DOWNTOWN HOTEL PROJECT

Now city officials say that after a break in development during the recession, they’re ready to write the next chapter in Winters’ history with a new downtown boutique hotel that occupies half a city block. Groundbreaking is set for this fall.

“It’s the last key ingredient to making downtown Winters a destination,” said Cole Oganda, a fourth-generation Winters resident and proprietor of the Preserve Public House, a pub that opened in 2011 and exudes cool with its barn-meets-industrial decor. “I hear all the time that people would come here more often and for longer if they had a place to stay.”

Like other eating and drinking establishments in Winters, Preserve serves wine, craft beer and vegetables produced in the city’s surrounding farmland and rolling hills. The bounty has made Winters a tourist draw and raised its regional profile in the past decade.

One thing the city has been lacking, however, is a larger place for visitors to stay. Refusing to sprawl along the nearby Interstate 505 corridor, the city lacks even a single chain hotel. There are just two small bed and breakfasts, and those who want to stay overnight often have to drive 20 minutes to nearby Davis or Vacaville.

It’s not much fun to make that drive when all tourists want to do is drink the local tempranillo wines, play bocce and retire for the evening, preferably by walking to their accommodations, business owners and city officials said.