The latest rumor on Copia is that it is in deep financial trouble and there are signs that they intend to sell or lease the building and property it occupies on First Street in Napa. I am not a businessperson, but I would like to suggest a few ideas that might make Copia a leading venue for wine tourists. Maybe these ideas have already been tossed around, or maybe it is just too late and Copia is set to go under. Anyway, here goes.
To begin with, Copia should seek out sponsors in the wine industry like Gallo, Constellation, Jackson Wines and other major wine companies. Copia started out this way with a huge Robert Mondavi donation. Arenas and stadiums all across the country have corporate sponsors and it is great PR for the companies. Remodel the Copia building into different rooms called centers, each with a different theme and corporate sponsor. For example, in the Robert Mondavi (Constellation) Center, the tourists would find exhibits on the history of winemaking in California. Bring in important memorabilia going back to the Franciscan Fathers and Gaston Haraszthy, who founded Buena Vista Winery. Depict California’s wine story from the beginning to its present day. Bring in old grape presses and wooden fermenting tanks. Display a timeline of wine pioneers and winemakers through photographs and essays.