Indoor Activities for Tourism-Dependent Businesses in Bay Area

As the tragic wildfires in North Bay and Southern California burn, air-quality concerns have kept us indoors this past week. Cooped-up California residents are eager to find places and activities to escape cabin fever. Today’s rainfall may help snuff out the risk of other wildfires but, unfortunately, this may not be the last of these weather events that will keep us from the great outdoors.

Revenues from tourism-driven activities, which businesses are reliant on, are vulnerable to extreme weather phenomena related to climate change. These changes — affecting landscapes, biodiversity and water resources — will have ripple effects on popular travel destinations. Businesses across the state, particularly our beloved California wineries, must adapt and get creative to protect their revenue streams. While our visits are anchored by the beautiful scenery, winery owners may need to adjust their marketing to include more activities held inside their cellars, tasting rooms and event halls.

I created this short list of indoor activities for winery owners and marketers to consider:

TV or Movie Screenings

Nothing brings people together more than a good film or TV show. Fire up the old projector, sign in to your Netflix or HBO account (or borrow a DVD), bring out chairs, beanbags and blankets, and invite residents and visitors to join you at your cellar or event room. Family-friendly screenings allow kids to sit still in their pajamas, while mommy and daddy take a much deserved break with a glass of red in hand.

Averys, a historic cellar in Bristol UK, has hosted The Vintage Screenings Series and The Cary Grant Festival to bring classic movies to life in the cellars, while also celebrating the career of one of Bristol’s most well-renowned actors. Film festival goers of all ages flock to this now-yearly tradition.

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Sip & Paint and Terrarium Building

My friends and I love nothing more than sipping and painting…. sipping and making terrariums. Why not invite noted class instructors or small businesses — that specialize in Paint Nights or Succulent Nights — to host their events in your facilities? Not only will there be a guaranteed crowd of 15-30 fresh faces, but it’s also a great opportunity to introduce your business to the unfamiliar and share with them your latest releases and upcoming events.

Board Game Nights

In countless cafes and bars across the world, board games rule again. Why not bring those same Settlers of Catan and UNO! players to your event room? Residents and wine club members cajole friends and neighbors for a couple of hours of play. Fast talk, laughter and lots of wine (and wine coolers?) all around. Board Game Nights are a good opportunity to up-sell snacks and other winery merchandise. And the best news? You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone buried in a smart phone’s glow.

Expert Speaker Series

The one thing I miss most about grad school are speaking events held over happy hour. I got to expand my education past stuffy classrooms and lecture halls, accompanied by drinks and the company of like-minded friends. Why not reach out to the local colleges, universities and professional associations (like Toastmasters) to hold their speaker series events at your space? These events draw retirees, alums, students, faculty, staff and many others — a pleasant crowd of thinkers eager to listen and learn new ideas, including yours.