If the pandemic proved anything, it's that Napa Valley's tourism workforce is an incredibly resilient and passionate bunch. That's especially true at the Harvest Inn, where dedicated tourism pros have worked longer hours and picked up extra shifts to ensure visitors receive the same pre-pandemic, world-class hospitality. As we enter the road to normalcy, Harvest Inn hopes for continued patience, compassion and empathy.
Q: How has the pandemic changed your organization?
The pandemic has changed our organization in tremendous, scary and exciting ways. We had to flex back from 120 team members to 41 for over a year and now are on track to try to rehire enough to get back to 120 again and cannot do so quickly enough to satisfy the business need that is out there as we come roaring back. The recent impact is the shortage of available workforce confronted by the quick resumption in travel demand. This has caused an ever-increasing pay rate demand in order to be a workplace of choice among our community. What is more, I have never experienced the number of hourly team members working 2 or 3 jobs and at those jobs working doubles with overtime the way they are today. It says a lot about the strength of the folks that have rejoined the hospitality workforce that they are willing to make such significant sacrifices to support our organization and work family.
Q: What is your business most looking forward to as the immediate impacts of the pandemic begin to subside?
As the pandemic subsides we are eagerly awaiting some sense of normalcy at all levels. Normalcy with our travel demand, within our hiring and recruitment efforts, and normalcy with our guest expectations. All of these have been in a state of flux for the past 1.5 years and getting back to normal is so desirable as we all crave consistency in our lives.
Q: What lessons do you hope stick around as we go back to “normal”?
I am optimistic that we as a human race might be able to hold onto the concept that we are “in this together.” This was a mantra for so many throughout the pandemic and is such a simple, yet important thing for us not to forget. My hope would be that as we exit the pandemic and reenter the road to normal that we continue to be patient with each other, listen to one another, empathize with each other and value the work that is done at all levels of our economy with a special emphasis on the “essential workers” in our communities.
Q: What does Harvest Inn's comeback look like?
As so many have said, Harvest Inn’s comeback looks a lot like the roaring '20s! The Valley is abuzz with excitement, businesses are prospering and people are back at work! The property went from dormant to activated in a hurry and being here to serve our guests and our local businesses once again feels great for all involved!
Q: Is there anything you'd like visitors to know about Harvest Inn and/or Napa Valley?
Napa is a special place and it takes knowing yourself to know what town/resort best fits your personality! When visiting Napa, consider keeping your experiences local to your destination. If, for example, you are staying here at Harvest Inn you will want to take advantage of our 5 winery partners who all offer tastings included in your visit with us. They are all located strategically at no more than 3 miles from our resort giving our guests more free time and less drive time to enjoy their exploration of our backyard!
Stay tuned for more spotlight pieces on Napa Valley's tourism businesses!