Hotel revenues begin to recover

The sign for the Graton Resort & Casino's hotel casts a shadow near the main entrance, in Rohnert Park, on Wednesday, September 28, 2016. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)


Hotel revenues began a slow recovery from substantial losses in October attributed to the wildfires, and even posted double digit occupancy rate spikes likely from sheltering firefighters and those who lost homes. But industry talk continues to reflect concern in some areas about the fires’ far-reaching impact on business.

A November report from STR, a data and analytics specialist, shows that Napa County bounced back some from a poor October. In that month, monthly occupancy rates declined nearly 23 percent and monthly revenue dropped more than 36 percent from October, 2017.

November saw declines as well, but much less with occupancy at 69.3%, down 1.5% from November 2016 and average daily room rates at $278.67, down 7.8 %. Revenue for the month was down 4% and for the year less than 1%.

Five recovery business appeared to have played a larger part in the hotel data in Sonoma County which also saw dips in October (Occupancy down 7.8 percent for the month and monthly revenue off by 4.5 percent).

For November, the monthly occupancy rate compared to November 2016 was up 13.5 percent while monthly revenue climbed by more than 21 percent. Year to date revenue was up 7.2 percent, the report stated. Nearby Marin County also saw an increase in occupancy rates in November, and a double-digit increase in revenue.

But fire recovery in the hospitality industry continues to be a concern. Restaurant owners told a special town hall meeting earlier this month a weak October will affect the new year as it took away what was usually a good revenue month. With a limo service operator telling the panel he lost $600,000 in business in a single month, tourist agencies in Napa and Sonoma counties reported they are working together in advertising to lure visitors back.