations like Midwest Living’s naming the house “the place to stay in Kalamazoo,” TripAdvisor awarding it their “Certificate of Excellence” for multiple years, and next week the Kalamazoo House will be cited as a favorite Michigan destination in a book to be released Nov. 4 about the first five seasons of the popular PBS show, “Under the Radar Michigan.”

Why does Gibson consider the Oct. 31 sale closing a promising coincidence? His mother Gail Gibson was a local businesswoman and community volunteer, known for her tireless support of fellow breast cancer survivors. “We lost her to a cancer recurrence on none other than Halloween in 1994,” Gibson clarifies. “How incredible is it that exactly 20 years later to the day, I get to take on the kind of challenge that she would have so welcomed for herself.” Gibson recalls how his mother loved taking care of others, and even talked of someday running a bed and breakfast. “She adored entertaining at home with food, decorations, and chocolate chip cookies, and often would lead friends in song from her piano. This allows us to carry forward her joy of caretaking, and helping people stop and smell the roses the way she did.”

Both of his parents inspired him to serve others, Gibson said. He spent ten years as a school board member and president in Parchment, a post his late father Chandler Gibson also once held. He’s also spent years as a flight instructor and corporate pilot, including a long spell of volunteer medical missions with Holland-based Wings of Mercy. He has a history of advocating for numerous humanist causes and authored a well-reviewed novel centering on conflict born of lack of diversity in thought. As an entrepreneur, Steve founded Little Green Limousine in Kalamazoo; it is now a subsidiary of the new Kalamazoo House Hospitality, Inc. He says the car service solidified just how much he enjoys taking care of clients and sharing time with them. “I’m constantly commenting to Stephanie that we have the most amazing clients, and I mean it,” he said.

As an oncology nurse manager at the West Michigan Cancer Center, Stephanie Nelsen also brings a deep commitment to serving others. She will continue her full-time work as well as contributing her skills as a host to the continued success of the Kalamazoo House.






Key Facts About the Kalamazoo House:


{C}§  {C}Built in 1887 by David and Emily Lilienfeld, the inn is located at 447 W. South Street, next door to the Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts;

{C}§  {C}While no lunch or dinner are served, the Kalamazoo House is in many as much like a boutique hotel as a traditional B&B; there are ten guest rooms in this beautiful inn, and under the meticulous care of the previous owners Laurel and Terry Parrot, it has matured to standout status in categories from occupancy rates to top trip advisor rankings;

{C}§  {C}The inn features all the amenities of modern life—like high-speed WiFi, flat-panel TVs, expanded cable, in-room private baths, thermostats, etc.

{C}§  {C}It is one of only two lodging options in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo, within easy walking distance to the city’s many offerings: brewpubs, arts, theatres, festivals, the new medical school, businesses, and nightlife;

{C}§  {C}Stephanie Nelsen will continue her full-time work as an oncology nurse manager, though is fully involved and will be a key fixture as the hostess and entertainer that she is;

{C}§  {C}Steve will continue to administrate the “LG Limousine” car service from the Inn—which will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Kalamazoo House Hospitality, albeit with far less driving on his part;