The downtown area of the City of Napa wanted to grow their visitor traffic to increase retail sales and tax revenue. The addition of Copia helped, but the downtown merchants felt they were not getting a fair share of the tourist traffic (estimated at 7.5 million people in 2005) coming to the Napa Valley. The problem was that the two main highways bypassed the downtown district and the reason for the trip was the wineries in the heart of the Valley. The downtown just wasn't on their mind.
The two things tourists were most interested in were tasting rooms and where to get a good meal. To give the downtown district its own identity it was positioned as the food capital of the Napa Valley. The district, partly located on the banks of the Napa River, has dozens of good places to eat. It was recommended that a trip to the Napa Valley be positioned as a two-step experience: up-valley for wine, downtown for food.
Changing people's habits will take time, but it is believed that promoting this very relevant positioning will cause more tourists to stop in downtown Napa before or after experiencing the wineries.