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Chamber makes plans for 2010

It is hard to believe we are in the year 2010! I remember when we were celebrating the beginning of the millennium.

Coming out soon will be the Chamber’s year-in-review. However, for now, I’d like to mention some of the upcoming events the Chamber will host and note some positive outlooks for our community.

We will host the annual membership celebration, Winter Wonderland, on Saturday, Jan. 23. Don’t miss this opportunity for an evening of fabulous food, beverages, awards and dancing.

February 11-14 marks our WinterFest Celebration, with lots of outdoor activities. Enjoy Soup for the Soul, a dance, multiple days of Nordic races, sledding competitions, snowsculpting competitions and the new Pagosa Penguin Plunge in the San Juan River. Plunge for your favorite charity, or just come out and watch all the wacky people jump into the freezing water!

Get ready for mid-March when spring break hits Pagosa. We hope our snow holds and people are still ready to travel. We take a break for mud season until May, when we host the San Juan River Rod Run Car Show May 15. We expect more than 100 cars this year and will add a “Burn Out” and street dance in the evening.

June, typically a fairly slow month, will be very busy this year. The Wounded Warrior Project returns to Pagosa May 31 to June 4. This year, we will honor five Wounded Warrior families in Pagosa as they enjoy our amazing hospitality. The Folk ’n Bluegrass Festival will be held June 4-6. The Bicycle Tour of Colorado returns after a three-year hiatus, June 23-24. This event is a fabulous coup for our community, since participants will stay over for two nights — not the typical one night stop. It will be a very busy time for Pagosa, as more than 2,000 people descend on the community to enjoy our sights, amenities and hospitality.

Right after the bike tour, we roll into the Fourth of July activities. It is important to know that this year, the parade and fireworks will not be on the same day, since the Fourth falls on a Sunday. The annual parade will be held Saturday, July 3, and the free concert and fireworks will take place Sunday evening, July 4. The Arts & Crafts Fair will run July 2-4 as will the Red Ryder Rodeo. The Renaissance and Pirate Festival returns for its second year, July 17-18. This is a wonderful family event. July is still a super busy month for Pagosa.

August brings us the Archuleta County Fair, Aug. 5-8, and families get ready for children to return to school.

September is also becoming a very busy month for Pagosa, as there is an event almost every weekend. The Four Corners Folk Festival is set for the Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-5. Right on this festival’s heels is ColorFest weekend with hot air balloons, the wine festival and an even bigger Bands, Brews, Etc. Blowout! The Mountain Chile Cha Cha will also be back, with a chile cook-off, running races and free concert.

The Chamber catches its breath just a little in October and in November, we have Christmas in Pagosa, which will occur Dec. 3-4. Of course, there are lots of other events scheduled throughout the year; these are the ones the Chamber is sponsoring and ones that have a greater impact on the community.

We are also still waiting to hear about a few other events that may come to pass our community, and we’ll let you know as soon as we know.

The Chamber is also looking to revamp our Wake Up Pagosa Breakfasts and our Business Bites series. We plan on bringing back our special Hospitality World Class Service seminar, and I can’t encourage businesses enough to set some money aside now and attend this training! Hospitality is key to your business and I can guarantee you, if you fail with customer service these days, you can lose a customer for life. There are too many options available to people.

Now, more than ever, we need to collaborate — not only as a business community, but as a community as a whole. The Chamber needs ideas and efforts from as many people as possible. Your input, volunteerism, sponsorships and participation only make us stronger. All of us need to think outside the box! We hope we will continue to receive suggestions on how we can be a better Chamber and of greater service to businesses and the entire community. Thank you for a great 2009, and there is lots to look forward to in 2010.

Quick updates

Also beginning in December is a new Chamber Chat program on the Rocky Mountain Cable Network, Channel 11. This program, arranged by Media America, provides Chamber information and the month in review. The information changes at the beginning of each month and I speak about upcoming events and activities going on in Pagosa. If you have anything special to note — it must be community related, not business specific — please make sure the Chamber gets your information the month prior and, if time permits during the program, we will get it on the air, post it on the Web site calendar, and include it in our weekly e-mail blasts. If you have any questions, call Mary Jo at the Chamber.

Don’t forget to vote for the new Chamber board directors, up to Jan. 23. There are nine candidates running and only three will be chosen to serve three-year terms. There is only one vote per membership. We appreciate our members taking the time to stop by the Chamber to vote — plus it gives us an opportunity to catch up with you. For more information on the candidates, go to the Chamber Web site at and click on the board of directors and staff sidebar, then the 2010 nominees.

The Community Collaboration meeting for non-profit agencies and interested parties will be held Thursday, Jan. 14, at the Ross Aragon Community Center from 4-6 p.m. This will be a brainstorming session designed to continue the work started at the Bridge-a-Palooza meeting and to get us ready and positioned for Rural Philanthropy Days in Mancos, June 9 and 10. With fund-raising dollars harder to come by and volunteers and staff stretched to the max, we need to be working smarter, not harder. Please join us for lively conversation and light snacks as we work to move our community forward. For more information on this meeting, contact Mary Jo at 264-2360, or Julie Simmons at 264-6950.

Membership news

We ring in the new year with a new Chamber member — Don Haywood and Wolf Creek Rod Works. Don performs custom fabrication for street rods and vintage Land Cruisers. He works on wiring, paint and body, rust repair, suspension, engine conversions and electronic fuel injection conversion. We also appreciate Don’s help with our San Juan River Rod Run Car Show. If you have a special vehicle, give Wolf Creek Rod Works a call at 264-2190. We also welcome new friend of the Chamber, Pete Gonzalez.

We also have the following businesses starting off the new year with renewals: San Juan Veterinary Hospital; First Inn of Pagosa; Lew Woodward; and Claudia Matzdorf with her extensive online Southwest jewelry store, Southwest Silver Gallery.

We look forward to a new year with plans, enthusiasm and hope. We also hope that more people will take advantage of all that the Chamber has to offer. Stop by or call Kimberley at our office. She has a wealth of information, and is ready to have the Chamber work for your business. Happy New Year, Pagosa!