Visit Napa Valley is pleased to report that hotel revenue and occupancy for December 2017 and January 2018 have increased from the previous year.
"We greatly appreciate the support we have received from those who have visited the Napa Valley since the October 2017 Northern California wildfires," states Clay Gregory, president and CEO for Visit Napa Valley. “We look forward to continuing to welcome more visitors to experience the Napa Valley spirit in person and see for themselves that our valley is just as beautiful as ever."
Visit Napa Valley credits visitor support for the positive Smith Travel Research (STR) data for December 2017 and January 2018. 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, and total hotel revenue was up by 8.8 percent.
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,” adds Gregory. “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. 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.
“We are so thankful that the Napa Valley wine industry was largely spared,” said Linda Reiff, president and CEO of the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) nonprofit association. “Fewer than ten percent of our 550 winery members reported any direct damage from the fires and much of that was relatively minor.”
According to the Napa Valley Vintners, ten Napa County wineries suffered significant damage (wineries or estate homes destroyed, equipment lost, inventory lost or vineyards lost), 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. Nearly all the region’s wineries are open and eager to welcome visitors and share the warm hospitality for which Napa Valley is known.
Although harvest was wrapping up when the fires broke out, Napa Valley winemakers are very optimistic about the quality of the 2017 vintage. “Nearly 90 percent of the grape harvest was complete when the fires started,” continued Reiff. “The first 2017 wines, like Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé and other aromatic white wines, are being released now. We encourage wine lovers to visit our valley soon to be among the first to try these beautiful wines.”
Cabernet Season, November through April, is one of the best times to visit the Napa Valley. It is a time when the pace slows down; lodging rates are usually a bit lower, especially mid-week (Sunday through Thursday); securing coveted restaurant reservations at one of Napa Valley's more than 150 restaurants is a bit easier; and the weather is ideal for experiencing Napa Valley’s many other unique outdoor activities, including hot air balloons rides, and hiking and biking.