Client: Napa County Fair Association

The Napa County Fair Association engaged Gruen Gruen + Associates (GG+A) to conduct a market study to assess whether sufficient obtainable demand exists to support the development of meeting and conference center building space (or the rehabilitation of existing space) on the Napa County Fairgrounds. The purpose of this market assessment was to provide the Fair Association with objective information to help inform the master planning process for the future use of the 63-acre Napa County Fairgrounds. The research and analysis was conducted to test the hypothesis that a modern meeting space or conference venue may capture non-local event space demand while establishing a consistent source of positive net revenue for the Napa County Fair Association. GG+A conducted field research and interviews with and obtained information and data from hotel developers, hotel and event space managers, local knowledgeable business people as well as representatives of the Visit Napa Valley, St. Helena Chamber of Commerce, Calistoga Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor of Calistoga. GG+A used the interviews and data analysis to define the relevant primary market areas and to identify: (a) the origins and types of prospective space users and visitors; (b) the alternative locations prospective space users and visitors consider; and (c) the relative advantages and disadvantages of the Fairgrounds for meetings and conference center-type events and activities. GG+A also studied hotel and event space supply conditions and trends; analyzed demographic and employment characteristics of the Calistoga area; and evaluated the potential demand for a meeting and event space building based on a review of meeting and conference supply and demand trends, evaluation of the supply of competitive facilities, and interviews with managers of meeting and event facilities and local tourism experts. In addition, GG+A identified opportunities for revenue-generating enhancements related to expanding the RV Park, including high-end camp tenting and additional recreational activities; an enhanced golf course/club house offering; and provision of food service. GG+A prepared a report that included a description of competitive strengths and constraints and identified opportunities, and strategic recommendations related to potential revenue-generating enhancements at the fairgrounds.

The Napa County Fair Association Board accepted GG+A’s findings and recommendations, which a fairgrounds planner has used as a foundation for the preparation of a master plan for the Fairgrounds.  The final strategic action plan can be found here.