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The volunteers make WinterFest a success

It was an active WinterFest Weekend and, just as the last event of the weekend ended on Sunday, snow finally began to fall.

I think the Penguin Plungers eventually warmed up and were proud that they raised over $6,300 for various nonprofits in the area.

There was a bevy of activity and participation in the Nordic Races and Snowman Stomp events and great spectators were at the Downhill Sled Race and Penguin Plunge.

None of these events would have been possible without the various groups that participated. This is really the only big event during winter and it has lots of potential to grow.

We appreciate the feedback, ideas and enthusiasm that made the individual events and weekend bigger and better. We hope the enthusiasm continues until later on in the year when we begin to plan for 2013.

We also want to thank all of the volunteers at all the various events. Without your assistance these activities would not happen. If you have suggestions for WinterFest, please contact the Chamber and remember, suggestions usually come with the offer to help!

Maximize your membership

We have been randomly pulling up Chamber member businesses on the website, and we are shocked by how little information we have in the business descriptions of our businesses.

Whether that has to do with the conversion or whether there has always been minimal information, we need to change that aspect of our effort to promote your business. A free listing and description is part of your Chamber membership. You also receive one free website listing (many Chambers charge you for even one listing). Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes for a minute. What business would you choose? The business that lists their service such as real estate; restaurant; or gifts? Or would you choose a business that gives an attractive description of services?

You help set the tone and marketing for your business. When was the last time you viewed your website listing and made any changes? Did you know you can change your website listing at any time, yourself? You can control your content. This membership benefit is free and should be one of the marketing items you have on your list to check at least once a quarter, if not every month. If you’ve added a service or amenity, make sure that new information is on your website listing.

Another service is your listing of key words. Key words work on our website just like they would on your own website where search engine optimization comes into place. Just one or two words should pull up your website if people search with key words. Do you have key words listed? Most businesses do not. These are easy to add and, again, you can do it yourself, or we can help you.

These topics and others will be discussed at the Maximizing Your Membership free luncheon on Monday, Feb. 27, 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., here at the Chamber. We ask that you R.S.V.P. so we have enough food. An investment of an hour may be worth hundreds to thousands of dollars in income. Let us help you maximize your Chamber benefits for little to no additional money. We can also show you how to get more exposure if you are interested in targeted banner ad marketing or other marketing avenues. Call the Chamber at 264-2360 to reserve your space.

Business Bites

Our February Business Bites will be moved back just a little bit and will be held on Friday, March 2. Due to the very busy schedules of the speakers, we needed to move the date, so we will have two Business Bites luncheons in March.

The March 2 Business Bites will focus on safety and security at your business. We need to protect our assets from external and internal thievery. Learn what to do if you suspect thievery or foul play; learn proactive steps to protect your business. Det. Richard Valdez will be on hand to discuss the new Crime Stoppers program. Chief Rockensock and Undersheriff Jim Saunders will be there to answer your questions and concerns and give helpful tips.

The lunch session will be held at the West Side Visitor Center in the Country Center. It will be held at noon. Lunch will be provided. The cost is $7 for members and $10 for non-members. Please R.S.V.P. to the Chamber so we can ensure that there is enough food. Make a small investment in your business by attending this lunch seminar; it could save you thousands of dollars and hours of grief. Don’t think you know it all about security — one tip you take away from this luncheon could save your business from serious loss.

Upcoming events

We have several events coming up in the next few weeks.

The Heart Beat Ball benefitting the Pagosa Mountain Hospital will take place at the Pagosa Lodge on Saturday, Feb. 25. The festivities begin at 7 p.m. and tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. There will be live and silent auctions, delicious food, a cash bar, and music and dancing. Enjoy an evening out while benefitting one of Pagosa’s fastest growing businesses and largest employers in our community.

On Friday, Feb. 24, Tim Reimherr will be in concert, sponsored by Restoration Fellowship. He will be here from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City performing a worship concert at Restoration Fellowship on Village Drive. For more information, call 731-2937.

Also on Saturday, Feb. 25, Pagosa Brewing Co. will host its annual Mutton Chop Contest with a “fashion” show of the “chops” that the men have been growing. This hilarious event will include awards for the best natural chops, best enhanced chops and anything-goes chops.

Although no snow is forecast, the Pagosa PAW dog sled and skijoring races will take place Feb. 25 and 26. Hosted by the Pagosa Nordic Club and the Colorado Mountain Mushers, this two-day event will take place at the beautiful Kuhn Ranch, eight miles north of U.S. 160 on North Pagosa Boulevard. There will be various distances and types of races and even a one-mile course on which to test out your own dog. For more information, visit the Nordic site at www.pagosanordic.com.

Wednesday, Feb. 29 (Leap Day), is the date for the Education Center’s annual fund-raiser luncheon, to be held at the Pagosa Lodge, 11:45 a.m. until 1 p.m. Come and see what steps, new programs and improvements have been made at the center. Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased at the Education Center at the corner of Lewis and Fourth streets, or call 264-2835.

On Friday, March 2, a group of talented local musicians will perform a Bob Dylan tribute. The first part of the show will be individual musicians performing solo Dylan songs. The second set will have the entire band playing more Dylan classics. The event will take place at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts and tickets are $15 in advance and $17 at the door. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. This is a unique concert and an opportunity to see some of Pagosa’s musical talent.

Then, on Saturday, March 3, the ladies will break out their closet staple and attend the Seeds of Learning’s Little Black Dress affair at the Ross Aragon Community Center. The evening starts at 5 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres by Alley House Grille, a cash bar, auction items, fashion savvy and musical entertainment to amuse the ladies. You never know how many variations of a little black dress there might be. Tickets for the event can be purchased at Seeds of Learning and are $40. Questions can be directed to 264-5513.

Business news

There will be a ribbon cutting celebrating the new ownership of Satori Boutique & Gifts at 424 Pagosa St., with new owner Ginger Andrews, on Thursday, March 1. This unique boutique has fresh clothes and gift ideas and locals should stop in at 2 p.m. to congratulate Ginger for purchasing the business and see what is new in the store. We wish her many years of prosperity in the community and as a Chamber member.

Place your order by March 22 at the San Juan Conservation District for tree seedlings and shrubs. These plantings can be used for windbreaks, shelter belts, reforestation and wildlife habitat enhancement. Seedlings will be available for pick-up on April 12. For more information, contact the district at 731-3615.

Membership

We are honored with four new members to the Chamber this week, starting with a Third Generation Pagosa business. Forest Bramwell and Third Generation or 3G Outfitters joins the Chamber with his winter snowmobile tours and outfitting business. Enjoy a scenic snowmobile ride out on Piedra on a private ranch. You can take an hour to one-and-half-hour tour. The outfitting services offers packing in and out, camps, drop camps and fully furnished tents. From archery to second rifle season, Third Generation Outfitting can meet your hunting needs. For more information, contact Forest at (970) 219-7523.

We also have Eco-Safe Wastewater, LLC, with Doug Sharp joining. Eco-Safe can do almost anything related to wastewater treatment. They can repair failed distribution fields, are nationally certified installers and the only licensed septic installers in the Four Corners area. They use the latest technology in advanced treatment. For new building, residential, commercial or repair, call Eco-Safe at 264-6755.

HAIRitage by Susan Kay also joins this week. Susan has been in Pagosa for over 17 years and specializes in coloring, high- and low-lights and men’s cuts. She is located on Talisman Drive next to Cornerstone Accounting. Susan has convenient hours and if you’re looking for a new look — look to HAIRitage.

The last new member this week is the Thingamajig Theater in the Pagosa Center for the Arts. With a complete, almost year-round repertoire of theatrical events, Thingamajig Theatre has entertained the Pagosa community in the newly renovated Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. The company also offers classes for our youth in the summer, as well as offering challenging and varietal productions. They can also offer group rates for smaller or larger groups if you would like to reserve the whole theater for a special production. For more information on their upcoming schedule, which includes “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” and “Chicago,” visit their website at www.pagosacenter.org.

Our renewals this week include Scott Strategic Investments; and Bill Queen and Action Fire, who can inspect and certify your fire extinguishers and commercial kitchen hoods. Our non-profits renewing this week are the Education Center, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church and the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

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