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Businesses working outside the box

The retail and gallery communities are working outside the box and will be staying open later, opening on Sundays, and producing a Gallery Walk. This is good news to locals and many visitors since, when they walk around our community, they will be able to go into stores instead of just window shopping. The concept that the “streets roll up in Pagosa at 5 o’clock” is also something that retailers are working to change.

Walking traffic in the downtown district has prompted many store owners to look into staying open later on Fridays and Saturdays, and also offering shopping hours on Sunday. With the timeshare clientele arriving on Sunday and waiting to check in, shopping gives people a chance to stroll through our downtown district and helps them plan for the week. The retail sector will be publishing an “Open for Business” pocket pamphlet that will be given out at the Visitor Center, retail stores and interested lodging properties and restaurants. Many stores will be open later as the market demands during July, August and part of September. It is this spirit of businesses helping other businesses that will continue to foster the success of our community. The pamphlet should be available next week. If you are interested in giving out this material, contact the Chamber to receive the information.

The other shopping addition will be the institution of a Gallery Walk. The Gallery Walk will be held Friday, July 30. Many galleries will be open until after 6 or 7 p.m. Participating galleries will be identified by a red flag hanging outside their store. Current galleries included in the walk will be Artisans of the Southwest, Wild Spirit Gallery, Pagosa Photography, Next Door Décor, Southwest Elegance, Estudio y Galleria, Handcrafted Interiors, Pagosa Baking Co, and Markus Hughes. Many of the galleries will also be offering snacks, wine and specials. This Gallery Walk will continue throughout the summer, giving people a fun way to explore our community. Just look for the red flags outside the businesses and watch for more information.

Congratulations to all the businesses that have been working together to think of new ways to entice visitors and increase sales. There is also a contingent of retailers working on creating a merchants association. If you are interested in participating and have not been contacted, contact the Chamber at 264-2360.

Business Bites

At the July Business Bites, we will continue to explore online marketing. Online marketing may never replace visual marketing, but it is certainly growing , especially with the younger generation. In this month’s discussion of Internet marketing, our guest speaker will be Lynne Killey, owner of Queen Bee Skin Care. Lynne will be speaking on digital media and on integrating a blog and getting it to pay off. She will also talk about how to build a client base and ways to successfully market to it through e-mails and Facebook — and it’s all free. Which mode is correct and when would you use the different types of Internet marketing? How do you measure your success?

While most people know Lynne as the queen bee of skin care here in Pagosa, Lynne actually has an impressive background in marketing and Internet business. Having founded two successful Internet companies, Lynne set the industry standards in ad models, reporting and payment structures still in use today with her first Internet company, www.gamespot.com.

As you try new ideas, see what marketing techniques work, learn how to sift through a quagmire of information, and let some of Pagosa’s incredible talent help you. The July Business Bites will be at the community center on Tuesday, July 20, at noon. The luncheon and informational session is only $5. Walk-ins are welcome, but to make sure we have enough food, please R.S.V.P. to the Chamber of Commerce at 264-2360.

Archuleta County Fair

This year the Boots, Buckles & Barrels of Fun County Fair will be held Aug. 6-8. Along with the fantastic annual 4-H Chuck Wagon Dinner, the Lee Sterling Chile Cookoff, the Kid’s Rodeo and Livestock Show and Auction, there will also be live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights, a Ranch Rodeo, the B-2 Stealth Bike and the Great Northern A’Fair Inc. Carnival. This year’s fair is chock full of activities and there is something for everyone. Go online to www.archuletacountyfair.com, or pick up a fair book to check the schedule of when your entry is due, and the full schedule of events.

Family History Fair

On Saturday, Aug.14, there will be a Family History Fair held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Admission is limited to the first 100 people and there is no charge. Barbara Becker Meehan will be the featured speaker. With the renewed interest in genealogy and family history research, this fair is fun and informative. The public will be able to learn techniques for researching family roots. You must register in advance by contacting Sharron Oldham at 264-5063 or sharronleol@gmail.com.

Duck Race

The Knights of Columbus will release the ducks into the San Juan River on Saturday, Aug. 14. Beginning at 11:30 a.m., the food court will open with games for the kids. There will be prize drawings all day and the duck race begins at 3 p.m. For the duck finalists, first prize will be $1,000, second prize $500, and third prize $250. Come out for a day of fun and the chance to win some great prizes or cash. Tickets may be purchased at the Chamber.

Art in the Garden

The third annual Art in the Garden will be held at Werner and Maryse Buck’s house in Continental Estates (three miles south on U.S. 84) on Saturday, Aug. 21. There will be plein air presentations, live music and delicious samplings of French gourmet hors d’oeuvres. The festivities begin at 3 p.m. and continue to 7. Tickets are available at the Community United Methodist Church, or at the Chamber. Tickets are $45 each, or $40 for two or more tickets purchased at the same time.

Wines of the San Juans

Sunday afternoon entertainment continues at Wines of the San Juans from 4-7 p.m. Enjoy the beautiful outdoor garden, some terrific wines and pleasant entertainment. Admission is free and the winery is located in Blanco, N.M., just south of Navajo Dam. Take a mini vacation for the day and motor down to our New Mexico Chamber neighbors.

Cumbres and Toltec train

The bad news is that an unfortunate and unforeseen tragedy occurred with the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. The Lobato Trestle was damaged by a fire of unknown origin on June 23. This trestle is the second highest on the 64-mile ride and only about four miles outside of Chama. Experts have surveyed the trestle and are recommending complete reconstruction. The good news is that the train is still running with some minor modifications. If passengers book their ride out of Chama, they will be transported to Cumbres pass to catch the train. The rest of the ride is the same. If they return via train, they will be transported back to Chama. Tickets for this portion of the ride are also discounted. The Chama to Osier train has been cancelled.

Friends of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad are still awaiting the final decision of the repair. If you are interested in donating to the repair of the trestle, a separate fund has been set up. You may send contributions to Friends, 6005 Osuna Rd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109. We wish our friends to the south much success and support at this time of difficulty.

Membership

We celebrate this week with a number of new Chamber members. Welcome back to Sally and Mark Leavitt and their latest Moose Restaurant, the Aspen Moose. Located right across from the golf course in the Aspen Village Center, the Aspen Moose provides great dining at reasonable prices. It has a cozy atmosphere and the menu includes steaks, seafood, sandwiches, salads and their signature dish, the Chimichanga. Open currently for dinner, watch for lunch opening.

Offering an alternative to traditional mobile phone service contracts, check out Pagosa Wireless with Scott Schjolin. Pagosa Wireless offers prepaid wireless service, cell phones, and accessories. Service includes great monthly phone charges including texting packages. Pagosa Wireless is located in the Mountain View Shopping Center at 2035 Eagle Dr., Ste 107, or call 731-PLUS (7587).

We also welcome Wild Spirit Designs with Lyle Congdon as a graphic and web designer. They can help you with logo design, web design, business cards, brochures, ads, and posters. Web and blog design with WordPress allows you to manage your own CMS. For more information, contact Lyle at 903-3298.

The United People Help Ministry also joins. This organization is to be an umbrella outreach to house and develop powerful, progressive, purposeful ministries that provide help services to needy individuals and families. UPHM is also interested in uniting denominations, ministries, help organizations, businesses and individuals for the common desire to formulate projects, and help services to serve those in need, and to connect the groups and individuals who have the ability to help. If you are interested in finding out more about UPHM, please contact Jerry Joe Hilsabeck at 264-5433.

Our renewals this week include Boss Hogg’s Restaurant and Saloon, Source Gas, Let it Fly, San Juan Appraisal Group, the Pagosa Gym, Bar D Wranglers and the Grand Marshals of the Fourth of July parade — Jack and Katy Threet.

We hope to see a large crowd at the Renaissance and Pirate Festival on July 17-18. Family fun for everyone — and it’s not your typical festival! Don’t miss the Renaissance-related movies at The Springs Resort Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There are still a few tickets left for the Music in the Mountains concert with violinist Vadim Gluzman for Saturday, July 17, also to be held at the stellar venue in the EcoLuxe at The Springs Resort. Enjoy all that Pagosa has to offer this summer.