Resilient Sonoma County one year later: Open for business
SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — The first anniversary of the October 2017 wildfires in Sonoma County approaches and the destination is open for business.
And Sonoma County’s hospitality businesses are doing what they do best — providing guests with a world-class welcome and unforgettable experiences. Visiting supports the thousands of residents who work in the hospitality industry, where 91 percent of businesses are locally owned. When you visit Sonoma County, you support local families.
Here are a few facts about Sonoma County today:
- While devastating, much of the area was undamaged by the fires, only 10 percent of Sonoma County’s 1 million acres. And much of that has seen regrowth. Homes and businesses are beginning to be rebuilt.
- Hundreds of hotels, inns, B&Bs, campgrounds and vacation rentals are open for business. A boom of hotel openings and expansions is happening in Sonoma County. While three properties were lost, the Holiday Inn Windsor Wine Country, Oxford Inn & Suites (Rohnert Park), and the boutique Astro Motel (Santa Rosa) have opened and several other lodging properties are opening or expanding within the year. The number of hotel rooms available in Sonoma County remains about the same, around 6,600.
- A few hotels were damaged and have since reopened. Most took the opportunity to do a larger remodel: the Sandman, the Gaige Hotel, Kenwood Inn & Spa, and the Olea Hotel.
- Less than 500 vineyard acres of the 60,000 planted to grapes were damaged, representing less than 1 percent of the total acres. Vineyards acted as natural firebreaks, helping to slow the spread of wildfires.
- More than 90 percent of the 2017 winegrape harvest was completed prior to the onset of the fires. Sonoma County vintners and winemakers have a positive outlook on the 2017 vintage and are committed to only releasing quality wines that Sonoma County wine enthusiasts have come to know and love.
- Paradise Ridge in Santa Rosa was the only winery that lost its tasting room and cellar. However, the estate vineyards survived and continue to thrive. The winery welcomes guests at its tasting room in Kenwood, for wine tasting, tours, and pairings. The Santa Rosa winery will be rebuilt, and the popular Marijke’s Grove sculpture garden is currently open to the public on weekends, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Oct. 28, 2018.
- A few restaurants were also damaged. Willi’s Wine Bar, an iconic Sonoma County institution, will be reopening in another Santa Rosa location. Also, Sweet T’s, which brought Southern-style barbecue and cuisine to Santa Rosa, is set to reopen in Windsor. Both restaurants are slated to open by the end of the year.
- Sonoma County is open for business, from Sonoma Valley to the Sonoma Coast, and from Petaluma to Cloverdale. It’s a perfect time to explore the region and enjoy tasting rooms, brew pups, beautiful forests, oak-studded hills, and gorgeous beaches. The weather is good, there is a full slate of events, and the hospitality remains unmatched. Visiting now helps support local businesses and families
- Sonoma County is part of the San Francisco Bay Area, in Northern California’s celebrated wine country, around 30 miles north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge; bordered by Marin, Napa, Lake, and Mendocino counties, the Pacific Ocean, and the San Pablo Bay.
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Sonoma County, located 30 miles north of San Francisco, provides a genuine and adventurous Wine Country experience, featuring more than 425 wineries, 100-plus organic farms, acclaimed restaurants, a thriving arts community, and 50-plus miles of stunning Pacific coast.
For a free visitors guide or information on hotels, wineries, events, spas, attractions, and dining in Sonoma County, visit www.sonomacounty.com or call 707-522-5800 or 800-576-6662.
Public Relations Manager
Editors: We have current high-res photos of Sonoma County that have been taken since the onset of the fires. No password is needed – sonomacounty.smugmug.com/Current.