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3 luxury hotels in Sonoma and Napa counties announce temporary closures during virus lockdown

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Two Sonoma County hotels and one in Napa that had initially stayed open following the statewide shelter-in-place order to help contain COVID-19 have temporarily closed.

Vintners Resort and Geyserville Inn both shuttered operations, effective March 23. Archer Hotel Napa temporarily closed its doors on March 20.

The latest closures further reflect the impact of the new coronavirus on the North Bay’s hospitality industry. Hotel occupancy figures for the first two weeks of March has shown a decline in the region, as previously reported in the Business Journal.

Marcella Thompkins, McCue Communications account director and spokeswoman for Geyserville Inn and Vintners Resort, declined on their behalf to state how many people are employed at each property or their current job status.

“At Vintners Resort, we consider our guests and staff to be part of our family, so it is hard to say goodbye to everyone, even if it is just temporary,” Percy Brandon, general manager of the Santa Rosa property, said in a statement. “At the same time, we have to protect our family and we know this is the right thing to do.”

In February, the property underwent a rebranding, changing its name from Vintners Inn to Vintners Resort. The name change followed the October 2018 completion of its $17 million master renovation, a 2-year-long project of which $4.2 million went to a newly constructed, 5,000-square-foot full-service spa. The project also added another 34 guest rooms, for a total of 78 rooms.

Dan Christensen Sr., owner of Geyserville Inn, said in a statement the hotel was temporarily closed to protect guests and staff from COVID-19, and will reopen when it’s deemed safe, temporarily scheduled for April 8.

“With everyone’s health in mind, it just didn’t make sense for us to continue operations at the Geyserville Inn and Grille,” Christensen said in the statement. “The best thing for everyone right now is to stay home. These are uncertain times, but we know that we, along with all of our neighbors in Sonoma County, will come out of this stronger than ever.”

Geyserville Inn last year completed the first phase of its more than $1.5 million transformation from a quaint farmhouse inn to a high-end hotel. The scope of the project includes painting the hotel’s exterior, renovating the hotel’s 41 guest rooms, remodeling the lobby, adding a tasting room, a business conference center and a spa.

Archer Hotel Napa posted on its website that it closed “in an effort to help contain the new coronavirus for the well-being of our guests, our team and our community.”

“No Archer Hotel employees were terminated, but many have been temporarily furloughed,” according to an email statement from Cheryl Gilliam, senior vice president, brands and marketing at LodgeWorks, a Wichita, Kansas-based firm that owns, operates and developed the property. The company didn’t respond when asked whether or not the hotel’s furloughed workers are continuing to be paid.

Archer Hotel Napa, which opened in November 2017, is the anchor of downtown Napa. The hotel was part of the First Street Napa project, a 325,000-square-foot overhaul started in 2013 that transformed three blocks of downtown.

Staff Writer Cheryl Sarfaty covers tourism, hospitality, health care and education. Reach her at cheryl.sarfaty@busjrnl.com or 707-521-4259.

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