Since 2006, the Calaveras Visitors Bureau (CVB) has been annually recognizing an outstanding business that has gone above and beyond to attract visitors to Calaveras through new or unique ideas, products or services.
In 2013 we expanded this program to recognize more businesses and to encourage more innovation by honoring a business in each of six categories: • Event • Attraction • Lodging • Restaurant • Retail • Recreation with one overall winner receiving the top prize.
The CVB was honored to have Calaveras County Supervisors Merita Callaway and Cliff Edson on hand to present the awards to the 2014 winners. This year’s overall winner was The Spice Tin in Murphys, which also won in the Retail category. Featuring a wide array of herbs and spices from around the world, owners Jan and Patty Schulz, who were traveling on business at press time, received the honor for creating a unique retail environment that’s also a sensory experience. Read more about the inspiration for this business in our blog, On Tour in the Spice Tin.
For the second year in a row, each winner also received a Certificate of Recognition for their achievement from the California State Legislature signed by Assembly Member Frank Bigelow and Senator Tom Berryhill. Additional congratulations were awarded to The Spice Tin as overall winner for their achievement and “successful efforts to provide a unique product to the visitors and residents of Calaveras County.”
The CVB and their member businesses nominate businesses for the awards and then vote on the nominees. The nominee that receives the most votes overall becomes the overall winner for the year. Winners are announced at the CVB Annual Dinner which took place this year at the Arnold Black Bear Inn.
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