Napa Soda Springs

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Bill Hocker | Nov 8, 2022

The ruins after the fire

859 acres of development potential
“It still has the ruins. It’s where we’ll build a guest house and residences and a winery...We’ll build an experience the world has never seen.”
    -- developer Gary Friedman channeling Donald Trump

In 2022, the 859 acre Napa Soda Springs property and the ruins of the resort that flourished here at the turn of the 20th century, was purchased by Bay Area-based RH, formerly Restoration Hardware, a high-end home furnishings retailer that has moved into food with the development of restaurants. Their presence in the Napa Valley is already evident with the glitzy good-life complex in Yountville. Now, with this purchase, their foray into hospitality is being expanded to include events, lodging and wine making. The corporate entity of the project is called "1990 Soda Canyon Road LLC".

The sad news of the sale to a tourism developer (this was a major land-trust-worthy property) comes at exactly the same time that residents of Soda Canyon Road joyously learned the Mountain Peak Winery project they've opposed for the last nine years was to be abandoned and its contested use permit, issued in 2017, to be revoked. The timing is fortuitous: the decks have been cleared.

The impacts of this project will be even greater than Mountain Peak, the developer more sophisticated, the amounts of money for consultants, studies and litigation higher, the promised fees, taxes and campaign contributions to grease the review process more lucretive - and the existential threat to peaceful rural life on Soda Canyon Road exponentially more damaging. Just its physical size on the Napa landscape perhaps suggests a pushback comparable to that of Walt Ranch. Will that happen? Stay tuned.

More about Napa Soda Springs on Napa Soda Springs
Explore Napa Soda Springs page
Napa Historical Society Soda Springs page
Julia Wertz' photo chronicle of the ruins pre and post 2017
Napa Soda Springs - A Magical Relationship by Castiel Shepp

NYTimes 10/24/22: The Company Once Known as Restoration Hardware Is Opening Restaurants. Why?
NVR 9/12/22: RH buys historic Napa Soda Springs resort, with winery and guest homes possible
SFChronicle 9/10/22: RH just bought an abandoned Napa resort to develop its own winery and hotel 9/9/22: $25 million deal: Historic Napa Valley resort is bought; guest homes, winery are possibilities

Fires on Soda Canyon Road 1856-2022
Napa County Code on Historic Resource re-use (note highlights)
Napa County General Plan on Cultural Resource re-use (note CC-28 to CC-30)

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