Residents, families told Britthaven to close Sept. 1

By on July 8, 2011

Town responds to notice

Mayor Bob Oakes says the town would like a deal with the current operator, but if not, it will work to find someone else.
see the full statement »

Residents and families are being notified that the only skilled nursing facility on the Outer Banks will close Sept. 1.

The notice was dated July 6, the same day the Nags Head Board of Commissioners met in closed session after the town and the longtime operators of Colony Ridge, once known as Britthaven, failed to come to terms on a deal to keep the facility open.

Nags Head is scheduled to take ownership of the property Oct. 1. In 1981, the town secured a $3.1 million tax-free bond with the understanding that the operators, now Principle LTC Management, would pay it back. The town would then get the deed.

“Unfortunately, because the facility will be closed,” the notice said, “you need to prepare for the fact that your residency with Britthaven will be terminated September 1, 2011.”

Principle had offered to buy the property and invest in improvements. But the town said it wanted to retain ownership and offered to lease it back to Principle for $10 a month. Principle would also invest $1.5 million in improvements under the town’s plan.

With time running out, they could not to find workable middle ground this week.

In dispute is the certificate of need, which is probably more valuable and important than owning the property. The hard-to-get certificate virtually guarantees the holder exclusive rights to operate a nursing home in the area. Without it, the facility could not be operated as a nursing home.

The town contends that the certificate of need conveys with the property, while Colony Ridge says it should be held by the operator.

It appeared that the issue might be headed to court.

Without it, Colony Ridge runs the risk of investing in improvements, then being replaced when the lease runs out. If the town does not hold the certificate, it would lose influence over ensuring a reasonable level of care and maintenance as well as determining who will operate the nursing home.

The town’s goal was to work out a deal with Colony Ridge so that care could be provided without interruption during the transition.

But Colony Ridge continued to challenge the town on the certificate of need unless it could be offered some guarantee of a long-term lease that would provide an acceptable return on the investment it would take to bring the building up to date.

The condition of the 30-year-old nursing home has been a major concern. Mayor Bob Oakes said Wednesday that it suffers from “functional obsolescences,” such as four residents sharing one bathroom.

“There’s a need for investment in the facility,” Oakes said. “We had hoped to work with Britthaven to improve the facility while it was still being occupied.”

There are 60 residents in the facility now, Town Manager Cliff Ogburn said. That includes Alzheimer patients.

Ogburn said Friday that the town was limited by law to a 10-year lease if it wanted to charge $10 a month. Otherwise, it would be subject to an upset bid and leasing at market value, which can range from $11 to $13 a bed per day, he said.

With 144 beds, that adds up to $578,169 a year, Ogburn said, compared to $120 under the 10-year lease.

Principle said it would agree to the 10-year lease only if it was given the certificate of need, Ogburn said. Owning the certificate would put Principle in control of the facility and provide leverage in any negotiations for leasing beyond the 10 years. As an alternative, Ogburn said, the company wanted the security of a 15-year lease with the option to renew it twice for a total of 45 years.

A representative of Principle could not be reached.

It is not known if the nursing home will re-open if the closing goes as planned. If the town is granted legal ownership of the certificate of need, it could find another operator.

See the full text of the notice »


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July 16, 2011 10:20 am

Wonderful news! Congratulations to Mayor Oakes and Mr. Uzzell for coming to an agreement-thank you! I have not heard the details as to what the terms are, but the most important focus, to not have to move the residents, is accomplished. Also, congratulations to the wonderful nurses & staff at Colony Ridge/Britthaven. And most of all, to all the residents!!!


July 15, 2011 8:44 pm

The residents,families and staff are thrilled with Principle Long Term Care continuing to run Colony Ridge, when the news was given at the nursing home clapping was heard down the halls and the residents, in Bingo began hugging voluteers and staff. Thank you, Randy and Mayor Oaks. It was wonderful and well received news. God Bless you both. Robert


July 15, 2011 10:06 am

I am an employee of Colony Ridge and have worked in many hospitals, as well as long term care facilities throughout the country. First, I would like to say that there are no issues with the level of care at this facility. The nursing staff and employees at this facility are compassionate and caring people and do their best to ensure that all residents benefit from their services. Our Administrator and Director of Nursing monitor the care and are definitely resident advocates. This is one of the first things that I noticed that was so positive about this facility.

I feel that it will be a great tragedy for Colony Ridge to close its doors and send our residents to distant locations away from us and their loved ones. I pray that those involved in this meeting this afternoon who are so against this facility staying open, will take the time to imagine if this were happening to you or one of your loved ones. I came to work last night and one of my residents who doesn’t even have a family was sent to another facility. I did not even get to say good-bye to her and this made me sad. When I heard how she reacted to being transferred out, I could not hold back the tears.

I will not even address those who spoke about the shabby appearance of Colony Ridge, because we all know that it not the appearance of the house that makes the home. As long as there is love, compassion, kindness and concern for these residents…that is the most important issue daily at Colony Ridge.

Hopefully, today’s meeting will result in a positive outcome for the resident’s, resident’s families and the caretaker’s of the residents at Colony Ridge. My prayers are with all of those who must reach a decision in this matter.

Donna K

July 15, 2011 9:32 am

Okay the ball’s in your court Mayor and Nags Head…do the right thing for these residents.


July 14, 2011 10:58 pm


desiree tyson

July 14, 2011 9:53 pm

The meeting is tomorrow and only God knows the future of these helpless residents. We can only hope for the best.

Andria P.

July 14, 2011 9:48 pm

I want to reach out to all the families. You have gone above and beyond for your loved ones. Mayor Oakes, I am sure you have realized what a strong community you represent. You should be proud to be their Mayor. I don’t think you want them against you again, you would rather them be on your side, for sure. Randy, you should be proud of your staff. We all faught for those residents and defended the services we provide. If your in town tomorrow, you should stop by Colony Ridge. I would love to introduce you to them. But sign that lease first ;)

To all

July 14, 2011 9:14 pm

Lets put the past behind us and look to the future. Thank you so much for the Town of Nags Head in listening to the families. Please come together tomorrow and sign that lease!!!! And lets get back those residents that left today. Thank you for the Town Manger of Nags Head, Cliff Ogburn, for being very attentive to all of us that HOUNDED him.
You should run for Mayor.

Kristen B

July 14, 2011 8:21 pm

“Lord, when my soul is weary and my heart is tired and sore, and I have that failing feeling that I can’t take it any more; then let me know the freshening found in simple, childlike prayer, when the kneeling soul knows surely that a listening Lord is there.”-Ruth Bell Graham
I pray that Nags Head and Colony Ridge can agree for the sake of all involved. I cast my care and fear to the Lord and I know HE WILL TAKE CARE OF HIS BELOVED!


July 14, 2011 8:20 pm

Lots of emotions stirred up here. And when emotions run our comments we usually pay little attention to the facts.

If it were not for the town of Nags Head getting involved in the 80′s there wouldn’t be a nursing home there.

The town manager only does as he is instructed by the BOC. So, don’t call and hassle him. He has no vote in the matter. Express your opinions to the board. They are the ones who will make the decision.

Both sides need to do some giving to make this happen, not just one or the other. After you email the BOC, email the owners of Colony Ridge and tell them the same thing.


July 14, 2011 8:08 pm

I hope I do not have to see anther day like today, several of our residents were being moved to other facilties, It was heart breaking, To see those residents crying and saying “I do not want to leave”, I saw the Administrator, Our Regional Vice President crying as well as aides, nurses, family members and myself. It reminded me of taking a child from their mother. I saw the residents on the transport looking lost.
I will leave you with this, and to the board of Nags Head, “Whatsoever you do to my dear ones, that you do unto me”.

desiree tyson

July 14, 2011 7:24 pm

I am shocked at what I have read, I am saddened. I have visited this facility on many occasions and the staff is friendly and the residents are a pure joy. The building is old but it is clean and the residents are HAPPY. To think that these elderly people will be uprooted and shipped off to a facility far away from their love ones is heartbreaking. The Town needs to take a moment and think about their decisions in this matter. May God Bless the Town and I hope CR/RU does everything possible to keep this facility open.

Bob O

July 14, 2011 6:26 pm

I have called an emergency meeting of the Nags Head Board of Commissioners for Friday, July 15 at 1 pm. Mr. Uzzell will attend. I expect a closed session that includes Mr. Uzzell, and hopefully a resolution that will resolve the issues.

Both parties want to work to a resolution that allows patients and employees to stay, and makes needed building improvements.

Patricia Finn

July 14, 2011 1:20 pm

Congratulations Town of Nags Head!
Thank you for the festive time the Town of Nags Head hosted for their 50th Anniversary celebrations. It reflected many hours of planning and work invested on the various activities. I have to commend you for being able to spend so much time and energy on “TRIVIAL” matters.
Unfortunately, the citizens of Nags Head are showing their true colors in allowing 63 of their fellow citizens to be essentially evicted from thier home located at Colony Ridge.
It seems very odd that so much thought and energy was expanded on a silly “birthday”. These so-called caring individuals, the “five” godheads that make up The Town of Nags Head Town Board, made this decision to evict our fellow citizens without even meeting with these individuals,who, by the way, are the only people directly affected by their omniscent decision here. It appears that this royal five know whats best for all under their jurisdiction.
Beware Nags Head citizens .. you maybe next!
Since the mayor and his cohorts were elected by the citizens of Nags Head, I can only surmise that they are doing your bidding in this matter.
If this is the case – “Shame, Shame, Shame” on the town!!!
As for myself, I am taking the advice of a family member of a Colony Ridge Resident, and pledge that I will never spend another dime within the Nags Head Town limits. I also implore the rest of the citizens of the Outer Banks Region to take the same pledge. The Town of Nags Head has effectively ripped out of our community one of the essentials for ongoing medical care for our families, long term skilled nursing capabilities as well as short term rehabilitation services.


July 14, 2011 10:48 am

On Wednesday afternoon there was a very quickly arranged meeting at 2:30 with Mayor Oakes and 6 family members of Colony Ridge/Britthaven residents at Nags Head town hall. We all expressed our great concerns and Bob Oakes listened for two hours. He told us with ongoing negotiations that he should be able to give a clearer picture by Wednesday of next week if there is a possibility of not having to move the residents.

I really do appreciate the time the mayor took for this meeting and his understanding of both the stress and possible danger this situation has created.

Although we did not discuss this, I cannot help but wonder who the board members are who might remain obsessed with trying to push their own personal anti-Colony Ridge/Britthaven agenda based on old faulty/distorted information. She/He/They had better wake up to reality, get current, and listen. Historically, this may end up being one of the most important issues for the town of Nags Head that they will ever have to work on. I have a feeling going forward their voice will be remembered.

Barbara G

July 14, 2011 10:02 am

Christine let me know when and where the meeting is and I will be there. I am not from the Outer Banks but support the economy when I visit my Brother, who has been a patient at Colony Ridge for 8 years. My family is devastated by the closing of Colony Ridge. Not only are the employees wonderful, they are extended family to the residents. Colony Ridge does need updating but every time I have visited I have been impressed at how clean the place is.
My Brother is so depressed about leaving his community of friends which he has come to care about. This is their NORMAL WORLD and they take care of each other. This is WRONG on so many levels.


July 13, 2011 9:27 pm

As a retired RN, I know & understand what happens to the elderly when they are moved from their familiar home. Usually they die. That is what happened when I worked with the Veterans Administration. Even moving them to a different room on the same hall/unit. There is research that backs this up, if you are so inclined to look.
What about the long term employees? No one has mentioned them. I know at least two with 25 years + with the facility. They are too young to retire & unemployment will not provide them enough to live on. Many of the nursing assistants are single parents and need to work. These nursing assistants give the residents much loving care and loving hugs.
I have recently been in two different nursing homes in the Raleigh area & I strongly believe I would have had better care at Colony Ridge/Britthaven.
Thank you. Retired RN


July 13, 2011 6:32 pm

To all famililies of residents. Jamie Bastas from
WAVY 10 wants to hear from you. They are interested in your story before they come down to Nags Head. Please contact her.
direct line 757-673-5392

Also Concerned

July 13, 2011 5:29 pm

As was stated earlier, I think NH knew all along they were not going to renew Colony Ridge’s lease. If they have been making a deal with another management company all long, why would they keep the families in the dark? It is at the expence of those residents that NH represent. I am sure the residents would welcome any management with open arms, just tell them so they can feel at ease that they don’t have to move. However, they have to be out by Aug 31 anyway and the lease is up Oct 1. A new company cannot get in the building till then, and what about the CON. Who has it? No one can manage the building unless NH has it and they don’t I assume it has to go to a State of Federal Judge to determine CON ownership. That could take months. NH could have avoided this if they were just open about it to the families. Why so sneaky?

Also Concerned

July 13, 2011 4:43 pm

And another thing CONCERNED, of course Colony Ridge has to, by law, give families a certain number of days notice about closing so they have time to find a new place. They did that because NH won’t sign the lease. As stated in an earlier statement, if the landlord does not sign your lease, you need to move. What would happen if Colony Ridge stayed there by OCT 1, NH would post an eviction notice on the residents doors. Colony Ridge wants to manage that nursing home for years to come. It has for the past 30 years and it would love to rennovate the residents home and enjoy it for years to come. They requested a longer lease. That shows you they want to be there for many years to come. If the law only allows 10, then guarentee them an additional 10 or NH put up half for the rennovations ($750,000).
That was a nice statement you made that the STAFF IS GREAT at Colony Ridge, then what makes the BOC say to the families that their loved ones get INFERIOR CARE. Looks like your making excuses. And we all know your from the mayors office. The only statements above that are backing The Town of Nags Head work for The Mayor. Right!!!!!

Also Concerned

July 13, 2011 4:20 pm

In respose to CONCERNED, no other management company will agree to that lease of 10/yr for 10 years as long as you fix it up for millions and let NH keep the CON. How does the management company know that Nags Head won’t kick them out when 10 years is up and say “Thanks for remodeling my business”. Of course the management company wants the CON. All private nursing home management companies own the CON for their buildings. No Town Government in the United States of America keeps the CON for themselves because they don’t know how to run nursing homes. OF course management thinks about profit, we live in America, its the staff they hire that provides the care. And don’t talk about profit because Nags Head BOC and Mayor take many lunches, dinners, and “Golf Meetings” on our tax dollars. Just check out the NH budget. Its public record. Hows that for profit!!!!


July 13, 2011 1:54 pm

I think that everyone should grow up and play nice. these are peoples lives you are playing with not some game pieces.


July 13, 2011 1:36 pm

Do people realize that we have prior residents ashes and memorials in our back court yard. This is sacred ground,
this is not land for anything to make money from tourist.
I pray every night that people in power get good sense and people with good sense will get the power.


July 13, 2011 12:43 pm

This appears to be a struggle for control(CON)as well as money. It is no secret that the Town of Nags Head strives for both. I would certainly think that this could have been handled ahead of the lease expiring, and with a bit more sensitivity to the ones directly involved. Just another example of government having to be in the middle of everything. As for the town reps, it would be a great time for you guys to pull your heads out of your _$$_$, and listen to what your (for the time being) citizens are telling you.


July 13, 2011 10:34 am

Although I am a fairly new employee to Colony Ridge, my heart is heavy for our residents that reside there. I chose nursing as a profession because that is where my heart lies-caring. My heary deeply goes out not only to our residents, but their families also. I have listened to them voice how they do not understand why they have to leave, watched them even shed tears. As one resident themself told me “I know this is not the most beautiful setting in the world, but it is my home. A mansion could serve me no better. If this is what they are looking at, then tell them to go fix up their own house and let me live in mine.” Many of these residents have made not only the staff part of their family, but many of the other residents as well. These are their families, their best friends. This is their “HOME”. And for those that more or less feel that people should not cry about maybe having to travel a little further to a “nicer” facility to see their loved ones, then you do not understand for many what this truly entails. To travel 10-30 minutes a day to see your mom, dad, brother, sister, etc, is actually quite convenient in the hectic world we live in today. It is much more possible for you to see them every day, or very frequently as you would want to. To now have to travel a minimum of 1 1/2 hours one way to see them has changed everything of that aspect. Many families still have jobs that consume half of their waking hours of a day. If you need to travel 3 hours round trip plus the time you will be visiting, is it still so easy to see your loved one as often as you wish to?! It truly is not. Sure, they now live in a “nicer” facility, but will not be visited as often by those they love. What to you would be more important? And some are more elderly people who are not as capable of doing this on a daily basis that come to visit their spouse, brother or sister. There has never been a disagreement that the building needs much updating, but Colony Ridge was willing to do so. Why should the residents have to be evicted from their home for this to happen? We live in our homes when such is being done. Why do they not deserve the same? It is very sad to see this happen. I am new to this area from another state, and have vacationed the parts of Corolla, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head almost every year. I have always loved these areas, as is why I relocated here. I will say though, however, that I do not have any respect for those that run Nags Head that were partied to this. No matter what all the talk boils down to, this is lives. Not dollars, who owns what, or justification of saying “this is for the best”. As I see heartbroken people on a daily basis now, I can assure you that this is not for the best. A promise of a bandaid later for the hurt you have given to so many peoples lives now will come a little to late for some. The employees of Colony Ridge were told yesterday that it is truly “final”, there are no more negotiations. And as they tried to confirm this in their minds & hearts, within just a few hours the recruiters were in the doors with lists of names of the residents for who they were interested in interviewing. As it is nice to know that our residents will have a new home to go to hopefully, this was like pouring salt on a fresh wound that had just happened moments prior. It was a very disheartening day for all. The residents & staff of Colony Ridge are wonderful people. It is a pleasure to be around all of you. I am proud to be employed there. Not because of the building, but because of the “family” feeling you make everyone feel. It is a “home” in all aspects of that word. And this is how it should be.


July 13, 2011 8:54 am

Several facts to be aware of:
- the town offered a 10 year lease at $10/month. Colony Ridge refused.
- the state of NC will not allow a local governemnt to enter into a longer lease BY LAW.
- if the town agrees to let the CON go to Colony Ridge, there is NO guarantee (NONE) that Colony Ridge won’t close anyway. If that happens, then there really is no facility here.
- the staff at Colony Ridge are great, but they are not the ones who control the future of Colony Ridge. It is the top level management/owners of the company.
- the top level management of Colony Ridge are the ones closing the facility. Let’s face it folks, they are in business to make money. Threatening you and your family members with closure is their tactic to get the CON. They are not interested in your families.


July 13, 2011 8:24 am

Its ashame its really over now


July 13, 2011 7:23 am

Oh and to as not having consistent quality of care from what i have seen there has always been consistent quality of care. Let’s see what you do next.


July 13, 2011 5:25 am



July 12, 2011 7:34 pm

Christine, you may have to also mention the meeting with Bob O to families when at Colony Ridge. A large amount of them don’t read the Outer Banks Voice. You will get many more to go with you. Good Luck.
Lisa Tolson, you should definitely go to that meeting. You had the factual numbers when it comes to medicare/caid. Colony Ridge is the only facility that I know of that accepts that many medicaid (80% of residents). Most facilities only accept 20% because of low reimbursement.

COncerned Nags Head Resident

July 12, 2011 7:16 pm

I have been following this story. Although I know nobody at Colony Ridge, I feel for those Residents, Family and Staff. It sounds like The Town of Nags Head knew all along their plan not to lease to Colony Ridge. If that were the case, they should have gotten a new management company in to take the Keys Oct 1. This way the residents could stay and there would have been no interruptions in patient. I don’t think a new company can get in that quickly. I am retired and one day I may need long-term care. If the Town of Nags Head pulls this stunt at my expense, my family would not take this lightly. The families should get together and march down to Bob O’s office and have a meeting. The families should have been involved in open meetings about this subject from the beginning. NH has been sneaky.
Bob O and BOC, you lost my vote, and from the looks of it, most of NH. Good luck finding a job when your kicked out of office, or maybe you will get a 45 day notice too!!!!!


July 12, 2011 6:58 pm

Gary and anyone else interested:
I sent an email to Mayor Oakes to see if an open meeting could be set up to discuss the Colony Ridge/Britthaven situation asap. I will post a message here as soon as I hear back from him.

Just Wondering?

July 12, 2011 5:37 pm

Honestly, Who is realy thinking about our heros that reside in the facility. You know our veterian. You know the ones who faught for our freedom. The ones who made it possible for you to even think about this decision of closing Colony Ridge. You do know that there is a large majority of veterians and their families that live in this facility. I seriously doubt that even once has it crossed their mind of how much money they would make off of our freedom. So why should you even consider thinking of how much money and power you could get off of this facility. I don’t think that it should even cross your mind. What you should be thinking about is how can we make sure our heros are properly taken care of in their time of neeed. I am not proud of Nags Head at this time. I don’t even say that I am from that area. I am discussed at what is going on right now. I just found out that there is no more discussion going on between Britthaven and Nags Head BOC. I think throwing our Heros on the street is a very disgraceful thing that no one in the United States or Dare County could ever be proud of. I don’t know how anyone could look in the mirror after doing this to them.

Don Winland

July 12, 2011 5:03 pm


My sister and I have attempted to contact The Nags Head government, and have not heard any word back.. None.. What Nags Head Gov does not seem to understand is that it took my brother 4 years to get use to the facility and the staff.. He has been there just a few short years, 8 to be exact.. To move him now will take another 4 years for him to get use to another facility. Britthaven of Outer Banks has been a blessing for him, and I have seen only a few infractions.. All have been addressed, some quick, some not so quick.. However, it is a well run facility that can be held up against other facilities.. I’m not to sure why Nags Head needs the CON as it should rest with the operator.. It’s like telling you that you can rent this space for a business, but we tell you we can kick you out after you made it presentable.. I agree with Britthaven that the CON should rest with them.. Nags Head only had 30 years to address the issue, so now they are giving us 60 days?!?! If we cannot get Nags Head to see the error, then I say it’s time for us to band together and see what legal recourse we have, including class action… My email is

Gary Horton

July 12, 2011 3:15 pm

Christine I would be happy to attend any such meeting just say when and where.


July 12, 2011 2:42 pm

shame shame shame

Donna Kestner

July 12, 2011 2:25 pm

My Grandmother has been a resident at Britthaven/Colony Ridge for over 4 years now and this is home to her. I find it just tragic that at 99 years old with dementia, blind & very hard of hearing she is basically being EVICTED in approximately 45 days. Like one of the other family members said, Colony Ridge is not all shiny and new, but the care and love that the staff give these residents is priceless, not to mention the peace of mind her family has that she is safe.

I am praying everyday that this move does not kill my Grandmother as with her dementia she will not understand what is happening. Not to mention, that the short time period has eveyone scrambling to figure out what to do.

The town government needs to resolve this issue IMMEDIATELY so there is no interrupction of care. Don’t wait until everyone has been uprooted and moved and then decide the facility can remain open. Please, please think twice about EVICTING these elderly patients, what if it was your Mom, Gradmother, Dad, Grandfater, etc. How would you like to be in this situation? WAKE UP PEOPLE & DO THE RIGHT THING!!!!!

Rose B.

July 12, 2011 2:24 pm

My mother has been at Colony Ridge/ britthaven 6 years.She is 98 years old, with her right mind. Her roomate is 99. My mom will get up and put her roomates feet on the bed. they tell each other goodnite. One won’t go to bed until the other one is ready.They are very close. Please don’t seperate them now.

You, The town of Nags Head needs to go look around. Look at the black Man with no legs, the little lady who is blind,Deaf has finally learned her way around her room. All she wants is a pack of gum, banana or cookies. Some only wants a hug or smile and to touch you. They only have one thing left and that is FEELINGS. Can you live with yourself and take that away from them. GOD have Mercy on you I pray. HIS judgements are real.


July 12, 2011 10:16 am

I am shocked at how the town of Nags Head is handling negotiations with Colony Ridge/Britthaven. I was just informed by Colony Ridge some kind of decision has been made to deal with other contractors and no longer work with the current management company. Too many fragile lives are in danger. How can these meetings be conducted in such a vacuum in the first place without talking directly to the current residents and their families? I am very troubled by Mayor Oakes recent comment:

“…Yet, if we are unable to reach an agreement, then the Town will do everything possible to bring in a new, qualified management company promptly.”

Exactly what do you plan to do with the 61-62 current residents during this time? Why have you been playing the “Blame Game” with the current management company that has made very promising plans for Britthaven and is so willing to work with the current residents? Just exactly how “promptly” are you planning on being to bring in a new management company? Are you willing to mediate terms to avoid relocating these fragile lives?

My dad, Richard Davis, is 91 and one of the many very special people who currently calls Britthaven his home. I am fully aware of the struggling history of Britthaven – this is a no brainer. But there is very positive change going on there. Throughout the years, dad had told me about Britthaven where many of his friends stayed as their health deteriorated. My mom and dad moved to Southern Shores in 1974 after returning from dad’s final overseas government tour in the Philippines and selling their house in Vienna, Virginia. Dad served this country as a WWII veteran plus 30 years with the State Department/CIA. With their retirement, my parents were among the earliest settlers to build in the lovely Southern Shores waterway community. They both absolutely loved this area. Dad was very active volunteering his time with the Southern Shores Volunteer Fire Department and many other community activities through the First Flight Lions Club. Before his multiple heart/hip surgeries and strokes, he expressed to the family his deep desire to remain within this community which he had grown to love so much. In 1994 my mother passed away and was buried in the little Southern Shores cemetery located next to the golf club. I believe dad would be appalled and heart broken if he were fully aware of how the Nags Head board of directors is making decisions at the last minute that may tear him away from this community and his family at Colony Ridge/Britthaven. I have no idea of how this news is going to be explained to him.

The staff at Colony Ridge/Britthaven has been wonderful with the very personal care they have consistently given him and with keeping my brother and me current on dad’s condition. He has been a resident for 5 years and I have personally observed a steady improvement in the quality of his care, especially recently. Whenever I am visiting, dad is always expressing his amazement at how everyone seems to know his name there. Recently I attended a couple of the “Wednesday afternoon horse race” games with him that the wonderful volunteers from the Episcopal Church conduct. I observed a close group of individual Britthaven residents who really care and look out for each other. How can you possibly allow this vital and very fragile little community be broken apart?

So many very delicate lives are at stake. Shuffling them to another “2-star” facility in remote areas of North Carolina and other states, so far from their families and communities is not only wrong, but could even prove lethal for some. Please, wake up! There are 61 people who deserve so much more respect and consideration from the town for the difficulties that they struggle with each day. A few weeks ago my dad’s room was painted and they had to move him to an identical room just down the hall for a couple of days. He was completely disoriented and scared. I cannot imagine what might happen if we are forced to relocate him.

I would like to thank Arlene Palmer and Lisa Tolson for keeping us clearly informed on this crisis with their postings on the Outer Banks Voice web site. I also want to thank town Manager Cliff Ogburn for getting back to me with the town’s point of view, even though he clearly avoided my main question which is how is the town going to protect these 62 people at risk:

“The Town fully understands and appreciates the importance of a facility like Colony Ridge, to the community. That is why the Town undertook the steps to create the facility 30 years ago. Now that arrangement is going to expire by its own terms.

The Town has been negotiating with the operator of Colony Ridge and has proposed a lease to the operator on what the Town feels are very favorable terms. The Town has offered to lease the facility to the operator practically for free – $10 per month. By law, the Town may be unable to lease it for a longer period than 10 years without charging substantial consideration. The sticking point for a 10 year lease is the operator’s demand that they be provided the Certificate of Need (“CON”), which basically is the license issued by the state that is required to have such a facility. We believe the law is clear that the CON belongs to the Town, and the Town’s lease proposal would include confirmation of that fact. However, Colony Ridge has rejected our offer to allow them to operate the facility, basically for free, for this 10 year period unless they are given the CON. If the Town surrendered the CON to anyone else, it would lose any ability to ensure that this or any other nursing home or assisted care facility would continue to be operated for any period of time. So, the Town has made diligent efforts to ensure that the Colony Ridge facility will continue to be operated, and is continuing to explore ways to ensure that this important need is met whether Colony Ridge decides to enter a new lease with the Town or not.

At present there are no meetings scheduled on this subject.”

No meetings scheduled on this subject?!!! The clock is ticking.

Did the town even consider negotiating a longer contract so that the current management company could get a return on their big investment?

If there is no plan to mediate a way to protect the current residents, then I vote to give the town board less than a “1-star rating” for both lack of planning and sensitivity, plus apparent failure to reach out to the families to develop a realistic understanding of the human tragedy that is unfolding. Closed meetings within a vacuum with such consequences are heartless. If the town feels there is a real need to bring in another company to run the center that will actually accept its terms (although I cannot for the life of me understand why any management company would go along with the terms and expect to be able to really run a business), for heavens sake do not kick out the current residents. There should be some kind of humane mediated plan to protect them with the transition. This situation is 30 years in the making and only proves that quality eldercare needs to be run by a business that understands the needs of the elderly, not a politically driven and detached town group.

I hope to meet with Mayor Oakes to discuss all of this. He left me a message that he would meet. Perhaps there are other relatives of Colony Ridge/Britthaven who also have many questions/comments and would like to join me. It seems it would be really good to have a town meeting scheduled immediately that focuses exclusively on the fate of the current residents of Colony Ridge/Britthaven?

Last night I also received this response from Cliff Ogburn after I expressed my concern about the dangers involved in moving residents like my dad and begged for the Town of Nags Head to assure a continuity of care:

“I am sorry for what this dispute is causing your families and many others. I do not pretend to know how tough this is. It is unfair that you all are left to deal with the consequences of our inability to reach an agreement with Colony Ridge. The Mayor was meeting with a potential new management company today and is committed to the idea that if things do not work out that we will get a reputable management company in the building, ASAP. The fact is though that I can not promise you that there will not be an interruption of service. But I can promise that we will do everything we can to minimize it.”

I would like to thank him for responding, but seriously, this is really not a town looking after these residents if they cannot protect them from the process involved with these decisions.

Gary Horton

July 12, 2011 10:04 am

In reply to Christine. Unfortunately this is typical of how politicians in this area behave. When facing opposition on their policies they run and hide and refuse to listen to any different opinions. This being the case you have to ask yourself would the community really be better served if these same people ran this facility.


July 12, 2011 9:07 am

I have been the Activity Director of Colony Ridge for 29 years. And have watched for years as the folks of the faciltiy have been beaten down and those people who do not even know what a nursing home is even about. Now it would seem that the residents will be displaced, families literally torn apart with worry. Those family members who will have to go many more miles to see their loved ones and see them less, some are even worried that their loved ones will not live as long as they would have if they were not moved. Residents saying I do not want to leave my home, where the staff is my family and for many it is the only family they have. With all the hurt this nursing home has to take, the home has risen above it. Sure there have been problems, there are always going to be bad apples, disgruntled employees and the like. The building needs repair, but above that its the love that is shown there and the caring. It breaks my heart to this family torn apart. It is obvious to me and others on here that the people want Principle Long Term Care to continue to operate the facilty. I can tell you this with an honest heart, that Principle Long Term Care follows the regulations that the state and goverment mandate to run a nursing home. Surveys have been excellent!! I honestly do not believe that if the Certificate of Need is Principle’s that they would sell it to another entity. Principle Long Term Care has proven they want to keep running the facilty. I believe they do care about the resident that is entrusted in their care. I believe that the folks of Dare County want them to continue to operate the facilty. Our Rehab department is outstanding and have many sucess stories of residents going back home to lead normal lives.
Now I say to all parties, The Dare County Commissioners, Nags Head Town, the Churches of the area who is going to care enough to keep this facility open? Who is going to step up and say I Care.
Who is going to care?

John VanderMyde

July 12, 2011 7:12 am

My Dad had to spend a month at Colony Ridge, and while it’s not shiny and new, I found the level of care to be very good, and a very good value, which is rare in this age of outrageous medical costs.

We were all able to visit daily, which is simply not possible with a home off the beach.

I just want to say “job well done” to all the employees who may be reading this page. It’s amazingly unfair how this issue has been handled by the town, and the fact that dozens if not hundreds of people will have their lives turned upside down by the nearsightedness of a few is simply hard to believe.

Nags Head should bend over backwards to keep this facility open, and give up any control beyond deciding which days to pick up the trash. Where are the small government conservatives when you need them?


July 11, 2011 10:24 pm

What exactly will NH do with the CON? Sell it to the highest bidder, use it to operate a “new and improved” facility, or perhaps use it as leverage against the current mgmt? Is there any chance the town could lose it if they don’t use it? Has the town already made a back-room deal and can’t disclose it yet?
How does closing CR benefit the town and its residents? The town should not be in the nursing home business, leave that to the health care professionals. You are not qualified to make these decisions, please don’t try.
One final question: Would you be making the same decision if it was your mother who was being forced to leave her home?


July 11, 2011 9:19 pm

S.macc I don’t know when you worked at the facility and how you can think that just to move these residents for a month or so and let someone else lease the building is a simple solution. It is not that simple it could take years, possibly, for another company to open the facility especially when there is a battle over the CON and repairs to be done to the facility. If you have not read above the many comments of family members or watch the town meetings where the families ARE happy with the care their families receive at Colony Ridge. I am currently employed at CR and have been for nearly 4 years. I love my job and my residents and pride myself on taking very good care of my residents short and long term. The people that I work with are FANTASTIC nurses and CNAs that work very hard everyday to know the residents and give compassionate great care to our residents. Come and visit now and see the tears and heartache this is causing to our residents and families. They do not believe that they need to find a better nursing home as they are completely satisfied with how their family is taken care of. It is funny how a former employee and whoever “R” is are the only 2 people that are critical of our facility look above and read all the comments from families DEVESTATED by this. Look at our current state survey results. Only 1 minor tag in nursing. How can you say that the quality of care is poor when the State of North Carolina and the residents and families believe we are doing a great job. Personally I hear it from my residents and families on a daily basis what a good job we do. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t hear “Thank you for taking good care of my mother, brother, sister.” Does that sound like someone that is not satisified? Nags Head does not need to monitor the facility to make sure we are providing good care. That is the job of the state surveyors!

Arlene Palmer

July 11, 2011 8:18 pm

R, I understand you say you spend a lot of time at Colony Ridge. However, I don’t have a clue who you are. Perhaps in your frequent visits to the facility, you need to take some time and talk to residents, families and staff about the emotions they are experiencing at this time. My residents, families and staff are all saddened by the recent events. Speak to the resident who has spent the last 30 years at Colony Ridge and told me
today she cannot believe this is happening. Also, speak to the resident who was crying because she has no family except her Colony Ridge family and is afraid of moving to another facility. Speak to the family members who have shed tears with me because they will have to travel 1-2 or more hours to visit with their loved ones. Speak to the staff members who are unsure of their future, i.e. the couple who moved from NY with their children and may have to move elsewhere because jobs are not available in the area. Think about how you would feel if you were in their shoes. These are just examples of what is going on in the facility- however, you must see it since you are a frequent visitor. The management at Colony Ridge is more committed than you’ll ever know….the residents, family and staff will confirm this so talk to them. This is affecting 61 residents,65 employees and 12 contract employees- oh, and don’t forget the vendors. My employees provide quality care to our residents regardless of what others. such as you, may say. There are so many challenges for businesses in Nags Head…staffing is an issue because of the lack of low income housing and the cost of living. We finally have the best team of employees at Colony Ridge we have ever had and then this happens. Even if another entity decides to operate the facility, the building will have to be brought “up to code”, a new provider number obtained, new staff hired (it’s not easy finding the right people) and don’t forget the CON. This could take a while to achieve. So “R”, on your next visit, stop by my office and we can have a nice, long chat.

Arlene Palmer, Administrator


July 11, 2011 8:15 pm

I have been a local resident of the OBX for years and have also been to Britthaven multiple times. (as both an employee and have had family in the facility). I believe everything is being blamed on the Town of Nags Head when it should not be. The facility has not been well kept and has not had good management for years. What the family members need to realize is that this is about having your family members is a nice well managed facilty. Its more the fact that vistors don’t want to drive to see their family. If you care about the residents who wouldn’t want to see them in a nice place and drive a little further away then see them in a facility that is dirty and not well kept. I think the best thing that could happen is another nursing home come in and buy the facility. Not only would it be a new managment but many more residents would feel comfortable in a nice place. Another nursing home needs to take over this one. That would solve many problems. Even if residents are taken from Britthaven for a month maybe they could come back to their old home and see it being completed transformed into a loving, warm place. Britthaven are the ones that are not making this easy. If the town has ownership maybe the facility would stay nice and well kept. If Britthaven receives the CON who knows what the building will turn into. I’m sure their would be holes in the ceiling, etc. The comment by R is correct and other people should look at it this way rather than saying “they family will be further away” Well if you care about your residents you would rather see them in a nicer facility and drive the extra distance.

Former Sate employee

July 11, 2011 8:01 pm

Bob O. You mentioned a few times in your responses that you want to keep the CON so you and the BOC can assure proper care is being rendered at the nursing home. Nursing homes are state regulated, as Prince of Peeps stated earlier, and I have complete confidence in my state government that they hire competent RN’s to oversee all nursing home facilities in North Carolina. I find it interesting Bob that you feel you can do a better job then them. I did not know you had a Masters Degree in Health Administration and Management.


July 11, 2011 7:20 pm

Wow,can you really believe this .Lets start first with its a buisness and nags head needs to keep their finger in it to stir the pot. Yet when i read the papers all they
complain about is their budget yet they could have sold this building 10 years ago and still refuse to sell it because they have to be involved.Oh yeah great job with the Bonner bridge might i add.Dare county for that matter has no buisness sence what so ever,next will be the bridge collapse and then the lawsuits will follow.This is by far the most sad story ive heard about since ive been here all of my 30 years on the outer banks
playing poker with people back and forth.Really nobody knows who owns the certificate of need.Its been 30years


July 11, 2011 7:03 pm

Bob O. I read your answer to this matter on the Town of Nags Head website. Have you contacted Randy Uzzell yet to discuss a new lease since you stated you are still trying to come to agreements? Is there still hope? I don’t know what management company would accept a 10 year lease with them haveing to pay 1.5 million in renovations without obtaining the CON. You need to increase the years on the lease for it to be acceptable. At Colony Ridge today, many tears were shed between family and residents trying to find new locations. It has been difficult for them to understand why they have to leave. One resident may have to go to Virginia because of limited availability, and his wife is too elderly to drive that far to visit. How sad. Bob O. Have you contacted Randy yet???? The residents, your voters, need your help.


July 11, 2011 6:25 pm

A note to Gary Horton and all those who would like to contact Mayor Bob Oakes directly in regards to the shocking reality that Colony Ridge may be shut down for an indefinite period of time, forcing so many fragile lives to have to make such a precarious move. The email address on the Town of Nags Head site does not appear to be currently working (I keep getting a bounce back email):

But I do believe I was finally able to get a letter to the mayor by using his own email address:

My dad has been an active member of this community since 1974 and a resident at Colony Ridge for five years. The staff at Colony Ridge has been wonderful. I am still waiting for a response from the mayor. I do plan to post a shorter version of my letter here tomorrow. Currently it is just too long for this blog.


Lisa Tolson

July 11, 2011 3:42 pm

I hope no one minds but I want to repost part of something I posted as a comment on the other article about this that ran a few days ago.

According to my conversation with Ms. Palmer, there are currently 63 employees at Colony Ridge/Britthaven, not including 6-7 physical therapy contract workers and a number of contract maintenance workers

There are 61 live in residents at the facility. According to Ms. Palmer, the facility would have more residents at this time, however they stopped accepting new residents a while back, as the future of the place was in question. So already there are local people who must commute farther to see their loved ones.

Of the 61 current residents, 50 are on Medicaid. This ratio of Medicaid to Non-Medicaid residents is of great importance as if reflects the true needs of the aging population of the county.

Here is why. Colony Ridge/Britthaven is a facility that accepts people whose only means of income is a social security check, which in the real world is barely enough to pay rent—not to mention, food, clothing, medical care, physical therapy, bathing, medication, round the clock oversight, etc.

Our population is aging, we are living longer. Dementia is epidemic and not everyone can afford the $5000 to $8000 a month it costs for long-term nursing home care. Unless you have unlimited means and excellent long term care insurance, eventually the money runs out and the patient goes on Medicaid. Those are the harsh realities. Medicare covers a few consecutive months only. Then you either pay up with what cash, assets and other insurance you have or go on Medicaid.

Residents of Dare County should be insistent that any new company coming in to take the place of Colony Ridge/Britthaven be one that accepts an open number of Medicaid patients just like Colony Ridge does. It is my understanding that it is not mandatory for a facility to take an unlimited number of Medicaid residents. Some do and some don’t. In some instances they are only required to accept a small number of them. Based on the ratio of Medicaid to Non-Medicaid residents at Colony Ridge, that is not consistent with the needs of the community.

If acceptance of an unlimited number of Medicaid residents cannot be assured by the a proposed new operator of the facility, local residents of limited means could find themselves up the creek when they are trying to find someplace close to home for their aging loved one to be cared for on a long-term basis, especially if they are too disabled to be qualified for assisted living. For the majority, Medicare and self payment stops at a certain point and Medicaid is necessary. Then what?

This is a valid question because nursing homes are businesses and are profit driven like any other business.

It is not inconceivable that some area families will have to drive 100 miles or even more each way to see their loved one, especially those from Hatteras. And those most affected will be those who can least afford it.

It is my understanding that Colony Ridge/Bitthaven has agreed to a $1.5 million rehabilitation/upgrade of the facility with no disruption of services. They are able to do this as there is ample room to do the rehab section by section and still accommodate residents. This should be given utmost consideration.

AN INTERIM PLAN FOR WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO RESIDENTS IF NO AGREEMENT WAS MET SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON THE TABLE. Why did the county not have another provider lined up that could do the rehab on a by section basis and keep the facility open.

The impact the closing will have on dementia and alzheimer residents at Colony Ridge is hard to fathom.

If you have ever seen a nursing home residents’ eyes light up when they see a loved one come to visit that would be no small matter. The quality of care a resident in any nursing home receives is improved by oversight and visits by family members.

How long will it take before a new company takes over and has a fully functioning nursing home in place? These things can take a long, long, time.

In the meantime, should the existing facility close 75 or so much needed jobs will be lost, and nursing home residents who have absolutely no voice at all will be moved further away from their families.

Is the County negotiating with another provider already? If so, that should be made clear now. Surely they are not pushing to close the existing facility without having another provider lined up. So, who are they? What are their policies?

What assurances do they bring to the table regarding the obvious need for beds for Medicaid only residents in Dare County?

Lisa Tolson


July 11, 2011 3:38 pm

This will be a HUGE issue, not just for those who live in NH but for all of the Outer Banks. I don’t have any personal stake in this now, but, thinking ahead, my family or I may at some point need the services Colony Ridge offers. Bob Oates’ comments seem too cute by half. He appears to be an intelligent man who’s way out in left field on this one—-he comes across as believing himself to be so much more cerebral than are the minions who live here—–this one will bite him in the butt if not properly resolved.

sarah mcphall

July 11, 2011 1:43 pm

My name is Sarah Mcphall.I am writing to you today out of concern for what is happening with the closing of Colony Ridge.My sister has been a life-long resident of Dare County and a resident at this facility for four years.She is bedridden.Has all but lost her sight and hearing.She has dimentia,This is going to be devasting to her physical and mental condition.I am so hurt that this is about to happen.She will have to be moved to another facility far away if there is another facility that she can be moved too.I just wanted to let you know my concern that a town this small would do this to their aging citizens at a time in their life when they needed them the most,not to mention the staff that wofk their will be out of work.They have all been so instumental in my sister’s care.Since I am a very religious person and believe in God I know he will take care of those who are making this decision and letting this happen to their residents who are unable to speak for themselves.We will all one day be held accountable for our deeds done on this earth and if you all live long enough who knows you each may end up in a facility as this, that you depend on for your care.Remember,God’s eyes are on the sparrow and he is watching over you and your unjust deeds.


July 11, 2011 1:21 pm

If you want the BOC to do something about it, let the out of state property owners put their loved ones in Colony Ridge. The BOC has no problem helping them. They sure don’t care about NH residents.

Gary Horton

July 11, 2011 12:32 pm

In response to R. I am sure that if the day comes when you may need a nursing home you can probably find a very nice place in another state. It might be a little difficult for your family to visit but I am sure you will adapt. Yes there are only 60 residents there but how many people have to be torn away from their homes before it becomes a problem? My mother is 92 years old and is a resident there and this closing will be devastating to her. As you are a frequent visitor there maybe you could explain this to her because I don’t know how too.


July 11, 2011 7:31 am

The majority voted NO to BN,and what did Bob O an BOC do just the opposite! Like he said BN is about protecting there TAX BASE!They need to hold there$$$ for more sand. What does NH gain by buying this place, a loss! ITs like a silent exacution of our elders,Once everyone is kicked to the curb,then will they buy it, Mao an Stalin would be so proud of Bob o an the BOC!

John VanderMyde

July 11, 2011 7:07 am

Bob O – I guess I don’t understand why it’s so important for the town to get the C.O.N.

It seems to me, all that needs to be done to keep the facility open is to let the operator retain the C.O.N.

Am I missing something?


July 11, 2011 1:06 am



July 11, 2011 12:09 am

I think that is the long run the Town of Nags Head is making the right decision for future seniors of the Outer Banks. I admit this will be difficult for the current residents and families [how many? 60 or so] But what about the many, many more that will be needing care in the future? Don’t they deserve a more commited management? This can only happen if the town can acquire the CON. I for one would not have to a resident at Colony Ridge one day. And yes I have spent alot of time at the facility.

Nags Head Resident

July 10, 2011 11:27 pm

Bob O, It stated that Colony Ridge accepted the $10 a month lease and they would put 1.5 million in the renovations, and in turn they requested a 15 year lease with the option for 2 more 15 year terms and the town of Nags Head would keep the Certificate of Need. That sounds great. You get a new building and the CON and the town gets a nursing home for 45 more years, and most of all the residents there now will remain. I don’t get why you didn’t accept that? It sounds like that’s the stability you were looking for. And you still get to be “Big Brother”
You stated that it was Colony Ridge that decided to close the facility. What else do you do when the owner (The Town of Nags Head) won’t renew their (Colony Ridge) lease. If my landlord didn’t want to renew my lease, I would have to leave. Of course they have to close. They are going to help the families relocate their loved ones. Unfortunately, when I called around, I am looking as far as Raleigh. What do I do with that.

Prince of Peeps

July 10, 2011 11:21 pm

Bob O, if you are so concerned about cutting the costs of managing the facility, willing to rent for ten dollars a month so the savings can be spent on care, why not just sell the place for $1800 ($10/month X 15 years,) and rebate all the taxes. That would amount to the same thing. As I stated in my previous post, I think you just don’t want to relinquish control. What does the BOC know about running a nursing home, and when has government ever managed anything more efficiently than private enterprise?

Nags Head Resident

July 10, 2011 10:57 pm

Of course it’s the Town of Nags Heads fault. Colony Ridge gives great care. Many family members of residents were at the board meetings stateing their loved ones get great care. Those are the people you should listen to. I don’t know why you would think otherwise. Have the NH BOC ever got involved with the care given to make that assumption that Colony Ridge does not give good care? Did they have a loved one stay at the facility? Colony Ridge just had a Survey done by the State and they only got 2 tags that were non-patient related (that’s public record, check it out). That is excellent. Bob O, don’t tell us it’s out of your hands. Your the Mayor. If you can’t get this resolved to keep Colony Ridge open for your voters, then why do you have a job. It will take a long time for other management companies to receive a permit to operate that building as a nursing home. The residents now still have to move far away from family. You are not makeing a good decision and its obvious the Dare County residents are not happy with you and your staff. You are not looking at the big picture, Colony Ridge has to close because YOU WON’T RENEW THE LEASE. They want to stay. They can’t close the doors with the residents in it. If you have another management company interested, then tell them to get in there the day after the lease is up and have them renovate the place while the residents still live there. This way the residents don’t have to move. But I am sure you know as well as everyone that it can not happen that quick, right! It was stated by your staff at your town meetings to the residents family that they won’t have to leave and care will continue on. What did you think would happen to them when you didn’t sign the lease. I have family at Colony Ridge and I am a Nags Head Resident. I have been involved with this process from the beginning. It was stated at one of your town meetings that Nags Head would sell/lease to Colony Ridge when a concerned family member asked. Then why can’t you resolve this and come to even ground.
Of course Colony Ridge would like to make money. All nursing homes want to. Quality of care was never compromised for my family there. Anything they needed, they were given. Colony Ridge is a small nursing facility, I doubt the profit is high. That is the company you want to run it. This is a “rural area” and anyone that runs that home tries to just break even. The losses are absorbed by the rest of the corporation, and Colony Ridge is apart of a large group. Can you find it in your heart to consider another lease option that both parties can agree on. The residents can’t speak for themselves. Help them stay, PLEASE.


July 10, 2011 10:17 pm

We know it is not a matter of money for the town. But the residents are ALL that matters! As for the qualty of care at the facility obviously you have not been listening to the families that have attended the meetings and have commented on this editorial. Did you read them all? They are not dissatisfied with the care their families are receiving and how can you say you want better quality of care when you don’t visit the home or anyone on the board for that matter. NO ONE has asked the residents how they are treated or if they are happy with the care they receive. THE FAMILIES are speaking about the care and I have not heard 1 family with residents that are currently residing in Colony Ridge have anything bad to say about the facility! Talk to residents and families of residents that were short term they will tell you how satisfied they were as well!


July 10, 2011 9:56 pm

PLEASE DO NOT LET THE TOWN OF NAGS HEAD FOOL YOU! Each side is blaming the other and if you contact the town of Nags Head they are going to blame Colony Ridge and tell you it is out of their hands but that is not so! This nursing home needs to be saved and the town needs to give up their control, they have NO BUISINESS trying to control a nursing home when they know nothing about healthcare or running a nursing home. Please FAMILIES AND CONCERNED CITIZENS DO NOT GIVE UP CONTACT THE TOWN OF NAGS HEAD AND TELL THEM HOW YOU FEEL AND DO NOT LET THEM TELL YOU IT IS OUT OF THEIR HANDS BECAUSE IT IS NOT! The residents lives and homes are at stake they have no one to speak for them other than YOU! SO PLEASE LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD. And if the town continues to allow this to happen LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD AT ELECTION TIME. I KNOW I WILL BE CAMPAIGNING AGAINST THEM COME ELECTION TIME!

Nags Head Resident

July 10, 2011 9:44 pm

Maybe the residents at Colony Ridge should go to the Town Office and plea to remain in their homes. We need to stand together and fight this. It’s not too late.
Keep calling the Town Manager of Nags Head and voice your concerns. Send your concerns to WAVY 10. You can do it online real easy. The more inquiries, the more serious it will be taken. It’s obvious the Dare County Residents feel the town of Nags Head Commissioners and Town Manager is at fault. Colony Ridge wants to continue managing the building. Of course they need to make it work for them. Why should The Town of Nags Head stop them, Colony Ridge wants to care for the Dare County Residents and also renovate the building, and it is in desperate need of a renovation.

Bob O

July 10, 2011 9:33 pm

Nags Head sponsored the bonds for the original facility, around 1980. Britthaven would not be here without Nags Head’s interest in having a nursing home, and the town’s sponsorship in the early eighties. The builder/developer of the facility received a significantly reduced interest rate, and the deal was that the facility reverted to the town when the bonds were paid off.

The Town is willing to offer a $10 per month rent to a management company that will do the needed capital repairs to the building, and work with us to improve the quality of care. We have tried to work out something with Colony Ridge, but they are unwilling to stipulate that the CON will belong to the Town when the building reverts.

Our preference was to work with the current operator, and have the capital improvements, which we all agree are necessary, take place while the residents were still there.

Our intent is to find a willing partner, work with them to identify and make the necessary improvements, and have a plan for ongoing maintenance and repair. Colony Ridge is the entity that has decided to close the facility – we do not own the facility yet, and do not have a say in this decision. There are other operators that are interested in operating the facility, but Colony Ridge has indicated they intend to take legal action to determine ownership of the CON.

Selling the facility would just mean a higher cost to whoever was running it. We would rather those funds be spent on patient care, capital improvements and ongoing maintenance. When we offer the facility for rent for ten dollars a month, we want to make sure that the reduced cost is invested in better care, not more profits for the management company. We want the town ownership of the facility to be used to improve the care, not improve the profits.

It’s not a matter of getting money for the Town. I only wish this issue was as simple as beach nourishment. Nourishment is about property values and the long term health of the town. The management of the long term care facility is about lives, and the immediate care of our older population. It’s a lot more important than sand on the beach. We will do our absolute best to maintain continuous care in the facility.

Prince of Peeps

July 10, 2011 9:12 pm

Both my parents were at Britthaven for several months, and I got to visit every day. That wouldn’t be possible if they had been elsewhere, much farther away. I know other families feel the same way.

The NH BOC has no business being in business. NO government should be in ANY business. Let business run business. (I believe nursing homes are state regulated, so NH shouldn’t have to worry about poor care.) But like most politicians, they want to be in control. They are like the kid who picks up his ball and goes home when he doesn’t get his way. If they can’t have it their way, no one can have anything. They’d rather close it down. The NH BOC should be closed down!

Reba Jordan

July 10, 2011 8:02 pm

My mother is currently in the alhizemers ward at Colony Ridge, Has ANYONE given any thought to the repurcussions of moving these elderly & infirm people from the place that they know as home???I’d just like to say I’d hate to face Jesus with this on my concience, It seems the Almighty dollar is more important than the people…..I say may God have mercy on you for your greed!!!!!!!!

OBX Resident

July 10, 2011 7:37 pm

This is what happens when local government is involved in something they shouldn’t be. Sale the facility and be done with it.


July 10, 2011 7:12 pm sends an email to all 5 of them.
Send your messages like you have written above to this email address. Lots of emails might help, as well as phone calls. If you have the LWV Yellow Book, their numbers and addresses are there, also.
They were offered 2.5Million for the building and land and 1.5Million in upgrades. What they want is utopia and CONTROL.
They started out wanting to get rid of Britthaven. They will accomplish it at the expense of the residents and their families if this continues.

Andria P.

July 10, 2011 6:22 pm

To all the families involved, please call The Town of Nags Head and voice your concern. Everyone on this beach knows someone who lives at Colony Ridge. Some of the residents have lived here all their lives while others were relocated by their sons and daughters to be close to them. If they are relocated (the closest facilities are 100 miles away and are full) to a facility far away, it will be unfamiliar to them, they will not get many family visits because we all work, and the residents will get depressed, stop eating, then unfortunately may not survive. The Town of Nags Head does not understand Geriatric Medicine. They are putting putting first the power of control over the well being of the people they represent. Who are they to determine the fate of these residents. They think another management company will jump right in. They don’t understand the health system. It will take years to to get a permit to run a long term care facility, plus, no one would step into that building unless Nags Head spends millions to renovate it. Colony Ridge is offering to renovate it for them. Wouldn’t that be the best thing for Nags Head and the residents.

Concerned Dare County Resident

July 10, 2011 6:05 pm

If the Town of Nags Head does not resolve this issue before the residents have to be relocated, they better enjoy their last years in office, no one will vote for them again.

Andria P.

July 10, 2011 5:55 pm

Colony Ridge is not only a nursing home, it is a rehabilitation center. That means if you or a loved one gets injured or sick and is not safe to return home yet, Medicare and all insurances will pay for you to stay their and receive Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy to get you back to Prior Functional Level and return home. If the Town of Nags Head does not resolve this matter and keep Colony Ridge open, the residents of Dare county that need those services will have to stay at a facility 1 1/2 to 2 hours away ( 3 – 4 hrs if your from Hatteras Island). As I stated earlier, GET INVOLVED!!!!! If Colony Ridge closes, the Town of Nags Head thinks someone else can just walk in and operate it. It’s not that easy. It will take years for that to happen, plus, no one would rent it under the conditions of the building that Nags Head owns. Nags Head would have to spend millions to renovate. Just let Colony Ridge renovate it. As long as its their for the residents of Dare County, that’s all that matters.

Andria P.

July 10, 2011 5:48 pm

I beg the families of the residents at Colony Ridge to contact The Town of Nags Head and voice your concerns. We all know if those residents have to move further from their families (knowing all the facilities 75 miles away are already full) would be fatel. The residents would not survive. They will get depressed by not haveing family memebers around, then stop eating, and unfortunately pass away. The residents of Colony Ridge are either from The Outer Banks and lived here all their lives or were relocated here from where they are from to be with their daughters/sons. Relocating them to an unfamiliar place can be fatal. We are running out of time. Everyone needs to get involved and save Colony Ridge. Nags Head has no idea the ramifications of their decision. I bet if they had a loved one at Colony Ridge this would not be happening. How can they overluck these residents and just care about CON and money and control. They have no right decideing the fate of these residents. PLEASE CALL THE TOWN OF NAGS HEAD. There is still time to save those residents. GET INVOLVED!!!!!!


July 10, 2011 5:25 pm

What a shame it will be if both sides cannot reach an agreement.

Seems to me the Board has much more to lose on this one if some compromise is not met.

Lisa Tolson

July 10, 2011 1:10 pm

You know who suffers the most here? The elderly and infirm. This is really repulsive! It is a (you fill in the blank here) contest between the town and Colony Ridge. One of the MOST important factors in how well someone does mentally and emotionally in a nursing home is based on visits by family and oversight by family on what the nursing home does. This applies whether it is a two star or five star facility. This is a heartbreak for people who are residents of Colony Ridge…but of course they have NO VOICE. 50 out of the 61 remaining residents are on Medicaid, i.e. poor. Good luck to them getting visits from family if they are moved further away.


July 10, 2011 12:09 pm

Isn’t it funny how Bob O is always right there posting reply after reply when it is about BN? Where is he on this subject?

Ray M.

July 10, 2011 11:42 am

If I lived in Nags Head and you taxed me for beach nourishment and let my elderly mother get kicked out of the nursing home, I wouldn’t be too happy.


July 10, 2011 9:40 am

Why dont the the people of NH vote to close it,an Bob o and the boc can do what they did with BN!

Ray M.

July 10, 2011 8:17 am

When Dare County imposes the additonal 1% occupancy tax, effective January 2012, it will bring the total amount going into that tax coffer to $7+ million per year. If the county can throw that much money per year into the ocean, perhaps they can find a way to chisel off a few bucks to help keep this important facility open on the Outer Banks.
And, don’t tell me the money HAS to be used for beach nourishment. There just has to be a will to get it done and where there’s a will, there’s a way. We just need to get the right people in local elected ofices.

Mark Jordan

July 9, 2011 11:57 pm

My Mother-in-Law, who will turn 100yrs old on April 15, 2012, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic in the North Atlantic, is a resident of Colony Ridge. She is legally deaf and blind and very unsteady on her feet. The closing of this facility has already caused great distress for our family, and we are being told by the Dare county social services office that any in-home nursing care they may be able to provide us if we bring her back to Hatteras Island will be delayed because of the waiting list of other elderly applicants. This woman has lived on the Outer Banks of NC her entire life. If she is evicted from her residence at Colony Ridge, our choices will be extremely limited as to her care. Both myself and my wife (her daughter) work full time. wothout this facility, my wife will probably be unable to work so she can care for her mother. without this income, we may lose OUR house. what will our options be then? I urge the leaders of the Town of Nags Head to consider the results of this decision. The care of the elderly is one of the moral barometers that society is judged by. Will the leaders of the Nags Head community be remembered for their business savvy regarding ownership of this needed property? Or will this result in unnecesary hardship for the residences and families directly involved? Not to mention the employment of the fine staff of Colony Ridge.

Gary Horton

July 9, 2011 8:52 pm

Michele contact the mayor and comm. at maybe if they get enough Email they will settle this.

Kristen B

July 9, 2011 8:31 pm

I have to second the comments made by Gary Horton. Alot of the residents will not understand the changes taking place and the ones that do..are heartbroken. That is their HOME!!!!I hope the Town of Nags Head and Colony Ridge consider the damage they are inflicting on residents, family members, and the WONDERFUL STAFF!!!!

Gary Horton

July 9, 2011 6:55 pm

My mother is also a resident at Colony Ridge.I can understand why they want to retain the certificate of need if they are going to invest 1.5 million in the facility. To invest that amount of money with no guarantees would be foolish.One would think that the two parties could come to an agreement on this issue. Considering the pain this is causing the residents and their families.My mother has been there for about 2 years now and considers that her home.It will be terrible if she is forced to leave now.I am not sure if she will be able to understand why this is happening.I still hope that both parties can come to an agreement before it’s too late.


July 9, 2011 5:17 pm

Duke’s comment was right on. Nags Head has no business in the private sector!

michele clark

July 9, 2011 3:27 pm

My mother resides at colony ridge, I was contacted yesterday 7/7/11 that they were closing 8/31…I brought my mother her from NJ, then she had health issues, luckily Britthaven was here. Now the next available is Sentara in Barco, and NO BEDS…What do we do. My mother requires long term full time care, which I can not provide. This is awful, what is Nags Head thinking. How much money do they want? they need to re-visit this, there has to be a way to compromise! Who do I need to talk to?

john rice

July 9, 2011 2:40 pm

I really hope this isn’t a game that’s being played at the expense of the residents and their families. I see this sort of thing in the health insurance industry when providers and carriers can’t agree on reimbursement. Both sides send letters to their constituencies, people freak, and, 99% of the the time, there’s a miraculous agreement in the 11th hour. How slimy it would be if this were the scenario unfolding now—-if so, shame on both the town and the facility.

John VanderMyde

July 9, 2011 12:46 pm

The question that stands out to me is: Why is the certificate of need so hard to get? Should a state certificate carry so much value? Doesn’t it hurt the elderly to suppress competition by limiting the number of nursing homes?


July 9, 2011 11:59 am

@ Allen……the real problem is that there are so few beds available anywhere. If you have a loved one that needs this type of facility, you will probably be on a waiting list for some time……regretfully hoping someone dies just so you can get their bed. Gee……sure hope the Town board has really thought this through……

Duke Geraghty

July 9, 2011 10:07 am

Why is the Town of Nags Head in the nursing home business? Sell the property and let private industry take over. Take the money and add the property to the tax base, lower property taxes or pay off some of it’s obligations. We have to get used to a smaller government but Nags Head seems to always want to always expand it’s control. Nags Head owns way too much property. So while Nags Head flexes its muscles the residents will have to look for care elsewhere. A hardship for those who need to take care of sick and elderly loved ones. Bad move guys


July 9, 2011 7:05 am

I don’t know anyone living at the place, but this looks like a disaster. Where are the residents supposed to go? 100 miles inland?

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