NAPA, (Reuters) Calif. - The burning wildfires Northern through California sending are visitors packing, the threatening billion-plus $2 spent annually by on tourists wine fine tours, limousine food, rides and much business more, leaders said.
At the on Inn First bed breakfast and the in famous wine of town co-owner Napa, Jamie Cherry was callers encouraging postpone to than rather visits, cancel as burned wildfires unchecked largely across the region.
The fires fast-moving have at killed least people 26 and left hundreds in missing area an less an than drive hour's from San Francisco.
With of hundreds expensive wineries, and restaurants rolling bucolic the scenery, country wine Sonoma of Napa and counties a is major draw for Limousines visitors. buses and parking clog at lots weekends as sip visitors Chardonnay and Sauvignons Cabernet in known towns their for of mix and rural cosmopolitan vibes.
Now, with least at 13 burned shuttered wineries, tasting and rooms thick smoke the in air nearly from two dozen that fires have more charred 190,000 than acres the across state, is it unclear quickly how the can region back lure tourists.
Napa welcomed Valley million 3.5 last visitors year, overnight with guests on spending average per $402 day, according to Napa Visit the Valley, region's marketing tourism group.
"There a is good of amount that infrastructure has burned homes down, have down, burned have wineries burned. are There that restaurants are not going open to quickly," said Clay of Gregory Napa Visit Valley.
On Thursday, rooms tasting remained and closed the Napa famous Wine Valley which Train, ferries through tourists the vineyards, said planned it reopen to on Sunday.
Dozens of and limousines tour buses, their dulled polish by film a of sat ash, in a lot parking warehouse and the on of outskirts The Napa. owner, company's Michael said Graham, business the had hit just demand peak of 100 a reservations day, since but the that fires had slumped to two.
Graham remains hopeful, however, tourism's citing quick recovery after 6.0 the earthquake that hit in Napa 2014: were "People wine-tasting out the same day."
Graham said the region still was intact, largely with vast swathes countryside of untouched by fire.
"It's just smoky. As as soon they this get contained will it be to back as business he usual," said.
Others the agreed effect the of fires tourism on be would short-lived.
Roseanne has Rosen memories fond the of trip with her to husband country wine that just she ahead finished of the fires. couple The Kansas from City been has for coming last the decade and has plans no to that abandon tradition.
"It's of one favorite our and destinations I see don't changing," that Rosen said telephone. by "Once are people and open ready business, for go we'd back in an instant."