VIDEO: Weeks after North Bay Firestorm, Napa hotels still recovering


NAPA (KRON) — Within 24 hours after the North Bay firestorm sparked in Sonoma and Napa counties, a hotel in Napa opened up its doors to those displaced, offering free rooms to help out.

But now, as the Napa Valley tries to recover, so are businesses like the Senza Hotel.

The smoke that for weeks blocked the balcony views at the Senza Hotel in Napa has cleared up, making a visit to this boutique establishment all the more inviting.

Workers are back tending to the hotel’s lush vineyards.

But General Manager Graham Yallop says getting the word out, and convincing visitors to re-book and come back, like for more many other businesses, has been a challenge.

“We’re looking around about a 50-percent reduction year-over-year in loss of business due to the fires,” Yallop said.

And that’s in part, he says, because immediately after the fires broke out during Napa’s busiest month of the year, the owners of the Senza hotel, Craig and Kathryn Hall, gave rooms away.

“Since Oct. 8, we’ve then gone on to offer over 260 room nights for those that were displaced,” Yallop said. “As well as a place for firefighters and first responders to lay their head to get back to the action of trying to qualify and get it under control.”

The Halls, who also own the Hall and Walt wineries in Napa and Sonoma, are donating their tasting fees from October to the fire relief effort.

But Graham says his hardworking employees need help as well–not donations, but just your business.

Typically, the rooms right now would be filled.

The pool areas would be packed and getting a reservation would be tough.

Right now, that’s not the case.

“We have people here who are purely…able to get more hours when we have more rooms sold,” Yallop said. “So, when you think of Napa, think of the grassroots. Think of those who serve the Napa Valley. Those who take care of people who come here and look beyond the doors, and look into the business and realize that there are people that, at this time of year, whether it’s the holiday season or not, they have bills to pay as well as everybody else does.”

So even a day trip to the Napa Valley and a few bucks spent here or there will keep businesses alive and able to thrive.

“We will recover. We are Napa strong,” Yallop said. “We are Sonoma strong, and we look forward to taking care of everybody as soon as you find the chance to return.”

Hopefully, it will happen sooner rather than later.

And KRON4 is teaming up once again with the Salvation Army to raise money, this time, for the North Bay fire victims.

The donation lines will be open during the KRON4 Morning News from 6 a.m. until 10 a.m.

They will open up again in the evening from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m.

And as always, if you cannot call in to donate, you can also make contributions online.



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