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RH just bought an abandoned Napa resort to develop its own winery and hotel

RH (formerly known as Restoration Hardware) is continuing on its quest to be known more for luxury experiences than its plush, expensive furniture.

In an earnings call this week, CEO Gary Friedman announced the purchase of an 857-acre property in Napa, as first reported by the San Francisco Business Times. The luxury retail company has plans to develop the long-abandoned former resort site into a high-end getaway complete with its own winery.

"We'll build an experience the world has never seen," Friedman said on the call.

The former site of Napa Soda Springs Resort, the property went on the market in 2019 for $50 million, the first time it had been for sale in 40 years. A 2019 press release announcing the listing detailed the property features, including "a stunning 80-foot waterfall, vistas of Poppy Hill, the magma rock-strewn slope of Babylon Plane, and a multitude of free flowing mineral springs that have been historically prized and bottled for their taste and health-giving properties."

Opened in 1856, the resort was a popular vacation spot for well-to-do travelers seeking a healing experience from the springs, a burgeoning trend at the time. The resort eventually closed after World War I and later, fires ravaged many of the structures. Some original stone facades remain and it's unclear whether the company will include them in its plans for development. RH would not provide further details on development plans to SFGATE. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The Corte Madera-based company has accelerated its expansion beyond home furnishings in recent years, opening up "galleries" that include showrooms and restaurants, as well as upscale "hospitality experiences" that operate like exclusive hotels. "RH San Francisco, The Gallery" opened in March, featuring five floors of showrooms and a restaurant on Pier 70 in the Dogpatch neighborhood and "RH Guesthouse New York," which includes luxury suites, opened this month.

Friedman also teased another acquisition at the end of the earnings call, this time a forthcoming property in Europe he said he couldn't disclose details of yet.

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