The Napa Valley Welcome Center will celebrate five successful years with a community open house the weekend of April 16-17, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 5p.m. at the Center, located at 600 Main St. in downtown Napa.
Napa Valley residents are encouraged to visit the center to celebrate the milestone anniversary and enjoy the legendary hospitality the Napa Valley is known for, including goodie bags and a 15 percent discount on all mercantile items. Each day will feature a raffle for Napa Valley themed gifts, as well as a grand prize “Vine Trail” hunter green, seven-speed bicycle built by San Francisco based Public Bike. The grand prize was donated by The Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition and has a retail value of $549.
“We’ve welcomed more than 750,000 visitors in the past five years, which is well beyond our expectations,” stated Sarah Wallin, senior manager of Guest Services at the Welcome Center. “Our team has assisted even more visitors online and by phone, and booked more than 8,000 hotel rooms. Our primary goal with each guest is to help create unique experiences in our valley that we hope they will remember long after they’ve returned home.”
The Napa Valley Welcome Center, which provides visitors with complimentary Napa Valley maps, guidebooks, brochures and winery tasting passes, prides itself on also offering the latest in digital technology, complete with a bank of pre-loaded iPads with a state of the art visitor app, tips, and more. The Welcome Center also provides personal concierge services to assist guests who are visiting for the first time as well as repeat visitors who are seeking unique experiences.
Supported by a strong volunteer core of 75, many with ten to 20 years of knowledge about the Napa Valley, coupled by a seasoned full time staff of six, the Welcome Center team is able to handle even the most unusual questions and unique requests.
“The backbone of the Welcome Center is definitely our group of intrepid volunteers,” stated Suzi Hubbard, volunteer coordinator. “Our team lives, works and plays in the Napa Valley, so they really know all the ins and outs and local secrets, and are able to share them with our guests. Two members of our team, Jim and Marianne Soule, have been with the organization since 1993, and several more are closing in on 20 years of assisting Napa Valley visitors make the most out of their stay in the valley.”
“The Concierge Team is available to help visitors with everything from lodging and restaurant reservations, to winery and spa appointments, “ stated Lynn Jakubowski, VIP Concierge. “We work with guests who are planning months in advance, guests who are planning last minute trips, as well as same day walk-ins. We have even arranged wedding proposals, honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations, girlfriend weekends, and more. And, when their visit hasn't gone as planned, we also assist with everything from car repairs and lodging following unplanned medical procedures. After the August 2014 earthquake and Lake County fire in 2015, we even assisted locals with finding affordable temporary lodging.”
While visitors gravitate to the unique and appealing gift items offered at the center, Napa Valley residents also find the mercantile at the center a great gift resource for family and friends. The center offers items such as wine openers and accessories, cookbooks, jams and edibles, locally made artisan soaps and lotions, candles, linens, pottery, as well as the Downtown Napa wine tasting card which includes tastings at eight downtown tasting rooms, all within walking distance of the Welcome Center.
“One of the comments I hear more and more frequently from locals is how they love coming to the Welcome Center for last minute gifts. They appreciate the wide selection and quality of merchandise which has helped us build a strong base of repeat clientele,” states Barbara Crisman, retail manager.
The Napa Valley Welcome Center fifth anniversary celebration will take place Saturday April 16 and Sunday, April 17, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Center located at 600 Main Street in the Riverfront District of downtown Napa. For more information, call or visit www.visitnapavalley.com/welcome-centers/