This partner communication exists to provide timely information on Sonoma County’s tourism and hospitality industry, along with resources to help partners navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
September 2, 2020
As we’re emerging from the Walbridge and Meyers fires, we join our neighbors and business partners in thanking the first responders who provided extraordinary service and protection for our area. During the past three years we’ve become an incredibly resilient region. According to definition, resiliency means the ability to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions; to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching or being compressed. What the definition lacks is a reference to the great benefit of having support during the recovery. It’s the support of the entire Sonoma County community and family that we’re able to continually spring back into shape when challenges confront us. Yes, we all need to muster our individual mettle to get through, but it’s with the help of our friends, neighbors, business associates and fans of this destination that we can truly find our footing and celebrate our resiliency and capacity to spring back… better than we were before. Several programs offered in this newsletter are designed to provide assistance and help create a more resilient community. We thank those bringing these resources to us.
Claudia Vecchio
President and CEO
Sonoma County Tourism
Recovery services available at Local Assistance Centers
Residents affected by the Walbridge and Meyers Fires can now access recovery services and resources at two Local Assistance Centers (LAC). A​ Guerneville LAC is at the Bank of America at 16390 Main St. and a Healdsburg LAC is at the Healdsburg High School gym at 1024 Prince St.

Both LACs provide the same resources to residents, including assistance with replacing documents, accessing financial resources, rebuilding information, and the insurance claims process.

Hours are daily 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. through Sept. 4. The LACs may remain open after this date if needed.

For more information about the Local Assistance Centers, visit the SoCo Emergency website here
Wildfire Harvest Update from Sonoma County Winegrowers
Join Sonoma County Winegrowers for a special webinar today at 2 p.m. to hear local vintners and growers discuss the impact of the recent fires on the 2020 Sonoma County harvest and the resources available through the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation.

The webinar will be moderated by Wine Enthusiast’s Virginie Boone with SCW president Karissa Kruse and panelists Duff Bevill of Bevill Vineyard Management, Kim Stare-Wallace of Dry Creek Vineyards, and John Bucher of Bucher Vineyards.

Learn more and register here
Introducing the Sonoma County Tasting Pass
Sonoma County Tourism is pleased to present our Sonoma County Tasting Pass. The Sonoma County Tasting Pass is a mobile-exclusive drink passport that gives consumers access to tasting flights and discounts for more than 20 wineries, breweries, and distilleries in Sonoma County. Once you purchase your pass (1, 3, or 30-day pass options), it'll be delivered instantly via text and email with no apps to download. Your pass can be saved to your phone’s home screen for easy one-tap access.

When visiting a participating business, simply present your phone to staff members to redeem your tasting flight and any available discounts. In most cases, you'll receive a tasting flight, while many participating businesses are also offering discounts on purchases of bottles or cases.

Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens, for example, is offering a tasting flight plus 15% off all wine purchases. Elsewhere, Williamson Wines is offering $20 off the purchase of wine (in addition to a tasting flight).

Click here to learn more about the Sonoma County Tasting Pass, including how to purchase yours.
Making the Most of our Fall Marketing Campaign
Sonoma County Tourism has developed a robust fall consumer marketing campaign that will work hard to welcome visitors to Sonoma County, and we need your help to really bring it to life.

Dates: September 14 - November 30
Theme: “Life Opens Up” brand messaging, with fall theming including harvest, wellness, outdoors.
Target Markets: Drive market metros within 300 miles of Sonoma County + LA & SD
Target Audiences: Wine Aficionados, Couples, Girlfriend Getaways

What we need from you:
Special Offers and Deals: Visitors are looking for exciting experiences unique to Sonoma County. These special offers do not have to be discounted but could be value-added offers, including packages with other Sonoma County businesses, such as:

  • Mid-week, two-night stay with the third night free
  • Free breakfast for two with a three-night stay
  • Exclusive tour/tasting with the winemaker, master brewer, executive chef, etc.
  • Partner with another business to include private transportation or a wine tasting voucher with 2-night stay

How we use these: We drive awareness of your special offers, deals and packages through visibility on our website, social media, public relations, and our monthly Sonoma County Insider consumer e-newsletter. Please submit your offer through the partner extranet and make offers valid through at least November 2020. See details on how to submit special offers here.
Story Ideas: Your stories are our stories. To really set Sonoma County apart from other destinations, we’re looking for the exciting, newsworthy stories, developments, events, etc. at your business.

A few examples might include:

  • A new product offering, or event (virtual or in-person)
  • Re-model, new space, new features
  • New chef, winemaker, owner
  • New or developing trend you’re capitalizing on

How we use these: We create awareness of your stories by including them in press releases and pitches, content inclusion, social media posts, and more. Please fill out this form to share your news with us!
Giveaways: We work with influencers and content creators to help drive awareness of Sonoma County. We are looking for unique, curated Sonoma County products that we use in our marketing efforts. So, if you have products and experiences for us to use for this, please fill out this form.
Thank you for your help in creating a robust fall consumer marketing campaign!
Obligatory plug for our Annual Meeting

Sonoma County Tourism’s Annual Meeting, originally scheduled for Aug. 26, will now take place Sept. 23 from 10 – 11:30 a.m.

The theme for this year’s meeting is “We’re All In This Together.” Joining us will be Amir Eylon, president of Longwoods International, who will provide details on U.S. and regional consumer sentiment and will share the all-new 2019 Sonoma County visitor profile, and Dr. Robert Eyler, Dean of the School of Extended and International Education at Sonoma State University (and Professor of Economics) who will present a “State of the State” overview and a Sonoma County-specific 18-month forecast. 

We will also provide a review of the FY19-20 organizational activities and achievements as well as a look at how we see the next year unfolding and our plans for accomplishing our goals with a greatly reduced budget.

We hope you can join us for this insightful 90-minute meeting. Admission is free, but registration is required to attend. Register here.
Saving Windsor’s Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Grove
Sonoma County residents received some sad news late last month when it was announced that the lights for Windsor’s beloved Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Grove had been lost to the Walbridge Fire. Thankfully, Windsor mayor Dominic Foppoli and Windsor Chamber president Lorene Romero stepped up to organize a GoFundMe drive to replace the lost lights.

The estimated replacement cost is $15,000. All funds raised will be turned over to the People4Parks Foundation (an all-volunteer organization) to acquire the new assets.

If you would like to contribute to this effort, you can visit the GoFundMe drive page here. Additionally, donors can mail checks to the People4Parks Foundation at 9001 Windsor Rd, Windsor, CA 95492 or the Windsor Chamber of Commerce at, P.O. Box 367, Windsor, CA 95492.
Sonoma County Tourism has a Coronavirus Partner Toolkit regularly updated here.

The Sonoma County Economic Development Board has compiled a comprehensive list of local, state, and government resources (including financing options) for businesses at their SoCo Launch website here.
Get tested and help Sonoma County eliminate the coronavirus. Broad COVID-19 viral testing is now available. Learn more here.

The County of Sonoma’s SoCo Emergency webpage offers COVID-19 resources, support, and information.