The friendly doors welcome the stranger and under its hospitable roof the friends of Petaluma find always only goodwill. It stands as evidence and proof of the faith which the people of Petaluma have in each other and in their city.”

—Plaque placed at the Hotel Petaluma by its community founders in the 1920s.


Shannon Kremer takes the long view.

The pandemic may have slowed progress for the Hotel Petaluma, but so did the Great Depression, so did the building of Highway 101, so did all the economic downturns and hospitality fads of the last 70 years. A succession of owners tried a succession of uses, including flophouse, clubhouse and storeroom.

As far as Shannon is concerned, the hotel that she manages has finally become the grand and inviting community asset its founders meant it to be back in the 1920s. A pandemic slowdown is just a blip on its timeline.

The current owners have restored the building with love, respect and attention to every detail, Shannon says. And the hotel’s community roots are the most important detail of all.

“It took crowd-funding to build this hotel,” Shannon says, referring to the 855 community members who pooled their resources to build the hotel in the 1920s. The hotel is privately owned now, “but we know the community has allowed us to be successful. They patronize our businesses, they encourage family and friends to stay here. That type of support makes it possible for us to finish our renovations and to fulfill our original purpose.”

That’s why the hotel is so generous when it comes to donating use of its lobby and elegant ballroom to community groups, Shannon says. “We want to be a positive part of the community. We want to support groups that have a big impact on our town and, especially, on our downtown. Of course, we see COTS as important in that regard.”

Shannon has worked at the hotel for many years and has long been integral to event support and community outreach. Her recent promotion to General Manager ensures that the hotel will continue to prioritize community support.

At the Hotel Petaluma, COTS Co-Founder Laure Reichek celebrates our 30th anniversary with volunteer Lloyd Smalley, who helped us write our articles of incorporation to become a nonprofit.

We at COTS have been lucky enough to use the hotel’s grand ballroom free of charge for several events, most notably, our 30th anniversary celebration, where we thanked the volunteers and supporters who started COTS in 1988 and all those who came after.

“It was a beautiful event,” says COTS Board Member Judy Tuhtan. “The beauty of the ballroom and its resonance with Petaluma history made it even more meaningful.”

The hotel is open to guests now, but, unfortunately, cannot host large events.

We’ll all feel the loss, especially around the holidays, times when we’re used to dropping in for the community events or caroling in the lobby.

Melissa Becker, President of the Fabulous Women of Petaluma, has partnered with the Hotel Petaluma for many years on the Festival of Trees. The Festival brings hundreds of people together to celebrate the holidays while benefiting local nonprofits. Melissa can’t speak highly enough about the hotel’s support. Shannon makes her staff available to help with set-up, event management and “positive energy,” Melissa says. “The Hotel Petaluma is classy, both in structure and in staff, and they are delightful to team up with on an event.”

We can’t wait to gather again, and we can’t wait to see what new wonders the hotel’s renovation has revealed.

Thank you, Hotel Petaluma!

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