The opening of Napa’s newest downtown hotel has been postponed to Dec. 1, due to work delays as a result of the October wildfires.
Staff at Archer hotel Napa, 1230 First St., originally planned to welcome its first corporate group— about 50 dentists from a company based in North Carolina — on Oct. 15.
But when road closures and smoke from fires left employees and construction teams unable to work, that plan had to be changed.
“Everything came to a standstill” for about seven to 10 days, said General Manager Michael Collins. “You couldn’t work in that environment.”
At that point, the fire emergency and safety was their only concern, said Collins. “The last thing we were thinking about was construction.”
Instead of hosting the dentists, Archer Napa staff transferred the group to the neighboring Andaz hotel.
“It was unfortunate but we will welcome them back in the spring,” said Collins. “It all turned out just fine.
With a Dec. 1 opening just weeks away, what does it take to get a 183-room hotel ready to put “heads in beds?”
To start with, about 1,000 rolls of toilet paper.
The bathroom tissue was delivered on Wednesday on three shipping pallets to be placed in guest rooms.
Furniture is arriving nightly on First Street by the truckload, usually starting at 6 p.m., said Collins.
Because Coombs Street was still closed off , access on the east side to the hotel remained unavailable.
“Anything you can sit in or sleep in comes in the front door of the hotel,” said Collins. That includes beds, desks, nightstands, lighting and drapery.
As the delivery trucks are emptied, the furniture is staged by room order in the lobby. From there, it’s taken upstairs room by room.
“We have a very aggressive furniture load in plan that we have been able to meet,” said Collins.
As of Wednesday, “We have furniture in guest rooms on second, third and fourth floors of the hotel,” Collins said. Next is the fifth floor.
After the furniture comes, the housekeeping staff is to make beds and add towels, robes and pillows.
“Our team can do an entire floor in one day,” he said.
Meanwhile, some people have already relocated to the property. Collins said he and his administrative staff were able to move into their office space inside the hotel in late October.
“We were all excited to get under one roof,” he said.
Napans may notice visitors at the hotel starting in late November, during an unofficial opening, said Collins. But Dec. 1 is the planned official opening, he said.
Collins said the first hotel groups include a 50th birthday part on Dec. 1 and a wedding on Dec. 2. “That first weekend that we’re up and running is going to be quite exciting.”
The courtyard space between the hotel and First Street Napa retail space will be complete by Nov. 10, said Collins.
People will be able to go from First Street back to Compline — a new wine bar, restaurant, and wine retail shop — unobstructed, he said. “That will be nice to open up the flow of traffic.”
Sidewalks in front of the hotel will open in the next two weeks, after all the furniture is delivered.
Charlie Palmer Steak will open on Nov. 13. Retail in the hotel won’t open till the first quarter of 2018, he said.
“It will be quiet for a little while. That’s OK, we have plenty to keep our guests occupied in the meantime.”