Find out more about the TTC and CTC

Marketing, branding, special events, budgets, lack of reserves, lodging tax dollars — these are just a few of the things we hear and read about concerning the efforts of the Town Tourism Committee.

If you are not a lodging facility, do you even know what the lodging tax is and how it is collected in the town and the county? Do you know the difference? Do you know if the lodging tax is up or down? Do you know how the monies are allocated? Do you know how the TTC, CTC (County Tourism Committee), Chamber and Visitor Center all work together?

If you answered no to any of these questions or have questions of your own, now is your chance to find out more about the TTC and CTC.

On Tuesday, May 5, the Chamber of Commerce begins a monthly breakfast gathering, Wake Up Pagosa. The breakfasts will be held the first Tuesday of the month 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

The meetings will be held at the Pagosa Mountain Hospital in the Pagosa Room, with a delicious breakfast provided by the Pagosa Pines Café. At this time, due to space restrictions, attendance is limited to 40 people. If the attendance is overwhelming, we’ll look for a new location. We will present topics we hope are timely, informative and useful to the community. Anyone is welcome. Breakfast is $8 for Chamber members and $10 for non-members.

The topics will vary each month and cover a range of issues important to the community. These sessions are presented not as a form of attack, but as an exchange of information. The audience should receive new, accurate and pertinent information and the presenters can hear questions and concerns from the audience about the topic. We hope if you have a business related to the topic of the month, that you will attend. We hope if you are a community leader or government representative, you will attend. We hope if you are just interested in the topic as a community resident, you will attend. We hope the topics and speakers offered will create a better sense of awareness, accuracy and networking among various community groups. To reserve your breakfast space, please call the chamber at 264-2360.

Customer service —

Walk the Talk

All business owners should mark their calendars for Tuesday, May 19, and send themselves and staff members to one of two training sessions concerning world-class service. Bob Ash, owner of Life Lessons, will be the trainer for a day of fun, education, laughter and practical ideas and tools to improve what it is we do in life.

Last week, we talked about offering world class service through customer service. Here is another tip on providing excellent customer service: Walk the Talk!

As a business owner, if you tell a customer you are going to do something ... do it. If you don’t know the answer, find it out — don’t make it up. If you tell a customer you will be there to perform a service, be there. If you promised to get a customer information, get it. If you run into a delay or can’t provide the information in the time specified, call the customer and explain.

There is nothing more frustrating to a customer than hanging on and feeling that you are being deceived. If you have ever made this mistake in your business, you should attend the World Class Customer Service Day.

Business is very competitive these days, and promising what you cannot deliver, offering mediocre service, or designing your business around you, instead of the customer, can cost you profits. With spring upon us and the busy summer months not far away, we look forward to reinstilling great service in Pagosa. We have the friendly business owners and staff, and many just need to gear up and refresh their talents.

World Class Customer Service will be held at the community center, divided into two sessions. The morning session will run from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and the afternoon session will be 1-3:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person for up to five people per business. Businesses sending more than five people will receive a discount. We are also offering free tickets. Listen to KWUF on Wednesday mornings on the “Good Morning Pagosa” show and call in to receive a free ticket if you answer the question. Make sure you check your Chamber Constant Contact e-mails as there will be questions you can answer that will also bring you free admission. Snacks and beverages will be provided at each session.

Participants will enjoy Ash’s interaction with the audience, his down-to-earth way of communicating, and his way of incorporating what you have learned into everyday work practices. Bob Ash continues to promote exceptional customer service and ways to provide it.

Make Tuesday, May 19, a day of recommitment to providing great “Pagosa Friendly” service. Reserve your space by calling the Chamber at 264-2360 and specify the morning or afternoon session.

Safety Expo

Gather the family and come to Pagosa Springs High School for a fun day of exploration, education, thrills, and interaction as Archuleta County hosts the first Safety Expo Saturday, May 2. Major Sponsors include LPEA and the Pagosa Springs High School.

Kids will particularly enjoy the Kiwanis Junglemobile, which teaches safety issues; “Talon” from Navajo and Colorado State Parks; and the “Signs and Wonders” camp targeted for Native American children from the Four Corners Area.

Parents will enjoy learning about wildfire hazard mitigation on private property and Emergency Services from the USJHD and Pagosa Mountain Hospital. Everyone will enjoy the Upper San Juan Search and Rescue site as they demonstrate their backcountry rescue methods and technical rope rescue techniques. La Plata Electric and the fire department will have trucks, cranes and equipment at the site. LifeCare will also be on hand with their medical evacuation helicopter and lifesaving equipment. Of particular importance will be the fingerprinting booth hosted by the Pagosa Springs Police and Archuleta County Sheriff offices. Food vendors will also be on hand.

The Safety Expo runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the high school. If you have any questions, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 264-2360.

Music Boosters concert

After a day at the expo, change over to the cultural side of things and enjoy the Music Boosters presentation featuring internationally-known trumpeter Chris Lawson. Chris has played with many famous personalities past and present. Chris will be accompanied by some of Pagosa’s own musicians including Bob Hemenger, Larry Elginer, Venita and Dan Burch, John Graves, Sue Anderson, Bob Nordman, Jerome Osmialowski, Shawna Carosello and Larry Baisdon.

During his time in Pagosa, Chris will also donate his talent at a workshop for high school music students. All proceeds from the concert benefit the Music Boosters’ college scholarship program. Tickets for the concert are available at the Chamber and at the door, and are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Concert dates are Saturday, May 2, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 3, at 2 p.m.

Economy and finances

Lifelong Learning Series continues Saturday with speaker Ali Sabeti, retired senior staff member of the World Bank Group. What is happening with the stock market, what will happen with the credit markets, what will happen with interest rates and loans? These and many more financial questions will be considered at the Ruby Sisson Library, beginning at 3 p.m.

Chamber members

Last week, we missed out on the San Juan Water Conservancy District. This knowledgeable group can help with information on water-related questions, with educational outreach, water planning and other issues related to water. For more information on this group, contact Denise Rue-Pastin at 731-2691.

Renewing under new ownership is Pagosa Outside, now owned by Tobi and Alison Rohwer. Also renewing chamber memberships are: Sunetha Property Management; The Harman Park Museum; Pinon Park Campground and RV Resort; and Tierra Wools located in the delightful and historic town of Los Ojos, N.M., near Tierra Amarilla.

Don’t forget to head over to St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church on South Pagosa Boulevard this evening for the Springs Strings Benefit Concert with violin, viola and cello students — the recipients of Music in the Mountains scholarships. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students 15 and under. Enjoy a musical evening with talent, hors d’oeuvres and beverages.