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A strategic plan for the Chamber

In May 2012, the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors held a strategic planning session to lay out some plans for the next three to five years for our organization and for the our involvement in the community.

Strategic planning sessions included identifying short-term and longer-range goals. All business owners should be incorporating some form of planning into their operation to identify the company’s vision and mission, to see if the company is growing the way it was originally planned or if changes in the business need to made.

A strategic plan should be a “living” document, to be reviewed and revised consistently. The Chamber is no different than your business in this respect and we have many aspects of community life in which we are involved.

For the next few weeks, we would like to share our strategic plan. Remember, there are short term goals and longer-range goals we know will take some time to accomplish or will need modification along the way.

The Chamber’s mission is to assist the members of our business community with development opportunities, resources, services, advocacy and education. We cannot run your businesses for you; however, we can help you start a business, give you tools, resources, opportunities and help create an environment to foster business in a “Perfect Pagosa Springs.”

We identified the following characteristics of our “perfect” community: economic diversity; a vibrant downtown; a cohesive community (less downtown/uptown friction, with more group collaboration); strong leadership; less “alphabet soup;” and preservation of resources and heritage.

In three years, the Chamber would be involved in, help lead the charge for and assist developing the following characteristics for our town: community involvement, consolidation of some of the “alphabet soup,” maximizing outdoor recreation, working for a stable diversified economy, seeking unified leadership and unified community, increasing voter representation, revitalizing of downtown, less town/county duplication, a Chamber building facelift, downtown development, champion the Riverwalk trails, unify uptown/downtown, build community pride, establish accountability.

Our priorities include: facilitate consolidation of some government entities, have a financially stable Chamber and a community with a stable and diversified economy, research and/or develop a Downtown Development Authority (DDA) or Business Improvement District (BID), analyze and evaluate profitability of Chamber-produced events not only for the Chamber but for the community, provide advocacy for members and the community.

The three major areas we chose to focus on that encompass many of the priorities are: 1. We will enjoy a stable year-round economy where tourism is one of at least three economic factors; 2. The Chamber will advocate for its business members; 3. The Chamber will be a financially stable business operation. We will be expanding on each of these areas in the upcoming weeks. We encourage members to respond, ask questions and get involved if there is a subject or priority you would be interested in working on. These plans will need the help of community members and business owners. It is not just a Chamber initiative, but a Chamber-led initiative. We look forward to creating dialogue and moving forward on various initiatives in our community.

Two-minute survey

The Chamber is seeking input on some social media topics for an upcoming training session. Social media and marketing continues to be a topic suggested for training. We would like for you to prioritize your interest level in the following three topics: 1. Using Wordpress for blogs and website content management; 2. Building a business Facebook page; 3. Branding and Unique Positioning. You can log onto the Chamber website, www.pagosaspringschamber.com. Click on the membership and member login; enter your user name and passcode; click GO and take the three-question survey. We hope to provide our constituents with up-to-date, relevant social media training. The first class will take place in August and we will announce the topic at the beginning of the month. Surveys are due by Monday, July 30. We appreciate your input.

County fair

The 2012 Archuleta County Fair will take place Thursday, Aug. 2, to Sunday, Aug. 5. The fair board is working hard to bring some great activities and events to this year’s fair and having something for everyone.

New this year is the Junkyard Jamboree Car Show, the BBQ Competition and the Colorado State Championships for the Cowboy Fast Draw competition.

Returning will be two popular events: skateboarding and boxing. We are pleased to see that the Salida Circus will be returning to Pagosa after two appearances at the Renaissance & Pirate Festival. The popular “WOW” bubbles will also be at the fair this year.

The heart of the fair, of course, is the celebration of our ranching community and our heritage. The livestock show and auction, the 4-H Chuckwagon Dinner, the Ranch, the Kid’s Rodeo and the Saturday night dance will all be returning. You can also enter your best baked goods, canned goods, beer, wine, paintings, photography, quilts and much more in fair competitions. Fair books are now available and the rules and deadlines for entering your items are listed in the book. Set some time aside for the 2012 Archuleta County Fair and enjoy “Mountains, Sun and Cowboy Fun.”

Cruise a Thong

The Race for the Average Jo(e).

The annual Cruise a Thong will take place Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29. The very casual triathlon will get started at 11 a.m. after the non-rigorous Bloody Mary Showdown, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday. The most difficult part of the day may be how to out-costume your competition. With the recent rains, there may actually be enough water in the river to float instead of push your way down the San Juan. The festivities begin and end at Town Park. Go to www.cruiseathong.com for all the details, specifications for floating devices and thongs, the amateur and professional categories for the showdown and to register for the event. The “Hair of the Dog” Disc Golf Tournament begins at noon Sunday on Reservoir Hill. This is one of the most fun events you can engage in, so don’t miss the excitement and activity— at a very average pace!

Business news

The monthly Maximizing Your Membership class will take place Monday, July 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. We will highlight your Chamber membership and how you can best utilize your membership benefits. Even if you are not currently a Chamber member, you are invited to the session to see if joining can help you and your business.

We have one new business to congratulate for joining the Chamber. Odd Jobs Unlimited, with owner Wendy Mirr, has been servicing the house cleaning and janitorial needs of Pagosa for over 30 years. Odd Jobs Unlimited also offers property management and security checks for your home. Wendy is known for her thoroughness and excellence. To find out more about her services, call Wendy at 264-2994.

Renewing members this week include the Alpine Inn of Pagosa, Cool Pines RV Park, L Bar Z Ranch Cabins, the Last Resort RV Park and Campground, Pagosa’s Liberty Theatre, Boss Hogg’s and Wind Wranglers Balloon Company. Our not-profit organizations to take note of this week are Pagosa Waldorf Initiative, Sonrisas Spanish School and the Weminuche Audubon Society.

The Chamber would like to thank all the sponsors and hard-working volunteers who helped create another successful Renaissance and Pirate Festival. We also appreciate all the guilds and visiting vendors that made this event unique and so much fun. Before we know it, ColorFest will be here. Tickets for the Passport to Pagosa Wine & Food Festival will be on sale by the beginning of August at the Chamber and online.

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