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Perk up for the holidays: Keep dollars in Pagosa

Although Pagosa Perks are a great gift idea all year long, this time of the year we want to make an extra effort to focus on keeping your shopping dollars in Pagosa Springs.

Along with the Parade of Stores No Tax Shopping Extravaganza on Dec. 3-4, we want to remind people that Pagosa Perks are a great gift idea.

Pagosa Perks are local “currency” that spends just like cash. Perks can be purchased from the Chamber of Commerce in various denominations. Pagosa Perks should be accepted by every business in this community, even if they are not a Chamber member. Because the Perks spend like cash, a business can accept them as a partial payment for an item, or they can give change back on the Perk. Perks can be used at businesses such as City Market, utility companies, restaurants, retail stores, or deposited into a bank account.

As a business owner, if you accept a Pagosa Perk, you can deposit it as you would a check. That’s it!

The Perks are guaranteed, so they’re even more secure than a personal check. If you turn down a Pagosa Perk, you are turning down business and we don’t want to do that, especially in this economy.

Perks make great gifts because, better than a gift certificate from a particular store or restaurant, the recipient of the Perks chooses where they want to spend them — a chance to pay a bill or buy groceries or gas may be the best gift you can give someone. Or the recipient may choose to get a massage, treat themselves to a special meal, or an outing to the movies, or purchase a special gift or clothing item they have had their eye on. The choice is the recipient’s, making these Pagosa Perks ideal. Most of all, the money stays in Pagosa Springs, helping our local industries.

Give Perks as employee incentives, not only during the holiday season but year-round. Thank our teachers, employees, neighbors, volunteers, or social group members with this local “currency.”

To purchase Pagosa Perks, drop by the Chamber. They can be paid for with cash, check or credit card. Give the gift of shopping local.

Parade of Stores

This is the fourth year retail merchants are offering great savings to entice local shoppers to stay in Pagosa and for shoppers in neighboring communities to come to Pagosa, stay, shop and enjoy all the weekend’s activities on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4. This year, there are over 40 stores participating in the Parade of Stores — a record number of participants!

There are two facets to the Parade of Stores.

First, participating stores will offer No Tax sales to shoppers. Many will also offer additional savings or open houses. This is a tremendous opportunity for shoppers, especially if they are looking for bigger ticket items. Each participating store will be offer a prize. In order to qualify for the prize, you must obtain a booklet from a participating store or the Chamber. You will then need to visit 22 stores and have your card validated. You can drop your booklet off at the last store you visit or at the Chamber (you can even drop it through our mail slot). We will tally the stamps and draw names for each store on Tuesday, Dec. 7. All booklets must be turned in by Monday, Dec. 6, at noon. There will be 43 chances to win a prize. You must be 18 years or older to participate in this part of the program.

The second part of the Parade of Stores weekend is the opportunity to win some great trips. For every $10 you spend in a participating store, you will be eligible to obtain one chance to enter the drawing. So, the more you spend, the more opportunities you have to win. This year, instead of waiting in line, shoppers will be able to fill out their tickets at the store. They will not need to come down to the Chamber unless it is easier to gather all the tickets and bring them to the Chamber and fill them out all at once. We are trying to make it easier for the shopper and encourage you to stay in Pagosa and support our local businesses.

Last year, we only offered one grand prize. This year, we will offer three prizes. Tickets will be entered into a drawing for trips to Santa Fe and Taos, and for a local package. Out-of-town packages will include a two-night stay, meals, gas and other amenities. Wouldn’t it be nice to win a trip for an upcoming anniversary, birthday or a family celebration?

This yearly event would not be possible without the participation of our local retail merchants and our lodging facilities, which offer special “Shop and Stay” packages for people wanting to come to Pagosa. Enjoy some skiing, soaking, shopping and one or two of the many activities that will be going on that weekend. Other activities include the Festival of Trees on Friday, Dec. 3; Santa at the Visitor Center and the town’s lighting event on Saturday, Dec. 4 (with the Springs Resort), and the Community Choir Holiday Program on Friday, Saturday and Sunday matinee.

Remember: Through the Parade of Stores Shopping Weekend, you benefit storeowners who are your neighbors, friends, parents of children your children go to school with, and fellow church members. By buying local products you also send out a slice of Pagosa to friends and family members in other parts of the country. Buy local, buy unique gifts, and keep our dollars circulating locally.

For more information about the Parade of Stores Shopping Extravaganza Weekend, call the Chamber at 264-2360. Stay in town and Shop Pagosa First.

Christmas in Pagosa

In addition to the Parade of Stores, the weekend of Dec. 3-5 holds other activities for locals and visitors.

Friday, Dec. 3.

On Friday evening, people can enjoy both the Festival of Trees and the Community Choir Christmas Concert. The Community Choir will perform at the high school auditorium at 7 p.m. They offer their holiday program to the community free of charge but, of course, donations are gladly accepted.

Since the Community Choir will also be performing at other times over the weekend, you can choose to go to the Festival of Trees on Friday, Dec. 3, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets for the event are only $10 and this price includes tasty hors d’oeuvres, music and a cash bar. The trees benefit various non-profit agencies in the community. Bidders will find trees with themes from the whimsical to the elegant and everything in between. This is a perfect time to donate a tree to a less fortunate family, add a tree to another room in your house, or change out a tree that you’ve had for years.

Trees will be decorated from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1. They are then available for public viewing on Thursday, Dec. 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The doors open for the festival at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 3. Come out and see the results of the artistic talent in this community and kick off the holiday season in grand style.

Saturday, Dec. 4.

The Parade of Stores Shopping Extravaganza continues throughout the day. Don’t get too tired shopping; you want to enjoy the evening’s festivities. Beginning at 3 p.m., the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center will prepare for Santa and Mrs. Claus. This is always a fun and magical time for children and parents. There will be treats and beverages for all, with gift favors for the children.

Jeff Laydon, with Pagosa Photography, will be on hand to take a picture of the children with Santa, providing a free 3x5 holiday framed photo. What a special treat for all visiting Santa.

At 5:15 p.m., just prior to the lighting of the Visitor Center, the Pagosa Springs Dance Academy will be on hand in the parking lot to perform some holiday dances in preparation for their performance on Monday, Dec. 6 at 6 p.m., at the high school.

At approximately 5:30 p.m. we will perform the traditional lighting of the downtown area. The Chamber and The Springs Resort will lead the lighting ceremony. We will participate with the Town of Pagosa Springs as the Reservoir Hill star will also be lit; other businesses can join in the collective lighting asa well.

We don’t want to be the only businesses lighting up our downtown area. Join us and light up your business at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 4.

After the lighting, head over to the high school to listen to the Community Choir concert at 7 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 5.

The Community Choir will give their last performance on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m.

We encourage everyone to stay in town this weekend, support our local economy and enjoy the community festivities. For more information on any of these events, visit the calendar on Chamber website at


We would like to remind people to visit their favorite stores in Pagosa during the Parade of Stores, and also check out the many new retail outlets that have opened up in Pagosa during the past year. The new businesses in our community that are participating in the Parade of Stores are: Earthsense Herbals, Coyote Janes, Wildflower Floral and Gift, Pedal & Powder (in a new location), Alpen Haus (in a new location), Photos by Griz, The Artist Within, Estudio y Gallaria, High Mountain Consignment (under a new name and with new items), Southwest Elegance and The Antler Shed. We congratulate these businesses for enhancing our economy and wish them much success. Stop by and see what they have for you.

We will also have a ribbon cutting at the new location of the Alpen House Ski Center on Friday, Dec. 3. The ribbon cutting will take place at the Aspen Village Center at 2800 Cornerstone Drive, at 11 a.m. Come out and see the amazing new ski center that Dan and Juanalee Park have brought to the west side of town. It’s gorgeous.

Our renewing members this week are Pagosa Ice Cream Company; the Econo Lodge; LBarZ Ranch Cabins; Bill Queen with Action Fire and Safety; and the Aspen Springs Metro District.

Thank you, Pagosa businesses, for all your support this past year. Happy Thanksgiving!