An Open Letter to Guests, Friends, Family and Community:
I lost my life and business partner, Ray Riker, just over three years ago. I took the advice of many, including my grief counselor, and made no major decisions or changes in my life. This advice helped me to take the time to grieve, to embrace a new life, and accept the fact that I must move forward. Several times over the last three years I have given serious consideration to put the Kirby House on the market for sale. I was never really ready to make the commitment. Now, after a more recent review of my life, acknowledging the challenges of operating the business alone, and an eagerness to make a new future for my life I have decided that it is time for me to move on.
This was NOT an easy decision to come to. In fact, it has taken me three years. The Kirby House has been my primary residence for many years. It has been my home where I have celebrated holidays, birthdays, tons of fun parties, and great times with friends. I have also experienced life’s ups and downs here. I was here with my mother when we got the call from Detroit that my brother was dying in the hospital. I was here when the love of my life, Ray, lost his battle to cancer and heart disease. The Kirby House has been more than just a “business” to me...it has been my home for one third of my life. Next to Sarah Kirby and the Douglas Hospital I am the third longest owner.
This has been a lengthy process. I have decided to close the Kirby House. I have worked extensively with my financial advisor, realtor and attorney. I am working with my attorney and the Bank to turn the property over to them so I do not have to go through a lengthy sales process that could take years.
I will still be living and working on the west side of the state. I have taken on a new career with Booking.com. This is the world's leading online hotel reservation system serving 276,091 hotels in 167 countries. They are headquartered in the Netherlands and I will be working in the Grand Rapids Regional Headquarters. They are somewhat new to the U.S. market and you may have already started seeing their commercials. I am very excited to start this new venture in my life.
Thank you for your years of support, friendship and love.