Tahoe business owners pivot to survive more lockdowns (Opinion)

Luca Genasci
Guest column

We at AleWorX and The Cocktail Corner, along with many other business owners at Lake Tahoe, could not be more grateful for the hard work of our medical, healthcare professionals and first responders — the work that you have been doing this year has been exhaustive and largely thankless from time to time. Additionally, my thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have lost loved ones or have been severely impacted by COVID-19.

As someone who has grown up in a medical family, I try my very best to stay educated and informed on the impacts of COVID-19 and the decisions that are being made from a public health standpoint. I do so with the best intentions of being able to lead my team and our businesses in the most safe and responsible ways possible.

Luca Genasci

Keep in mind that our industry has diligently been navigating the relentless and ever-changing levels of “allowable operations” for the past nine months. With the recent stay at home order, restaurant owners have been tasked with pivoting on a moment’s notice once again to do our part in collectively reducing the transmission of COVID-19.

For me, the most concerning and devastating result is an inability to continue to employ my people. You will hear frequently that I make reference to my staff as being an AleWorX family. When I say that, I mean it. I care deeply about each and every one of my employees and I know that they rely on my businesses for their livelihood.

As of this week, I employee 80 people in our community — a large majority of whom do not feel additional protection with the restrictions, but rather that their only means to take care of their families is being ripped right out from under them.

As business owners, we carry the weight of having to inform our people that most will be laid off or their hours will be reduced to almost nothing — two weeks before Christmas. The well-being, mental health and livelihoods of my AleWorX family are of the utmost importance to me and you will without question see me fighting to keep them secure. What dedicated business owner wouldn’t?

With that being said, I care deeply about all aspects of our South Lake Tahoe community and have passionately made it my mission to embrace philanthropy and give back in any way that I can. The actions of myself, my family and our businesses should showcase that without much explanation.

Furthermore, we have worked diligently to navigate COVID-19 from a business standpoint with a concentrated focus on keeping our AleWorX family and our community safe. Without question, we plan to continue to do so as we move forward.

You can expect a continued dedication to safe and responsible business practices with masking, distancing and sanitization. You can expect an ongoing collaboration between local businesses having constructive conversations around how to keep our people employed and our businesses alive. And possibly most importantly, you can expect to see continued generosity in the most radical ways in an effort to support our fellow small businesses, employees and community as much as possible through this difficult time.

On behalf of my AleWorX family, I can confidently say that we are so grateful to be a part of this community and are committed to your health and safety.

Luca Genasci is the owner of Lake Tahoe AleWorX and The Cocktail Corner in South Lake Tahoe and Stateline.

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