Downtown Napa businesses hold quake fundraisers

Downtown Napa was back in business Saturday night and they did it in style -- raising money for the community affected by last Sunday's earthquake.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Downtown Napa was back in business Saturday night and they did it in style -- raising money for the community affected by last Sunday's earthquake.

Sonoma County has declared a local emergency after the 6.0-magnitude earthquake centered near Napa. The proclamation made Saturday clears the way for residents and business owners to seek state and federal emergency funds.

Officials say Sonoma County had more than $4.5 million in damages. The quake caused at least $362 million in damage in Napa County.

Lots of people are lending a hand to rebuild, but the aftershocks keep coming. A 3.2 earthquake hit about five miles south of Napa shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday. There were no reports of damage or injuries.

On the first Saturday since the Napa earthquake, it was a celebration for Naked Wines and their customers.

"We were first allowed to reopen yesterday," said Naked Wines CEO Benoit Vialle. "And the first idea that came to mind was to throw a party."

Their building was red-tagged after the quake. But an inspector posted a green tag, so they're back in business. Lots of their stock was damaged and destroyed. So now they're having a sale.

"So we're actually selling them at $5 minimum donation per bottle," said employee Mary Gavin. "So people are coming in here and restocking their wine cellars."

The labels may be stained, and some of the bottle caps may be dented, but the wine inside is fine.

All proceeds go to the Napa Valley Disaster Relief Fund.

A few blocks away at the Westin Resort, restoration crews were hard at work there. And there was a line of people out the door.

"I just can't wait to get up there, give it a kiss, and rub it for good luck for the Sharks this year," said Napa resident Laura Mize.

She was one of the hundreds of people who got to sidle up to the Stanley Cup.

This was an event that had been planned before the quake, but it turned into a re-opening for the property.

"We're asking people to donate a minimum of $5 and put it into the cup to get their picture taken, and at the end of the evening the LA Kings have agreed to match all donations," said resort General Manager Don Shindle.

The Los Angeles Kings general manager lives in the area, so he offered up the cup to help.

The Westin had to evacuate all their guests last weekend, and only portions of the hotel have reopened. They expect to be fully operational in a few weeks.

Downtown Napa had been experiencing a renaissance in the last few years. And the hopes are to keep that going, despite the quake.
Related Topics:
news earthquake prepare norcal napa county disaster tourism south napa earthquake unstable building fundraiser stanley cup business wine wine industry Napa
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