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Tim Talk: Visit Tri-Valley launches its strategic plan process

'Visit Tri-Valley has launched a study to develop its five-year plan to pull visitors into Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin and Danville'
Tim Hunt
Tim Hunt.

Tri-Valley nonprofits have been in a season of reevaluating and updating strategic plans.

During the pandemic lockdown, the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group developed and then released its Vision 2040 for the area. It laid out the vision and specific goals in five areas designed to enhance the area as an innovation center as well as an area with efficient transportation, housing in a variety of price ranges that values equity and diversity.

Some specific goals, such as a local community foundation, already have been met with the launch of the 3 Valleys Foundation, while others are more long term such as ValleyLink rail bringing together the workforce of the San Joaquin Valley with the jobs in the Livermore Valley.

The second major effort was driven by the Tri-Valley Conservancy to examine the long term viability of the Livermore Valley wine industry.

Thousands of acres of permanently protected vineyards were planted as mitigation for housing in the South Livermore Valley, but many will hit 30 years old in the next few years and will need to be replanted. The study examined the economics of that and found them lacking.

While the vineyards were planted, the amenities that complement them for tourists—spas, destination restaurants, upscale lodging—were not developed.

Voters approved key changes to allow the extension of municipal sewer lines to accommodate larger restaurants and lodging have been approved by voters and the county is working on changes to the zoning so development can be clustered on fewer acres instead of scattered. There’s only one small B&B in wine country—other lodging is all on I-580.

Visit Tri-Valley has launched a study to develop its five-year plan to pull visitors into Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin and Danville (San Ramon has its own agency).

One key goal is to test whether there’s a need for a regional multi-use venue. Since the major business developments started in the 1980s, there have been a number of event centers built, both hotel based and stand-alone in the wine country such as the Palm Event Center, the Ruby Hill Winery, the Garre’ Winery event center, the Alameda County-owned Martinelli Event Center and other winery facilities as well as the clubhouse at Poppy Ridge. There’s also the range of buildings at the county fairgrounds in Pleasanton.

I will be intrigued to see what the study determines. Fairgrounds managers, over the years, have considered expanding with a convention-center building and never pulled the trigger.

Organizers are welcoming public input—you can do so online at the Visit Tri-Valley website.

Editor's note: "Tim Talk" is a blog written by Tim Hunt, a native of Alameda County. Hunt spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in addition to writing editorials for more than 15 years.

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