Calistoga & North Napa Co
|Feb 6, 2015|
Calistoga, at the northernmost reach of the Napa Valley, was described in mock self deprecation by an activist resident as the "retarded" end of the valley. As the most remote part of the valley floor it has today perhaps fewer tourism impacts than other areas of the valley. The sense of being a place remote from the other goings-on to the south is a part of its charm, and that character of small-townness, once enjoyed by St. Helena and artificially induced in Yountville, remains authentic here.
Calistoga has been a tourist destination since the 1800's with the hot springs the major draw long before the era of wine-fetish tourism. The Indian Springs spa is the descendant of original spa built in the 1860's, and numerous motel like spas built in the 1950's and 60's survive. But the charm of spa tourism has faded in the 21st century and getting wine tourists past all the down valley venues has always been difficult. The upscale Solage Calistoga Resort built in 2007 to tap into a new generation seeking the good life has struggled to survive and was recently sold by its original developer. That developer has just bought another resort in a remote spot further down the valley, indicating that the resort market in the Napa Valley probably has to offer a bit of the wild, perhaps harkening to Silverado Squatters, to be viable.
A second contentious high-end resort, the Silver Rose, to be built on the site of the existing Silver Rose Inn and Spa just across the trail from Solange was approved in 2012 but, as of 2015, demolition and construction have still not begun.
Efforts are always underway by civic boosters to bring in more tourist dollars. One grinding its way through the development process is the Calistoga Hills Resort, destined to consume a wooded hillside just south of the town. It is the focus of those people who see the dangers of further tourist development on the character of their small town. Besides community opposition, the project has always had financing problems, and the project has run into environmental issues with the California Department of Forestry in its desire to cut down a forest to make way for its buildings and parking lots. The property was sold last year by the original developer( with a flashy sales pitch), to a Hong Kong developer. The same developer has also bought (or is in the process of buying) the adjacent Reverie Winery which is just as contentious in its own right (see below). Spearheading the community opposition is Citizens for Green Community led by Charlotte Williams. I will continue to track the ongoing issues of this project and other City of Calistoga development issues here.
Calistogan 12/6/18: Calistoga Hills approved to relocate service area
Calsitogan 3/20/18: Calistoga to 'tap the brakes' on hotel room growth
NVR 3/11/17: Developers of Silver Rose/Four Seasons in Calistoga secure construction financing
Calistogan 7/28/16: Owners of Calistoga Hills purchase 2 adjoining vineyards
Calistogan 9/28/15: Calistoga city manager looks back on 6 tumultuous years
Calistogan 6/9/15: Calistoga's Silver Rose project looks at 2017 opening
SR Press Democrat: Investors spending millions to develop Calistoga resorts
New owners of Calistoga Hills introduced
Rules relaxed for granny units
Napa property on market for $100 million
Sustainability versus Napa Valley tourism
State Forestry and the public trust
Locals invited to question impact of Calistoga Hills
Luxury resort still seeking tree removal approval
Concerned about logging at the new resort? Write a letter
Just east of the city limits is Duanweal Lane, site of an early big-name-architect tourist attraction, the Clos Pegase winery. Now proposed across the street, by the new owner of Clos Pegase, is the Girard Winery, a large production facility with ever more tourist ambitions. I will continue to follow that project on the Girard Page.
Just adjacent to the Calistoga Hills Resort on Diamond Mountain Road is the Reverie Winery, now at the epicenter of the "enforcement" debate in the valley by asking the county to "recognize and allow" its unpermitted construction and visitation. Reverie now has its own page here.
Aetna Springs Resort
NVR 12/20/18: Napa County's famed Aetna Springs has new owner with resort plans
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