Capdiamont\’s Weblog

NA Letter: Excursion train could save Novato
Thursday 8 May 2008, 07:11
Filed under: Marin, NCRA, Novato, Railroad

The Advance’s editorial on solving Novato’s financial woes shows you’re thinking, but not thinking big enough: “Guests at the proposed hotel at Fireman’s Fund could visit North Redwood for shopping and then have dinner in charming Old Town Novato and take in a play or live music at the renovated theater.”

Dream on! The target market for Novato hotels is San Francisco and Wine Country tourism “overflow,” not Grant Avenue’s “charm.”

You want “charming?” Try Sausalito, Mill Valley or, San Anselmo. You want restaurants? Petaluma, 10 minutes up the road with the same population as Novato, is a national “foodie” tourist destination boasting over 150 eateries, some solidly in the “Five Star” category.

Novato really needs to “get real” about solving its fiscal challenges.

How does “Novato – The “Gateway to the Wine Country” sound?

Consider what “Old Town” and the North Redwood redevelopment area might look like restored and recreated as the southern terminus of an excursion steam train running north through the Sonoma and Mendocino vineyards and, perhaps ultimately, running eco-tourism excursions through the Eel River Canyon.

This would bring in a lot more in “new money” sales tax revenue and increased property taxes than another supermarket or three feeding off the income of Novatans alone.

This is all a fantasy, though. The city council would never allow the train to blow its whistle, and a steam train without a whistle is like a city council that can’t see beyond the city limits.

Bob Cleek


1 Comment

Why does this “brilliant” idea not suprise me. And they say NCRA is wasting money….

Comment by Joshua Woods

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