Visit Napa Valley Statement: Outdoor experiences and their role in Napa Valley’s continued economic recovery

Visit Napa Valley supports the investment to establish and protect pedestrian zones and outdoor experiences in the City of Napa and throughout the valley.  Pedestrian zones and outdoor experiences benefit both our local community and visitors.

As a rural four-season destination, Napa Valley lends itself naturally to socially distancing and al fresco experiences. As we’ve seen over the past two years, our community and visitors enjoy and expect the many attractive outdoor experiences we now offer, such as outdoor music, dining, trails, and recreation. It also, importantly, sets us apart from other destinations – a tangible benefit to our community.

Napa Valley’s tourism industry has recovered faster than other California destinations. Our hotel revenues in 2021 reached 98% of 2019 pre-pandemic levels, and the City of Napa is now looking at receiving its biggest Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) contribution ever in 2022. The new Stanly Ranch property, for example, will generate an estimated $5 million alone in TOT funds in its first year open that go to the City of Napa’s General Fund, not to mention the contributions totaling $3.5 million they have paid into the housing trust.

Visitors are coming back to Napa Valley, staying longer, and spending more because we came together as a community to champion health and safety; we prioritized outdoor experiences (such as the closure of part of Main Street in Downtown Napa); we took seriously masking, vaccination, and social distancing. We have won back more than our fair share of visitors and we continue to do so.  Where other California destinations are still struggling, Napa Valley hospitality industry is returning to pre-pandemic contributions to the General Fund.

We all recall the tough conversations around the possibility of cutting the City of Napa’s Parks & Recreation budget (in addition to other department impacts) in 2020 as a result of reduced TOT revenues and visitor supported sales tax revenues.  Thankfully we aren’t in that position this year. Our hospitality industry is looking forward to a busy, but sustainable summer travel season, and accelerating recovery of our economic contribution to our cities and towns.  Tourism tax revenue through TOT will once contribute at least 30% of the City of Napa’s general fund budget.

Help our community and welcome visitors by saying yes to investing in and creating spaces we can all enjoy. Visit Napa Valley, on behalf of our hospitality industry, supports turning Main Street between 2nd and 3rd streets into a pedestrian zone.

The tourism industry’s contribution to Napa Valley is vital. Here’s a look at the numbers that illustrate the impact on Napa Valley.

  • Hospitality is the second largest employer in Napa County – behind the wine industry.
  • In normal years, the tourism industry injects more than $2 billion into Napa Valley businesses and supports an estimated 16,000 jobs in the community.
  • Overnight hotel guests make up approximately 35% of visitors, but account for 70% of the spending.
  • Napa Valley’s visitors generate $85.1 million in tax revenue that goes to support local services like recreation, public safety, and road improvements. Note: this is revenue is generated by hotel stays that is paid for by visitors, not residents.