Coronavirus trip cancellations hit Wine Country hospitality businesses

The region's hospitality industry is beginning to show signs of distress with the new coronavirus outbreak.

The Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country hotel in Santa Rosa is reporting more than $500,000 in lost revenue for March - and people are still on the fence for the beginning of April, said Nanci Figueroa, director of sales and marketing.

“We've had probably over five groups canceling their meetings and rooms,” Figueroa said, noting much of the lost business is from corporations that now have travel bans in place. That includes the Hyatt's corporate office, which cancelled a trade show for next week in New York, she said.

“We're working with our clients because we understand the situation,” she said. Cancellation fees are being waived in exchange for rebooking by Dec. 31.

Jennifer Buffo, chief operating officer at Pure Luxury Transportation, a Petaluma-based business that services Sonoma and Napa counties, said the company has been losing business over the last two months. January's business was down by 26.5%; February's figures are expected to be down by about 35%, once they're finalized, she said.

“We've had a lot more cancellation than two or three weeks ago,” Buffo said. “We've had cancellations even into April. Some are rescheduling, but some are not.”

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