Sonoma West Times & News has a fantastic article on the disintegration of the wine tourism economy in Sonoma, which we felt needs to be shared.
The welcome mat for Sonoma County’s wine country was rolled up several weeks ago in the midst of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place, and there is no prediction of when it might be rolled out again. Only a little over one quarter (27.8%) of the county’s 7,000 lodging rooms were occupied at the beginning of this month, down from an average occupancy rate of 78% from a year ago.
The economic ripple effects on the rest of the local economy are just beginning to be calculated as the county’s $2.175 billion annual tourism economy is now all but closed. Among the 24,750 workers recently filing for unemployment here, it is estimated that 12% are from the hospitality and restaurant industry.