Economist sees three paths for Napa economy

Impact conference includes top economist, Napa wine industry leaders

Economist sees three paths for Napa economyBusiness Journal Q&As with conference panelists

Bart Araujo, proprietor, Araujo Estate Wines

Andy Beckstoffer, president, Beckstoffer Vineyards

Jayson Pahlmeyer, founder and proprietor, and Brian Hilliard, president, Pahlmeyer Wines

Mario Zepponi, partner, Zepponi & Company

NAPA -- The Napa Valley can take three paths for its economic future, options that Los Angeles-based Beacon Economics Founding Principal Chris Thornberg said should have a common starting point for policy makers: early planning and clear vision to build on the strength that wine and tourism have brought to the region.

[caption id="attachment_28179" align="alignright" width="120" caption="Chris Thornberg"][/caption]

"My perspective is that there are three paths that political forces in Napa can choose. One is -- maintain the status quo, keep it a high-end area and ride on its historic reputation," he said. "Alternatively, there are two other ways they can go -- How do we step up our game in combination with tourism, and what about ultimately developing our industrial base in the way that Sonoma has?'"

In the days leading to his keynote speech at the North Bay Business Journal's annual "Impact Napa" economic conference Thursday, Mr. Thornberg said that he saw a number of pressures encroaching on Napa's dominance among other wine-making regions in the United States.Chris Thornberg's presentation at Impact Napa

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