Tuesday, May 05, 2009



By John Olney, July 28, 2008, & modified April 15, 2009
copyright all rights reserved, Wine Country Marketing and Promotions (WCM&P)
1370 Trancas St., #409, Napa, CA 94558 Phone: 707-299-9548

WCM&P is seeking investor and developer partners to carry out the WCM&P proposed concepts presented herein for a revitalized and profitable COPIA. Initial study investment cost estimates are available for review upon request.


COPIA had no definition by which either the local resident or the wine consuming visitors could associate and rally behind. Consequently it struggled to find an audience from which it could derive revenues so it could survive.

The entire corridor from Napa River Terrace Street, going along McKinstry to First Street, and then running west and east between Soscol and Silverado Trail, ceased to be an area designed for the vast majority of Napa County residents the day construction began on the redevelopment of the Napa River Oxbow shoreline and properties.

With the opening of the Napa River Terrace Inn, Oxbow Public Market, and most recently the Westin Verasa hotel, this eastern subdivision is becoming the Boardwalk and Park Place of Napa. It should be named The COPIA Oxbow River-walk & Drive of Napa Valley.”

None of the aforementioned facilities, including the defunct COPIA complex, could have been constructed north of Napa because of the land-use constraints of the Agricultural Preserve codes and regulations because the cities and communities north of the town of Napa do not allow such facilities to be constructed within their jurisdiction. Consequently these restrictions drove these enterprises to the Oxbow District as a viable location between American Canyon and Napa.

Clearly, all the existing commercial properties described here, and what could be envisioned to be coming in the near future, will mark this highly valuable property as equal to Rodeo Drive of Beverly Hills, South of Market in San Francisco, downtown Walnut Creek’s redevelopment district and the Santana Row complex of downtown San Jose.

The Napa River Oxbow area already represents large tourist room tax, employment salary tax, sales and property tax revenues to the city. As such, you will not see the property under-utilized economically for such noble social benefits — but unprofitable ventures — as teen clubs, skating rinks, farmers markets, jails, homeless shelters and similar projects that could never produce the revenues that such valuable property does and will represent in the near future under development by commercial, for-profit ventures.

Any realistic market assessment plan for this Boardwalk and Park Place property must not only analyze the product that developer and merchant interests plan to offer, but it must also consider the consumer who is most likely to visit the area. COPIA leaders offered the concept of their products of wine, food and art, and then searched for a consumer market that they thought was just sitting around waiting for them. Their assessment was apparently wrong!

Realistically, the visitor to a tourism area such as Napa has five goals in mind: wine, food, shopping, entertainment and lodging. Developers and merchants should plan to cater to those who stay at the expensive existing lodging facilities both adjacent to and located just short distances away from the COPIA complex, as well as future luxury facilities planned for and developed in the Napa River Oxbow area.

Thus, any concepts for the property must consider the marketable consumer already being attracted to the area because of the lodging facilities, the excursion train and the public marketplace, and package those with fresh marketing concepts that could attract additional consumers to the area.

Therefore our concepts plan stores, shops and entertainment products attractive not only to the business visitor and tourist but also to the more affluent residents, part-time residents and absentee property/business owners associated with Napa County. These same facilities will also occasionally attract the other residents of Napa County looking for unique jewelry, clothes or gifts for a lover or mate, a night out of celebration and other special events in their lives.

Specifically, the defunct COPIA complex, rising in the middle of the Napa River Oxbow Redevelopment Area, could be transformed into a magnificent emporium offering business travelers, tourists and more affluent locals the upscale facilities they routinely desire, while also offering the remaining locals shopping, dining and entertainment facilities they would no longer have to travel out of town to find in order to satisfy their special occasion needs.
As envisioned, COPIA would contain art studios, jewelry studios, brand-name men’s and women’s clothing shops, coffee shops, wine tasting rooms, specialty delis, small upscale restaurants and other, similar merchant offerings.

Our concepts plan facilities to attract the guests from the Meritage Resort, Napa River Inn, the Riverfront complex, Silverado Resort, Auberge Du Soleil, Meadowood Resort, Calistoga Ranch, Solage and other similar upscale facilities catering to those desiring the wine country lifestyle. These are the consumers who also travel to Auction Napa Valley, the Mustard Festival, Robert Mondavi Winery concerts, harvest parties, golf courses and the many membership club events held at more than 200 wineries within Napa County. They fly in, take a limo in or drive themselves in for the amenities that Napa now offers and will expand in the future.

Please read supporting documentation about the old and new downtown Napa area on www.jolney.blogspot.com/


The existing non-profit, tax exempt property will be converted into a mixed non-profit and for-profit complex.

The 1nd floor would consist entirely of “for-profit” businesses
The theater will remain. The retail store, bar, lounge entry, Bistro and Julia’s Kitchen will be torn down, and the space remodeled and used as lease space for many new high end shops. Brand name clothing and jewelry, books, art, coffee/tea shops, studios,

All of the equipment, fixtures and furnishings of Julia’s will be moved to the new “Club FAME!” restaurant & lounge, and night club to be located on the northeast end of the 2nd floor. WCM&P suggests opening discussions with either Pat Kuleto or the owners of the Slanted Door located in the Ferry Building, San Francisco, to design and oversee operations of the facility

Moving in a easterly direction from the main entry wall will be located merchant stations of varying size.

The collective name of the shopping ground level will be The COPIA River-Walk Mall .”
Attachment __ (Not included in this package) shows how the new shops might be laid out.

The 2nd floor main open area
The floor plan to the right does not show the east end area where the administrative offices are located. They run north from the classroom which is the outcrop at the southern end of the drawing. The Admin room, classroom and Founders Room, and the deck outside the Founders room will be incorporated into a new 2nd floor restaurant-lounge-nightclub overlooking the river along the Oxbow. The facility would be named “Club FAME!” It would be operated as a high-end facility appealing to the more affluent persons.

The balance of space will be remodeled to house the “American Wine Industry (AWI) Hall of Fame (HOF), Museum and Foundation” created and already initiated by Wine Country Marketing and Promotions (WCM&P) . It will be a non-profit corporation. Attachment __ . (Not included in this package) provides the details of how the AWI HOF, Museum and Foundation currently exist and will operate in the future.

The advantage of the AWI Hof and museum is that it does not conflict with nor interrupt Napa winery marketing. This HOF will include those in the wine industry who have in the past and the current time created wines from honey, berries, and tree fruits as well as both native and foreign grape varietals. Furthermore, candidates and inductee will be selected since the earliest winemaking individuals and companies known to be operating since the 1600’s.

The museum would contain artifacts, photo’s, manuscripts, music scores, processing equipment, etc., of American winemaking since its inception.

The foundation would support studies into history of the AWI, search for sites/artifacts, etc.

Renegotiation of the Control and Ownership of the COPIA Property and Buildings
COPIA would be sold over time to a consortium which would negotiate the terms and conditions for the retirement of the Bond debt and any other existing debts. Upon successful elimination of the restructured debt obligations of COPIA, title to all property and buildings would transfer to the Consortium.

Erase the bond Debt
WCM&P suggest that the reflecting pools running from the COPIA entry way to 1st Street and then picking up and running the length of the COPIA property across the street, be named “The Robert Mondavi Memorial Reflection Pools.” We will be seeking family approval to use the name and likeness of Mr. Mondavi.

These photos show the existing wall and the gently cascading reflection ponds. The wall showing the COPIA image and the walls of the reflecting ponds would be used to permanently display the names of the people and businesses that provide a donation of $1,000 or more towards the elimination of the bonds.

We recommend that an aggressive fundraising campaign be initiated as soon as possible focusing on the man who contributed land and money to make COPIA happen.

A specially designed “tile” measuring 4”x3” will be made from a thin metal to which is fixed an off white/cream ceramic profile of Robert Mondavi.

The profile shot we like is shown to the left.

An artist’s rendition will be made from this profile. The basic single tile would contain the profile as a raised surface. The donor name will be inscribed on the tile in light but visible form. The image would be scaled to the size of tile for which one makes a donation. The basic $1,00 tile dimensions (inches) are: height =3 width =4 total sq in=12

“ Robert Mondavi Collectibles”

We recommend the sale of “collectible” label/cap pins and individual tiles. This pin would measure 1"x 1.25

Robert Mondavi necklace/bracelet charm might look something like that shown below.

Other Revenue Streams
The River-walk Mall: To attract people to the COPIA River-walk Mall, Club Fame restaurant/lounge/nightclub and American Wine Industry (AWI) Hall of Fame & Museum, the former “Napa Valley Conference & Visitors Bureau,” should be resurrected, in name only, and redesigned as a workable tool located within the COPIA complex. It would focus on the out-of-town visitor at the centralized COPIA location

There are an estimated 400,000 visitors to Napa Valley per month. (These numbers are probably skewed towards the growing and harvest months of March through October period than the months of November through February). This means that there are approximately 13,000 visitors to Napa County per day. (These numbers are probably skewed towards a greater number during the Thursday through Monday period than Tuesday and Wednesday.)

Reportedly, Napa County has 2000 plus existing hotel rooms and there’s about another 1000 rooms distributed among all the B&B’s. With about 3000 rooms, Napa Valley can only accommodate about 6000 plus visitors per night or about 46% of the total daily average number of visitors.

Depending on which source one wishes to use, the hotel occupancy rates ranged between about 80 to 87% which is an outstanding rate before the recent economic crash.

Most of the hotel rooms are in the “expensive” range thus many of the more economically minded visitors will not pay these high room rates.

Even with the new hotel rooms coming on line in late 2008 and 2009, they are of the more expense type, thus there still will not be sufficient affordable overnight lodging for the general visitors coming to the county and desiring an inexpensive room for a night or more.

If the marketing promotions could draw 10% of the daily visitors, COPIA (et all) would see 1,300 visitors per day, or about 460,000 per year. If all of these visitors shopped at the Riverwalk Mall and each spent $50, then the Mall would realize about $23 million/year in sales. If 33% shopped and spent $50 each, there would be about $7.6 million/year in sales revenues.
These sales revenues translate into lease rent receipts for the consortium.

Lease rent from (and sources of that revenue) The AWIHOF & Museum

Private donations

Foundation and Government grants

Pins, charms and tile sales

Newsletter subscription
Leadership of the Study Group for the Management & Operations of the COPIA Consortium

Listed below are the current WCM&P principals and the roles they would play in developing the initial feasibility assessment of WCM&P concepts for the future use of the COPIA complex of buildings and land.

Conceptualization and overall study group management: John M. Olney, Chairman of the Board, WCM&P. It is recommended that he be added to the COPIA Consortium Board.

Property Development & Management: John Naab, CEO, WCM&P. Most recently, Mr. Naab was Vice President for property management with R. H. Hess, American Canyon.It is recommended that he be added to the COPIA Consortium Board.

Marketing Plan Design & Implementation: Adrianne Love. Flamingo Advertising Ltd.(Buyer, Business and Creative Director of Production), Nordstrom (Garment Engineer), Travelsmith Outfitters (Technical Designer, Product Developer & Production), A. Love Designs (Apparel Consultant/Freelance Designer), and GAP Inc- Banana Republic (Senior Technical Designer & Manager)It is recommended that she be added to the COPIA Consortium Board.

WCM&P is seeking investor and developer partners to carry out the WCM&P proposed concepts for a revitalized COPIA. Initial study investment cost estimates are available for review.


Anonymous said...

this plan sounds very well thought out and could be very successful...(it also sounds very familiar). Former Copia interim ceo Gary McGuire presented all of these same ideas including the vintner hall of fame last year at this time. Nice attempt to claim good ideas that other people already had (and shared with us)

The wine Country Club said...

Dear Anonymous:
Although you may think the AWI HOF concepts in our paper were derived from Mr. McGuire, they were not. Our HOF concepts were developed when I was first invited to participate in the CIA Calif. Vintners HOF program. Then I noted that the was no national program. Could you share with me when Mr. McGuire publically spoke about his concepts in detail on how it would work, what feedstocks it would include, and categories for selection? In that way, readers could compare for themselves our plans to see if I used his material.

My research shows him becoming interim CEO in March 28, 2008. My original outline of the American Wine Industry Hall of Fame, Museum and Foundation originated as internal documents in mid 2007. I first published them on my blog in July 2008.