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Napa Valley hotels, restaurants reopen for tourists after nearly 3 months of coronavirus restrictions

“We’re back to business, as usual as we can be,” he said.

Ready to check in

The majority of hotels in Napa, of which there are more than 100, have reopened or plan to this month. They include Auberge du Soleil, Meadowood Napa Valley in St. Helena, Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa, and the DoubleTree Hotel & Spa Napa Valley, located in American Canyon.

The 132-room DoubleTree, like many other hotels in Napa, also has a spa, fitness center and pool. Those elements of a hotel property remain on lockdown.

The DoubleTree’s restaurant has been reconfigured to allow for social distancing and will reopen at the end of the month, said Erik Burrow, general manager.

The morning buffet is another story.

“The DoubleTree was always well-known for its breakfast buffet, and that’s going to go away,” he said. “Everything will have to be packaged individually, and servers will be wearing masks and gloves.”

Although Napa hotels can once again welcome visitors, occupancy isn’t expected to explode any time soon, Burrow said. He couldn’t disclose any financials, but did say the hotel over these past several months has sustained “substantial revenue loss.”

“I’ve done so much analyzing these last several months, and I agree with the analysts that say it’s going to be a 2-year process until we see hotels running high occupancies and airplanes full again,” he said.

Archer Hotel, Arbor Guest House, and Wine Valley Lodge are slated to reopen in July, according to Visit Napa Valley.

Still waiting

Julie Meyers, owner of Greenhaus Day Spa, is among the high-touch business sectors waiting in the wings for clearance to reopen.

The downtown Napa business, open for more than 20 years, offers massages, facials, waxing and nail manicures. Meyers on June 8 sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom to bring businesses like hers to his attention.

“Our industry that focuses on health and wellness has had little to no voice during this pandemic,” Meyers wrote to the governor. “With that said, the reopening process, while good with intent, is negligently harming our industry, both workers and business owners. By not including us in adequate planning or mentioning us as an industry in press conferences, the seeds of doubt from consumers are growing.”

Meyers acknowledged the risk of high-touch businesses, but also noted that massage therapists, nail technicians and estheticians “are all licensed individuals who have always been trained in disinfectant protocols to protect their clients and themselves from communicable diseases.”

Tony Giovannoni, owner of HealthQuest Fitness Center, is another entrepreneur who is awaiting his chance to reopen. Like Meyer of Palisades Napa Saloon, he expressed frustration at the lack of clear information, direction and timing for reopening his business.

The Business Journal spoke with Giovannoni a couple of weeks ago, at which time he was working on moving equipment around in his 33,000-square-foot facility to adhere to physical distancing guidelines; as well as cleaning, disinfecting, painting, re-grouting tile and replacing fixtures.

Throughout shelter-in-place, Giovannoni has had no income while expenses continue, and has not been charging gym members, he told the Business Journal last week.

He just wants to reopen.

“I feel confident that the business will survive,” Giovannoni said. “There’s no way we can recover (from this year), but if we can just get to a break-even point, I’d be quite happy with that.”

Staff Writer Cheryl Sarfaty covers tourism, hospitality, health care and education. Reach her at cheryl.sarfaty@busjrnl.com or 707-521-4259.