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Sonoma County tourism on the rise

Sonoma County's smoking-hot tourism industry appears on pace for another record-setting year, with visitors likely to spend more than a billion dollars on the Wine Country experience, however they define it.

"People said, 'How can we top 2013?' But it's happening," said Jennifer Buffo, owner of Pure Luxury Transportation in Petaluma.

Sonoma County collected a record amount of bed taxes in 2013 even as average room rates increased for another year. At The Farmhouse Inn in Forestville, suites going for $995 a night are gobbled up, reflecting particularly strong growth at the higher-end of the county's tourism market.

The luxury inn is undergoing an expansion that includes seven new rooms and a day spa. Owner Joe Bartolomei said Monday he doesn't anticipate having any trouble filling the additional space.

"Overall, we wouldn't be doing what we're doing if we weren't feeling confident about the future of tourism in Sonoma County," he said Monday.


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