.‘Pacaso’ Timeshare Company Keeps Foothold in Wine Country

Ever heard of Pacaso? It’s an insanely successful real-estate startup from San Francisco that lets buyers co-own luxury homes on the timeshare model, then manage all the scheduling and maintenance stuff via the Pacaso app. And for many suspicious locals in the wine country, it has become something of a dirty word. Ever since Pacaso set foot in Sonoma and Napa counties a few years ago, they’ve been up against the local NIMBY set. Activists from across the Napa Valley, the City of Sonoma and Healdsburg’s rural Dry Creek Valley have been lobbying pretty hard against the whole concept. They argue — for example, in Dry Creek — that “the very fabric of our valley, our agricultural roots [and] rural and social landscape are diminished by the intrusion of Pacaso’s for-profit business.” The billion-dollar company has since expanded into communities all over the U.S., getting similar pushback in some. Eventually, government officials here in Sonoma County — and just this past week, in the City of St. Helena — were reportedly able to muzzle Pacaso somewhat, letting them operate the handful of timeshare homes they had already set up, but blocking them from acquiring any new ones. According to the Pacaso website, they still runs about 20 timeshare homes across both counties — most of them in the City of Napa. And now, the company is trying out a brand-new strategy on the unincorporated outskirts of St. Helena. They’re letting customers lease (instead of buy) a portion of a historic local inn called the Ink House, in partnership with local developer and wine-industry magnate Jean-Charles Boisset. “For $84,000, you can buy use of the former bed-and-breakfast for 1/8 of a year, or about 45 days,” the Press Democrat reports. “That calculates to roughly $1,867 per night.” You can check out all Pacaso’s current wine-country listings on their website, whether it be out of curiosity or spite… (Source: Pacaso & Paper City & Healdsburg Tribune & Napa Valley Patch & Sonoma Index-Tribune & Press Democrat; paywall)


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