Napa hotel revenue up 9% for December, January

Stags Leap Winery, seen here on Jan. 6, 2018, is located in the Stags Leap district of Napa Valley. The appellation experienced extensive fire damage as a result of the October 2017 Northern California wildfires. (Sarah Hutton / for Napa Valley Vintners)

NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL, NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Hotel revenue and occupancy in Napa Valley for December and January have increased from the previous year, showing signs of recovery from the October wildfires.

Occupancy was 6.8 percent higher in December 2017 from the previous year and total hotel revenue was up by 9.2 percent. In January 2018, occupancy was 4 percent higher from the previous year. Total hotel revenue was up by 8.8 percent, according to new data from a Visit Napa Valley report from Smith Travel Research.

While the October 2017 wildfires directly affected area residents, the fires burned less than 14 percent of the total of 504,000 acres in Napa County.

“We are extremely fortunate and grateful that the physical effect to Napa County was so limited,” said Clay Gregory, president and CEO for Visit Napa Valley, in a statement.

“Because the October wildfires burned predominantly in the forested hillsides, the well-known Napa Valley floor, located between Highway 29 and the Silverado Trail, saw little to no impact,” Gregory said. The best way for wine enthusiasts to help our community recover is to visit and support our hotels, restaurants and tasting rooms.”

The majority of Napa Valley’s more than 400 wineries were open and hosting guests just days after the fires started and only a small number of wineries in Napa Valley were severely affected by the fires. No hotels in Napa County burned.

Fewer than 10 percent of our 550 winery members reported any direct damage from the fires and much of that was relatively minor, according to Linda Reiff, president and CEO of the Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association.

Ten Napa County wineries suffered significant damage. Production facilities or estate homes were destroyed, equipment was lost, inventory in bottles and barrels was lost, and vines burned. However no wineries reported total loss of property and inventory. Of those wineries that experienced extensive damage, most were not open to the public or have made other arrangements to receive guests while they rebuild, according to the trade group.

Although harvest was wrapping up when the fires broke out, Napa Valley winemakers are “very optimistic” about the quality of the 2017 vintage, Reiff said.

“Nearly 90 percent of the grape harvest was complete when the fires started. The first 2017 wines, like sauvignon blanc, rosé and other aromatic white wines, are being released now,” Reiff said.