Napa merchants want tourists to know they are open for business

Napa stores and restaurants worry the images of earthquake damage will scare business away.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
The Mayor of Napa, Jill Techel, says 80 percent of the wineries escaped the earthquake without damage. But many Napa shops and restaurants dependent on tourism are afraid images of broken barrels and ruined vintages will keep tourists away.

Even if you call the glass half full, there's no way to see this wine tasting room as anything but empty.

"Last week, this place was packed, there were people hanging out the door, waiting to get in and this week it's like a ghost town," said Alan Arnople of Peju Province Winery.

That's worrisome, especially since Peju sells the vast majority of its wine on site.

Harvest is peak tourist season.

"We need people to come, we need people to come," said Arnopole.

Beyond the vineyards, visitors support many of Napa's other businesses.

On Sunday, Chef Todd Humphries of Kitchen Door lost a wall of wine.

"We're open for business now, life has to go on you know," said Humphries.

That's the attitude this couple from Florida says out-of-towners should embrace.

"I would say, definitely come out, just call ahead before, see what's affected, what's not affected and your trip should be fine," said tourist Lauren Tagliagambe.

Patricia Trimble, owner of The Roost store relies heavily on tourism.

"This is my livelihood, this isn't a hobby store. It's how I eat, it's what feeds my family," said Trimble.

She expected to make money selling to late summer crowds this week. Instead she lost tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise and repairs. If tourism doesn't pick back up, she's worried about the future.

"Please come to Napa, we need you, all of us, it's going to be rough, it's going to be really rough," said Trimble.

Napa merchants want the world to know that they are open for business.
Related Topics:
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