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Bicycle Tour of Colorado coming to Pagosa in 2010

Pagosa Springs has been chosen as the “stay-over” community for the 16th annual Bicycle Tour of Colorado.

Bike Tour participants will enjoy our hospitality on two nights, June 23 and 24, 2010.

The tour’s 470-mile loop will begin in Gunnison with stops in Creede, Alamosa, Chama, two nights in Pagosa and Center, then head back to Gunnison.

The tour limits participation to 1,500 riders. While many of the riders will camp at the high school, a significant number of people will stay at lodging facilities.

Some of the attractions that led organizers to plan a rest day in Pagosa were our great community hospitality four years ago and our wonderful hot springs — so soothing to tired riders who have cycled 50 to 100-plus miles per day.

This is a great coup for our community, bringing additional lodging and retail tax dollars, with the potential for future visits to Pagosa from cyclists in months and years to come. The Chamber will coordinate various events during the tour stay, as well as work with the business community, maximizing visits to restaurants and marketing various venues in advance of the tour.

We look forward to organizing efforts for this two-day town-wide event and party. I know we will live up to the praise of the Bike Tour of Colorado’s description of Pagosa: “This is one of Coloradans’ most desired vacation getaways!”

Welcome back to Pagosa, Bicycle Tour of Colorado 2010.

Do you Cha Cha?

The fourth annual Mountain Chile Cha Cha takes place Saturday, with the Patty Aragon Green Chile Cookoff and the last in the three-race Pagosa Peak Trail Series.

This will be a busy day in Town Park as the Cha Cha race event begins here in the morning with a children’s fun race, then the 3-, 7- or 15-mile distance races for the adults. The aggressive trail includes 95 percent trail running and 5 percent road running, with challenging climbs and scenic vistas. For race registration, visit www.joingecko.com.

After the race, stay around Town Park where free live music, cold beer and hot green chile is in store for the attendees. This lively event rounds out the outdoor season of events in Pagosa as fall sets in. The cutoff for entering the chile cookoff has passed, but sometimes it is better to be on the tasting side of the table! The bands playing at the free concert will be Quemozo at 1:30 p.m. and Nosotros at 4 p.m. There will also be food booths, kids’ activities, and lots of fun. For more information, you can go to www.folkwest.com.

Air race

Also on Saturday, the first annual Pagosa Springs 100 Air Race will come to Stevens Field. The air race will bring competitors from all over the country and Canada to race their small, mostly single-engine aircraft in a cross-country race that will cover 106 nautical miles. The race will start at 10 a.m. at the airport and last about 1 1/2 hours. The public is invited to watch and talk to the pilots. For more information, call AvJet at 731-2127 or airport manager Bill McKown at 731-3060.

Healthy workplace

Employee absence, colds, flu, H1N1 and all the seasonal health challenges — how can you make your workplace healthier?

San Juan Basin Health has myriad posters, Web sites, and informational material to help you and your business environment stay healthier this season. Here are just a few reminders:

• Have tissue and hand sanitizer on the counter where customers and staff can easily access them. Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol based hand rub.

• Have a spray bottle handy to disinfect routinely items or counters that are touched frequently.

• Encourage employees to stay home or go home when they are sick and not to return to work until their temperature is 100 degrees or below, without medication, for 24 hours. Also, review your sick leave policies.

• Be prepared to function with a potential workforce shortage, including employees who are parents and may need to take care of sick children.

• Utilize resources for temporary help like the Colorado Workforce or the Chamber of Commerce.

A good site to go to for more information on the H1N1 virus and other communicable diseases is www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm. You can also contact our local San Juan Basin Health Office at www.sjbhd.org for local media releases and updates, FAQ’s, posters and factsheets.

San Juan Basin Health is also issuing flu shot vaccines (not the H1N1 vaccine) Monday-Friday at their office on South 8th Street from 8-10 a.m. Shots are $25.

Oktoberfest

Archuleta Seniors, Inc. will host Oktoberfest in the Ross Aragon Community Center on Saturday, Oct. 3. Festivities begin at 4:30 p.m. and last until about 8, with great food, beer, dancing and activities, including a silent auction. Tickets are available at the Chamber and Senior Center for $20 in advance and $25 at the door for adults, children 5-12 are $5 and children under 5 are free. Archuleta Senior card holders also get discounted tickets for $12 in advance, $15 at the door.

Oktoberfest is a major fund-raiser for ASI. This event helps fund seniors in need of medical transportation, with medical costs or dental expenses, eye care, hearing aids and more. The money also goes towards educational, cultural and social activities for seniors.

Come down to the community center for a rousing good time and some fantastic German fare.

Marketing for Smarties

Registration for the fall session for Marketing for Smarties is coming to a close.

Classes begin Wednesday, Oct. 7, and continue on Oct. 28 and Nov. 18. Each class is held 6-9 p.m. and the classes are limited in size to eight people. Cost for the class is $149, however, there are two partial scholarship opportunities available. Shy Rabbit Contemporary Studio is offering a $75 scholarship for a company in the arts industry that completes all three sessions. The Lindblad Group is providing a $75 scholarship to any business that completes the three sessions. The scholarships will be awarded at the end of the session, with input from the instructor and class participation.

It is important to remember that Marketing for Smarties is one of the classes that businesses can take and, when completed, help them qualify for the new town incentive package of a 25-percent sales/lodgers tax rebate. Businesses will need to take a total of three different classes. Other qualifying classes are Leading Edge, upcoming hospitality classes, SBDC classes and others, as announced.

For more information, contact Lynn Asano with the SBDC at Fort Lewis College at 247-7009.

Membership

We welcome back renewals this week: Pagosa Feed and Nursery; Ski & Bow Rack; Rainbow Gift Shop; Gerlinde Ehni, D.D.S.; Adobe Abode, in Cabizon Canyon; and Doug and Jamie Sharp with Firefly Ranch. Friends of the Chamber renewing this week are Bob and Lisa Scott.

We hope the community is enthusiastic about the news regarding the Bicycle Tour of Colorado. It’s going to be a good 2010, and we look forward to some great activities and events.