Some Lake Tahoe businesses have shown creativity, innovation can lead to success (Opinion) |

Some Lake Tahoe businesses have shown creativity, innovation can lead to success (Opinion)

Carl Ribaudo
Tribune Columnist

Local Musings

The past 10 years of economic expansion have given us a bird’s-eye view of how different businesses, organizations and South Shore itself has succeeded, and in some cases, failed.

Have you ever noticed how one business succeeds, and one does not? How is it businesses in a specific location fail for years then suddenly, a new one comes in and it’s a wild success?

What is it about these changes in fortune and what can we learn as a community going forward? Charles Darwin once intimated it’s not the strongest that survives, it’s the most adaptable.

The foundation of adaptability is creativity and innovation and that is what these businesses have in common. Take for example The Hanger Taproom and Bottle Shop, located on a piece of land that hadn’t been touched in decades, and it’s now a thriving place for locals and visitors to hang out.

The Blue Water Grill is another example. It was the first to serve a $6 beer in a town that had previously swigged $2 bottles.

On a bigger scale, how about the village? There were many who said it would never work and what was once a part of town that was full of rundown motels, a mini golf course and mediocre restaurants has been transformed and now generates $10 million a year in tax revenues for the city.

On the flip side, the casino industry has failed to innovate and adapt and for the past 20 years has seen its fortunes continually slide as tribal gaming has eaten the industry’s lunch.

These examples of success are all around, just look at the common denominators, creativity and innovation. What can we learn as a community? The most insightful lesson we as a community can learn is it’s not just creativity and innovation, but having a mindset to adapt.

We as a community in a tourism destination can only be successful and vibrant if we look ahead and see creativity as our most important asset and change and adaptation as our biggest opportunity.

This community will face positive economic cycles and recessions. The only guarantee of success is our ability to adapt and take advantage of every opportunity — the same way these businesses have done. We can learn a lesson from them.

The Big Picture

Like everyone, I recognize the country is split. And while many wish we were more united, we have rarely been.

Look back at history and this country has been split on most every issue. But something feels different, something is different. It’s as if the overall welfare of the country no longer matters.

I am not sure how we got here, but in my lifetime I have never seen the country matter less and political parties and greed — and me and mine — matter more.


If you haven’t done so already don’t miss the new bike and walking path in Incline Village.

A tip of the hat to all the organizations involved. The path goes from Incline Village to Sand Harbor with sweeping views of the lake, a truly wonderful experience for all ages.

Best of all it’s free. It is destined to be one of Tahoe’s best attractions. Do yourself favor a and don’t miss it.

It’s a Wrap

A year ago, my world changed when my granddaughter, Mia, was born. Since then, watching her and getting pictures from my daughter that keep me up to speed on all her development has become one of the joys of my life.

But she has changed me in a very important way, something all grandparents know but I have only become aware of. I now see all that goes on in this country and the world through her eyes. Every policy every decision this country makes I consider not how it impacts me but how it impacts her my granddaughter has made me take a very different, and I think better, view of what important.

Carl Ribaudo is a columnist, consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Lake Tahoe. He can be reachedat

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