High-season hotel space and a lost childhood reclaimed

By Brian King


As someone whose livelihood relies on selling wine to local hotels, restaurants and shops, I’ve said for years that it is incredibly appropriate that the Bear Flag Revolution happened right here in our square.

The reason is that, today, the annual cycle of our local economy is like that of a bear – we must fatten up as much as we can during the busy summer months to survive the lean hibernating winter months that lay ahead.

I’ve read a statistic about hotel occupancy in Sonoma being somewhere in the 60-percent range. Indeed, if you take the total occupancy and divide it by 365 days, you’ll get a figure somewhere in the 60s. But that would also be like saying that AT&T Park in San Francisco only averaged 10,000 fans, because you took the total attendance and divided it by a year. The real question is, what is the occupancy during those bud-break to harvest months (May through October) when our economy needs as much influx as possible? If someone bothers to ask that question, you’d find the answer to be more in the 95-to-100 percent range, and that is why this hotel is being brought up.

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