The Napa Valley spirit, #Napavalleyspirit is on full display with neighbors helping neighbors, volunteers making difficult times a little less difficult, and firefighters, first responders and law enforcement putting the needs of others first during the largest wildfires in California’s history.
In Napa County, the wildfires mostly affected the eastern and western hills surrounding the valley floor. Many of the hotels, wineries, restaurants and other businesses throughout the Napa Valley have remained open or are fully reopening this week to welcome visitors. A small number of businesses remain closed. But for the most part, as Napa Valley, enters its third week since the #wineinferno, business is alive and open for business. This past weekend saw packed restaurants in Napa and Yountville and the streets filled with activity again.
HopCreek Pub in the Napa community of Browns Valley is one of the initial restaurants that didn’t lose power and kept everyone fed when their neighbors were left in the dark. Co-owner, Stacy DeGrano said she was amazed by the response of her customers.
“The thing I noticed during the week of this tragedy was the community was calm and collective, not freaking out,” said DeGrano. “Mainly what people were looking for was comfort and were adjusting to the daily situation of what was going on. Yeah there was a lot of confusion and desperation for information because a lot of the communication services were down, but there was no chaos. I’m proud of our community and we were glad we were able to be open to serve the people.”
Sara Dealy, a bartender at Tarla Mediterranean Bar and Grill, said everyone seems to be in good spirits.
“We have had customers come in who has lost everything and their attitudes have been positive,” she said.
The Oxbow Commons located east of Downtown Napa is gathering place for both locals and visitors and is again hustling with activity.
If you are planning to visit Napa in the near future, Visit Napa Valley encourages visitors to finalize their itineraries directly with their hotel, winery, restaurant, or other activity.
“We are humbled by the incredible dedication we have seen from the emergency service response teams who continue to work to keep everyone safe,” stated Clay Gregory, president & CEO of Visit Napa Valley. “The outpouring of support from around the world has been heartwarming to everyone in our community, and the spirit of collaboration to rebuild and reopen is remarkable. Our thoughts remain with those impacted by these wildfires, as well as the more than 13,000 people whose jobs are supported by the Napa Valley tourism industry,” added Gregory.
The economic impact of the wildfires in Napa County is not yet known and the October 2017 lodging revenue will not be reported for many weeks.
Updated visitor information may be found on VisitNapaValley.com. The Visit Napa Valley Welcome Center is open daily from 9am – 5pm in downtown Napa to assist guests with personalized itineraries, as are the welcome centers in American Canyon, Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga.
To contribute to relief efforts and support those who have been affected or displaced by the fires, Visit Napa Valley is recommending donating to the Napa Valley Community Foundation.
A list of fire relief fundraisers may also be found on VisitNapaValley.com
“We are also thinking about our wine country partners in Sonoma and Mendocino counties and will continue to support each other. I’m confident that the entire California wine country will be stronger and better than ever,” said Gregory.