How many times does a class assignment turn into a viable business? Answer: hardly ever — unless you're Justin Watzka. Armed with a hotel proposal he wrote as an MBA student at the University of Pennsylvania, Watzka purchased two 1960s motels in South Lake Tahoe, California in desperate need of a makeover. That was two years ago. Now, he owns the hip-yet-cozy Coachman Hotel, which opened in March 2016. "It's the kind of renovation these properties need in order to extend their lives," Kathleen Bunnage said, the general manager. She describes the overhaul of the 42-room property alongside design group Studio Tack as "alpine cool" meets "mountain modern." The two midcentury hotels were merged into one, and Watzka carved out more communal spaces, including fire pits for nightly s'mores and cornhole games. Inside, exposed light wood is in keeping with the area's classic cabin aesthetic, but slate gray wainscoting and minimal decor keep things modern. It's a project that Bunnage considers to be Watzka's love letter to the region, and a reminder that sometimes things just simply work out.