Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Billion Reasons to Like Peg Melnik.

Peg Melnik
Peg Melnik writes a nice blog for the Press Democrat which weighs in on interesting wine and tourism related issues in Napa and Sonoma from time to time. She's a great resource for anyone visiting the area, and her book, the Explorer's Guide to Napa & Sonoma, is now in its 9th Edition (you can pick up a copy on Amazon). She writes with her husband, Tim Fish, who is an associate editor for Wine Spectator.  

She put up a piece a few weeks ago about Sonoma Valley rebranding itself, a screenshot of which is at the right. It's an interesting article, but there was just one thing that really jumped out at me ... $7 million spent in Sonoma County on tourism per year? 
Peg Melnik, "Identity Crisis?"
Tasting Room Blog, The Press Democrat, Jan. 29, 2013
available at http://tinyurl.com/cgxg555

Someone gave Peg some very bad statistics.  The actual number in 2011, was, of course, much higher - about $1.32 billion.

By way of contrast, the value of the County's entire grape crop in 2011 was $347 million.

The figures are courtesy of Sonoma County's Economic Development Board, whose graph on the issue I excerpt at the right, and the Sonoma County Agricultural Commission.  

So -- Peg -- don't underestimate the effects of books like yours on the local economy ...

Moodys.com, "Annual Tourism Report, 2012"
Sonoma County Economic Development Board
available at http://tinyurl.com/ckwm5t3
These statistics are part of the very comprehensive economic reporting done on Sonoma County on a yearly basis.  The statistics on the EDB's web site go back more than a decade, and reading through them (and watching the changing predictions) is often illuminating.  These materials, like the UCLA Anderson Forecast and the Moody's annual reports to the County, are a great for answering questions about the economy for anyone involved in local government.

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