The “Innovations in Tourism Awards” is the Calaveras Visitors Bureau’s annual program designed to publicly acknowledge outstanding local businesses that have gone above and beyond to attract visitors to Calaveras through new or unique ideas, products or services.
These businesses are nominated and voted on by their peers for the Innovations in Tourism Awards. That means when you see the blue star innovator icon throughout this website, you know which businesses have been recognized by their peers and the CVB as being truly outstanding. From the first year of the awards in 2006 until 2012 one business was recognized each year. Beginning in 2013 the program was expanded to recognize businesses in each of 6 different categories: attraction, event, lodging, restaurant, retail and recreation. One business from the winner in these categories is also awarded the overall winner.
Scroll down to see a full list of all past winners.
2015 Winners: 9th Annual Innovations in Tourism Awards
- Attraction and Overall Winner – Brice Station Vineyards – for their Hill Top concert series and for hosting their Theatre Under the Stars series: Shakespeare on the Vine.
- Event – Calaveras County Fairgrounds – for bringing in new events like the Back Country Horsemen, and continually enhancing Fair & Frog Jump.
- Lodging – Worldmark by Wyndham – for consistently bringing in large numbers of guests and for their excellent concierge services at the front desk.
- Restaurant – The Pickle Patch – for their consistently great food, live music and Oktoberfest events.
- Retail – Gold Country Roasters – for roasting the most delicious coffee in the county and for introducing their story slam events and for winning a silver medal in the national Golden Bean coffee roasting awards.
- Recreation – Bear Valley Mountain – for bringing in high profile events and making snow to keep the mountain open during drought years.
2014 Innovations in Tourism Awards Winners
These outstanding local businesses were voted the winners in the 2014 Innovations in Tourism program by CVB member businesses.
- RETAIL & OVERALL WINNER – The Spice Tin for creating a retail environment that’s also an immersive sensory experience.
- ATTRACTION – Angels Camp Museum for their new special programs, extension of hours and huge increase in visitation.
- EVENT – Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee for annually bringing in over 45,000 visitors for frog jump, rodeo, demolition derby, the new outhouse race, etc.
- LODGING – The Murphys Historic Hotel for braving Hotel Hell, bringing in more events, building an outside bar and making other upgrades.
- RECREATION – Cave & Mine Adventures for developing the zip lines at Moaning Cavern Adventure Park and for operating and funding the Murphys Information Center.
- RESTAURANT – Outer Aisle Foods for their live music, events, farmers market and popular farm to fork model.
2013 Innovations in Tourism Awards Winners
In 2013, we expanded the Innovations in Tourism Awards to include six different categories + an overall winner with nominees being provided by CVB board members and member businesses. Winners were decided by the CVB membership by ballot.
- LODGING & OVERALL WINNER – Arnold Black Bear Inn, for their development as a premiere wedding destination and their new Top Chef Challenge event packages.
- EVENT – Twisted Oak Winery, for bringing a new venue to Calaveras’ evening entertainment scene with its Summer Concert Series.
- ATTRACTION – Calaveras Big Trees State Park, for their interpretive programs, warming hut and new visitor center.
- RESTAURANT – Sidewinders / Doke Sushi, for filling a culinary niche, offering live music, staying open late and being dependably high quality.
- RETAIL – Stories in Stones, for their unique retail experience and educational outreach.
- RECREATION – Arnold Rim Trail Association, for the planning and development of the Arnold Rim Trail and map.
Pre-2013 Innovations in Tourism Awards Winners
Before 2013, our Innovations in Tourism Awards program was much smaller. The Calaveras Visitors Bureau board recognized one business in the county for their outstanding contributions to Calaveras tourism.
- 2012 – Courtwood Wine Tours Chris & Larry Parker
- 2011 – Calaveras Concierge, Suki Tuthill
- 2010 – Bear Valley Mountain
- 2009 – O.A.R.S. Whitewater Rafting, George Wendt
- 2008 – Cave & Mine Adventures, Stephen Fairchild
- 2007 – Ironstone Vineyards
- 2006 – Murphys Vacation Rentals Anna Gutierrez, Motherlode Marketing