Napa’s Soda Springs Resort has been out of use and in disrepair since the 1960s, but RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) just bought it for $25 million and hopes to put it back on the map as a winery and resort.
The tourism business is apparently way down in wine country this summer, and according to the Chronicle, people are blaming high prices for their unwillingness to visit. It may or not change that a new resort from Restoration Hardware, now known as RH, is slated to be built in the area. The Bay Area News Group reports RH has bought the 857-acre Soda Springs Resort for $25 million, with plans to turn it into possibly a vacation resort, a winery, or both.
You’d be forgiven for not having heard of Soda Springs resort, as it has not operated since the 1960s. The YouTube video above gives you a drone's-eye view of what remains there — mostly crumbling, castle-like structures that are about 100 years past their prime. The resort peaked in popularity in the late 1800s, and was destroyed by fires in the 1940s and 1960s.
RH has yet to officially acknowledge that this is the property they purchased. But they acknowledged they purchased some property in Napa, and this one very specifically meets the criterion they described in a quarterly earnings call last week.
“We just closed on 856 acres in the Napa Valley,” RH CEO Gary Friedman said on the call. “It’s probably the most beautiful property in all of Napa. We own that.”
That acreage is a near exact match for the Soda Spring resort property, which went on sale for $50 million in 2020. Moreover, the Bay Area News Group reviewed the purchase deed to the property, dated July 1, 2022, which showed the land had been sold to an affiliate of RH.
“It still has the ruins. It’s where we’ll build a guest house and residences and a winery,” Friedman added on the call. “We have some of the best soil in all of the Napa Valley.”
Now come on, do the people at Restoration Hardware know anything about growing wine grapes? Presumably they’ll hire people who do, but the bigger takeaway here is that the company is diversifying, and many of these new efforts by the Corte Madera-based RH are investments in the Bay Area.
You’re perhaps aware of their giant new retail showroom and restaurant in Dogpatch, but they are also trying to branch out into full-on hotel hospitality — think of it as a really immersive sales experience where you stay somewhere and then want to buy all the furniture you used? The News Group adds that “In New York City’s Manhattan borough, the company recently opened RH Guesthouse,” and that “A luxury destination resort in Colorado is also in line for an RH Guesthouse.” So this is likely another RH Guesthouse offshoot coming to Napa, and it will be interesting to see how RH handles the restoration.
Screenshot: Dan Russell via Youtube