New Resort, Hotel and Golf Course Projects Set to Increase Tourism Profile for Lake County, California


“People will want to make sure that not only can they travel, but they can travel safely and have a safe experience coming here to Sonoma County,” said Todd O’Leary, vice president of marketing and communications. communications for Sonoma County Tourism at the Journal’s Virtual Business Recovery Conference in May.

Large resort on the border of Lake Napa

The biggest hotel project on the horizon for Lake County is a 16,000-acre ultra-luxury resort in the Guenoc Valley off Highway 29 near Middletown. The Lotusland Investment Holdings project was approved by the supervisory board on July 21.

The approvals authorize 400 hotel units in five “boutique” complexes plus 450 resort units, 1,400 real estate villas, 500 housing rooms for the workforce, according to the environmental impact report. The goal is to build it over a decade.

But the development has met legal opposition from an environmental justice group that accused the county of inadequate consideration of concerns about impacts to wildlife, traffic, greenhouse gas emissions, water resources and aesthetics. The Center for Biological Diversity complaint, filed in August, says the county failed to properly consider alternatives to the project or respond to the group’s earlier comments on the draft document. Species of concern to the organization include golden eagles, yellow-legged frogs of the foothills, and western turtles.

Peter Broderick, the group’s lead attorney based in Tucson, Ariz., Told the Business Journal he was still compiling the administrative record of the case and a hearing is expected in several months.

The first phase of the Guenoc Valley project would cover 1,415 acres and would include 127 hotel units, 141 resort cabins, 50 hotel units for temporary labor, 20 campsites, 100 cohabitation units for labor. work and 401 residential villas.

It would also include a 55-acre outdoor entertainment area, spa, athletic fields, polo fields, a new golf course and practice facility, as well as retail space.

Of the total area of ​​the property, approximately 12,000 acres would be undeveloped, including 2,700 acres of open space and nearly 2,000 acres of agricultural reserve. This includes the preservation of 1,600 acres of oak forests.

Lotusland, a group based in San Francisco and Hong Kong, bought the property four years ago. Maha Resort and Developments manages the rights.

Glamping is coming to Lake County

At the 4,300-acre Six Sigma ranch located at 13372 Spruce Grove Road, southeast of the lake, the Ahlmann family looked for other ways to draw visitors to the loop road of Highway 29 between Calistoga and Lower Lake. And the working farm, winery, and trails have also attracted a global “glamping” group that plans to add Lake County to their luxury campsites.

The capacity of the campers and the mix of wine, agriculture and outdoor recreation prompted Huttopia to sign a land rental agreement with the Ahlmanns for one of a camp. Named after the combination of ‘cabin’ and ‘utopia’, the 21-year-old French company has 57 locations in France, China and North America, including one in Quebec, Canada and two in the North East. United States. The company said it has about 11,000 annual bookings, which it calls “locations,” and annual revenue of 55 million euros (nearly $ 67 million).

Two years ago, a Huttopia scout for California locations was returning to San Francisco after an unsuccessful trip to the North Coast when he stumbled upon the Six Sigma wine tasting sign. He surrendered and was reportedly taken with the property during the 3 km drive to the entrance road. The scout’s report led to the visit of the Bossanne family who founded Huttopia.

Besides the characteristics of the Lake County property, there were three key selling points for Huttopia, according to Margeaux Boussane, brand and business developer for Canada and the United States.

First, the region is still “off the beaten track”, but is poised to grow in the next few years. Second, it is close to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Third, California is the place to be for glamping, a growing movement of luxury camping with fine dining and access to amenities.

“Californians have a real ‘outdoors’ culture around camping, hiking, road trips, national parks and national forests,” she said in an email. “It’s one of the most diverse environments in the United States, and it’s very exciting to have projects in this state. The climate helps, as it is possible to find temperate winters and the camping season is longer. California is also a heavily populated state, and it’s easy to be within a few hours’ drive of a major urban center.

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