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The Important Pivot That Built This One-of-a-Kind Travel Marketplace

She sought to solve one problem, but discovered a bigger one in the process.

This story appears in the December 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Travel can spark unexpected businesses, and Alyssa Ravasio started hers after a failed trip to Big Sur. Her story, as told to Ashlea Halpern:
Alyssa Ravasio of Hipcamp

I wanted to spend New Year’s Eve of 2012 somewhere quiet and beautiful, but I couldn’t believe how difficult it was to find a campsite by the ocean. There are websites for county parks, state parks and other federal land, but there’s no easy way to search them. Eventually, I found Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur, Calif. I arrived and began setting up my tent, and then realized everybody had a surfboard and a wetsuit. I walked to the beach and saw one of the most beautiful point breaks of my life. It was so frustrating, because I could have brought my surfboard -- but I’d spent hours reading about the campground, and not one source mentioned this perfect wave!

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