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Terrace 29 opens in Napa Valley

December 17 Vallejo A&E Source Weekly Biz Buzz:

Terrace 29 open for business

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen, Vallejo Times-Herald

Posted:

Erik Burrows quickly noticed two things as general manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Spa Napa Valley:

The city of American Canyon has a dearth of special event-appropriate venues. And with a little finesse, the lagoon area of the hotel could be turned into one.

So, that’s what he did. The result is called Terrace 29.

“It’s an outdoor venue that is an extension of Table 29, which will be the name of the DoubleTree by Hilton’s restaurant,” said Burrows, general manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Spa Napa Valley since June 1, 2011. “During the warmer, dryer weather, we have live music and karaoke out there.”

The new decks replacing the flower beds of the lagoon area of the American Canyon DoubleTree hotel is poised to be a popular wedding/event venue. Art courtesy of DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Spa Napa Valley

Burrows said when he first came to what until about nine days earlier had been the Gaia Hotel & Spa on Highway 29 in American Canyon, he “fell in love with the lagoon area.”

“And I felt it could be enhanced and started a dialogue with the ownership group and everyone was receptive to that,” he said. “So, in our second year, we got very serious about it. We had a study of the wind currents in the lagoon area — it gets pretty windy out there some times of day and times of year.”

Yoana Monroy and Calvin Velado — photographed for a mock-wedding done in advance of the site’s Nov. 18 grand opening to which nearly 300 people came. Yoana is director of business development with Marin Management, Inc., the hotel management company and Calvin is her real-life boyfriend. Art courtesy of DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Spa Napa Valley.

Based on those results, an engineer was hired to design a wind wall to address the issue for what has since become the new entrance to the area.

“The strongest wind comes from the southeast, so that’s where the wind wall is to shield the wind coming from that direction,” he said. “That was phase one. We realized we’d need to shield the wind. We took the study to an architect who designed the wind wall and the new lagoon area now called Terrace 29.”

The lagoon itself remains, joined by the addition of two water’s edge bamboo decks, replacing what had been flower beds. Some of the bamboo decks have canvass covers.

The windbreak has become an impressive feature in its own right, says American Canyon Chamber of Commerce President and CEO James Cooper.

“I think its a beautiful space. They did a great job of it,” Cooper said. “The clear glass windbreak is perfect, and the style touches with the tarps overhead. The material they chose, is very beautiful to look at and a strong addition to the hotel.”

Cooper said he’s excited about the venue.

“It adds another resource for the community,” he said. “American Canyon doesn’t have much in the way of wedding/reception spots. And, having a resource like this will remind people who go there that they’re in Napa Valley. Sometimes, people forget that.”

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That kind of reaction is music to Burrows’ ears.

“It turned out very beautiful,” he said. “The idea was to give people the chance to eat and drink out there and to have weddings. We’ve always been a great venue for receptions but now we can offer the entire package. We’re very happy with the end result.”

During the summer months, live music is offered after 8 p.m. in the restaurant — something that is expected to return with the warm weather, he said.

“We call it Wine, Rhythm and Blues and Karaoke,” he said. “It’s over for the season and is likely to restart in April, and Ronnie Stewart and The West Coast Blues Society is having their annual New Year’s Eve Bash, here, on the 31st.”

There are also plans to do monthly summer concerts on Terrace 29, he said.

“We had a little two-piece ensemble playing during our grand opening and that made me think what a great venue this is for music, so I think we’ll be doing that starting in May,” he said.

Meanwhile, Terrace 29 can be reserved for outdoor events, receptions, cocktail parties and the like, he said. There are two fire tables, and two more will soon be added, as will heaters.

The space is already gaining attention, he said.

“We already have bookings for weddings in 2016, starting in May” he said. “We offer full catering and beverages. It was a labor of love. A vision I had from day one and it’s very rewarding to see it come to completion.”

Contact Rachel Raskin-Zrihen at (707) 553-6824.

About the Author

With the Times-Herald since 1999, Rachel Raskin-Zrihen has been a reporter, writer and columnist for several print and online publications for nearly 30 years. She is the married mother of two grown sons and lives locally. Reach the author at rzrihen@timesheraldonline.com or follow Rachel on Twitter: @rachelvth.

 

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