Category Archives: Features

Tahoe’s Coachman Motel raising the bar for renovation

Investors give 60s era motel European inspired face-lift

Story appeared in the Tahoe Daily Tribune. http://bit.ly/2j9ZwqO

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The parking lot outside may still have some semblance of a construction site — a shipping container or two and a few carpenters milling about — but take a step into the lobby of the newly renovated, state-of-the-art Coachman Hotel and it is easy to see a piece of managing partner Justin Watzka, his father Peter and their investment group’s vision.
Inspired in part by the communal nature of the traditional European ski lodge with a uniquely modernized interior design, the place is at once welcoming and stylish.
Part lodge, part Starbucks, part microbrew tasting lounge, with a hint of nostalgia for the 1960s motel experience, the concept has the potential to become a model for redevelopment of the region’s aging motel infrastructure.
“It’s something I’ve been looking toward doing for a number of years,” the tall, thin, long-haired 34-yearold Watzka said sipping a Stumptown coffee in his hotel’s new communal space — which will also be open to non-guests. Watzka looks every bit the part of what you would picture from a young professional Bay Area business type, with a passion for the outdoors. Continue reading Tahoe’s Coachman Motel raising the bar for renovation

Tahoe’s Cold Water Brewery celebrates one-year anniversary

Brewer and owner do it their own way

Story and photography first ran in November of 2015 in the Tahoe Tribune.

For brewmaster Ryan Parker, joining Cold Water Brewery was a chance to branch out and try something new; and it was a place to expand on his craft.
“Every beer is an art form,” he said, describing his approach. “Experimentally it’s nice to have that room to grow.”
For him, it’s all about the beer and the community that comes along with it. He leaves the business side of things up to longtime food and beverage industry director and brewery owner Debbie Brown.
“I don’t get out front very often,” Parker said of his focus on brewing. “I just like making beers.” Continue reading Tahoe’s Cold Water Brewery celebrates one-year anniversary

Explore Summit: Olympic snowboarders feature

Growing Up Golden : Olympic snowboarders Taylor and Arielle Gold

Explore Summit magazine feature on Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Olympic and X Games snowboarders Taylor and Arielle Gold. (Spring 2015 issue) Story also ran in the Summit Daily News and Explore Summit Weekender. Sample below; full story link here.

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Just a under a month after his first Dew Tour win, 21-year-old Taylor Gold is back at it in the halfpipe at Breckenridge Ski Resort. While his 18-year-old sister Arielle — an equally accomplished rider with podium finishes at both X Games and Dew Tour — runs laps with four-time Olympic snowboarder Kelly Clark, Taylor sits on top of one of the 22-foot halfpipe’s walls thinking about a trick.

Taylor Gold training

After strapping in, he stands up, slides forward a little and eyes the spot he is about to hit on the opposing wall.
“Anything I do here is going to be thoroughly unimpressive,” he jokes.
It’s a few days before the U.S. Freeskiing and U.S. Snowboarding pro teams start their pre-X Games training camp. Taylor, Arielle, Clark and a handful of other skiers and snowboarders are already in the pipe at Breckenridge getting a jump on training and shaking off rust after a holiday break.
Standing near the edge Taylor waits for an opening between riders and skiers coming from the top of the pipe. He drops in, airs out of the pipe with a quick grab and then hikes back up. The small trick is just a portion of what will eventually build into something much larger, more complex.
“I told you it wasn’t going to be impressive.” [Continue full story here.]

 

Explore Summit: Unity Snowboards feature

Unity Snowboards, a Summit County original

This feature on Silverthorne, Colorado, based Unity Snowboards and company founder Pete Wurster was first published in the winter 2014 edition of Explore Summit magazine. It also appeared in a weekend edition of The Denver Post, as well as in the Summit Daily News and Explore Summit Weekender. Excerpt below. A link to the text for the full story can be found here.  Photos and story by Sebastian Foltz.

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In a world where snowboards and skis come off assembly lines in massive numbers, it’s hard to be the little guy. Almost every year new independent ski and snowboard companies enter the market, and almost every year others fall out of it.1p7

But for nearly 20 years, one small company has held its own in the highly competitive world of snowboard production, and its building process from start to finish happens right here in Summit County.

Founded in 1995, Unity Snowboards is the brainchild of Pete Wurster and former partner and childhood friend Paul Krikava; the entire company runs out of a small section of a two-story warehouse in Silverthorne.Unity snowboards

Wurster — now sole owner of the company since buying Krikava out in 2001 — recently took a break from base-grinding some new splitboards in his shop to chat about what it takes to stay relevant year after year.

“For me it’s just a labor-of-love thing,” he said. “I love working with my hands.”

But it’s also a meticulous process that didn’t come overnight. Wurster, now 42, said it took him and his five employees about six years to get truly dialed in to a point where they’re now at their most efficient, and cost effective. Continue reading Explore Summit: Unity Snowboards feature