California Wine Country Develops Resort Status

<p>The Northern California wine country town of Napa is on its way to becoming a high-class resort, with many housing and resort developers breaking ground on big projects.</p>
May 31, 2007, 12pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"Now investors are remaking the working-class town, building luxury hotels, spas and outdoor restaurants with pedestrian plazas along the long-ignored Napa River."

"The city has about a dozen wine tasting rooms that have sprung up in the last five years, and more are coming. Restaurants have opened or upgraded, drawing star chefs. Last year, restaurant sales taxes grew by more than 10 percent, becoming the city's largest source of sales tax revenue."

"Private investors have sunk more than $318 million into the downtown since 1999, not including real estate purchases."

"More than 650 hotel rooms are planned or under construction, and other projects are advancing as well, including the downtown's first mixed-use commercial/residential project, which will start construction in weeks on the river."

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Published on Sunday, May 27, 2007 in The San Francisco Chronicle
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