Readers are welcome to send letters to [email protected].

To Vertice Hospitality 

As local residents who have an interest in our town’s development, we write in response to the newspaper articles recently informing us about your significant land acquisitions in our Downtown core. We also read your company’s mission statement honoring the value of “two-way exchanges,” with attention to “collaborative, transformative, meaningful” exchanges.

We want to understand the potential uses for your purchase of 150 North St. and the 25-year lease of the Raven Film Center site. Since your company vision espouses “side-by-side partnership,” we ask that you interact with the immediate residential neighborhood and the Healdsburg community, as early as possible, to share your vision with your neighbors.

One of the key tenets in the Guiding Principles of the General Plan is for the City to strive to maintain a “Balance between resident and visitor needs” (2-A). This is also described, repeatedly, in the Land Use and Economic Development sections from the General Plan.

There is legitimate concern regarding Vertice’s marketing audience: ultra-luxury restaurant SingleThread advertises for dinners beginning at $425. We are concerned that the SingleThread story will repeat itself in both of these valued locations and, ultimately, exacerbate luxury visitor dining at the expense of local residents.

The Raven Film Center and its predecessor, JCPenney’s, both served the “whole” community of Healdsburg over a span of 40 years. Residents would appreciate and support Vertice continuing to provide uses that serve the Healdsburg community, not just the top 2%, or 5%, or 10% of wealthiest residents and visitors.

In closing, we acknowledge your hospitality innovations and your willingness to engage with the community. We look forward to meeting with you.


Abramson hand-delivered a longer version of this letter, signed by over 40 local residents, to the Vertice office on North Street on Monday, Aug.  7.

‘The Healdsburg Tribune’ accepts cogent, civil Letters to the Editor at [email protected]. Letters may be edited for length and appropriate content. 200 words recommended.

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  1. LOL! Oh, Bruce… begging for scraps from Massa’s table (Single Thread/Vertice Hospitality) won’t get you much. But I wish you luck.

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  2. I don’t find anything funny about Bruce’s plea for transparency and a partnership with builders before and during the plans submitted to the planning commission. As of the last few years the trend is to build then negotiate later. The Ruse is a good example of this. The developer spent millions of dollars building a private club in a residential neighborhood . How this happens is beyond me. With our mayor living next door and the general contractor being the chair of our planning commission running the show.
    It’s clear that our government Is looking the other way and is no longer our moral compass. We can’t just sit back and assume that the rules will be the guiding principals we have voted for. Money talks and it appears our government is not immune to greed.
    What we need to do is adopt a hypervigilant stance at all times. Neighborhoods have to form watchdog groups the prevent tourist oriented building in neighborhoods. We are not just at the tipping point we are well beyond that point. It’s more like a free for all . The highest bidder wins.
    Briefly another example Is the modern monstrosity built at 728 University Ave. A multimillion dollar B&B that is totally out of character for the neighborhood. Take a long look at this house and decide if this kind of transient occupancy development while it enriches the city coffers, it’s a kill shot to the families who live near. Rents will skyrocket.
    Thank you Bruce for stating the obvious. Our city government has lost tract of what’s important..
    Speak up!
    Anne Goebel


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  3. Anne: I’ve been complaining to and writing to the City Council for years about how Healdsburg sold its soul to the tourist trade and the highest bidder. I have gotten nowhere with the City Council. Healdsburg is bought and paid for. At the roundabout entrance into town there should be a statue of a scantily clad person, legs spread, with a plaque saying, “Here to service you!”
    That’s why I laugh at Bruce’s attempt to fight the money. Been there. Done that starting with protests at City Hall to stop the sale of the lot on the west side of the Plaza that became Hotel Healdsburg.
    I do wish you and Bruce luck.

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