By Kate Mulligan, Leslie Myers, Nora McAuley
Did you know that in 2018 visitors to Napa Valley spent $2.23 billion and the tax revenue for the Valley’s tourism industry generated more than $85 million in local services? In addition, the tourist industry supported 15,872 jobs in Napa Valley in 2018.
Those numbers represent just some of the benefits the tourism industry brings to Napa Valley residents every year.
During the day focused on Napa Valley’s tourism industry, Class 33 learned how tourism and the hospitality industry contributes to the economic well-being of the Valley’s communities. At the same time, we experienced a sampling of the Valley’s bountiful offerings to tourists and locals alike.
The Napa Valley Welcome Center is the go-to resource for Napa Valley knowledge, including information on activities, restaurants, shopping and of course, wine tour/tasting information. It’s a starting place for many visitors who receive wonderful hospitality and personal attention by staff and 75+ volunteers. One of our classmates mentioned the Welcome Center is his first stop for Napa Valley-related gifts.
Many historic landmarks serve as destinations in Napa Valley, several of which are in the downtown Napa area. The Napa River Inn, the White House Inn and Ackerman Heritage House are beautifully restored buildings that welcome guests with options such as overnight accommodation in cozy fireplace rooms overlooking the Napa River to bespoke cooking classes and artisanal afternoon teas. All are said to have friendly ghosts.
CIA at Copia is a showplace in the Oxbow area and a destination for everyone. From the restaurants to the Chuck Williams Museum and a visual showcase on Julia Child to demonstration kitchens, shopping and a theater, it is a place for all things food.
In addition to attractions in downtown Napa, the Valley’s cities and towns of American Canyon, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga impress with their wide range of delightful attractions that all can enjoy.
To end the delightful day, two of Napa Valley’s wineries gave the group a taste of sparkling wine at Domain Carneros and a look at the new visitor experiences at Cakebread Cellars.