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The holiday season is fast upon us

Halloween and the fall festivities have come and gone, and now the frenzy begins with the approach of the holiday season.

Many businesses saw a growth in revenue and traffic and there is much to be grateful for. At this time of year, the Chamber also encourages our residents to shop local. Earlier this year, in May, we had retail expert Cinda Baxter attend the Business Expo and speak about the 350 Project. She inspired business owners to collaborate more effectively and advocated that locals choose three stores, spend $50 and support our local industries. The Chamber collaborates with local businesses to produce several events and projects to support the move to shop local.

The Annual Parade of Stores shopping extravaganza will take place Thursday, Dec. 6, through Saturday, Dec. 8. Retail businesses are planning lots of specials, discounts, celebrations and activities for our shoppers. Get ready to Street Walk again as many stores stay open later during this weekend extravaganza. Once again, we will host the frequent shopper prize giveaways, as well as the Super Prize Package drawing. For every $10 spent, you can be entered to win one of several trip and pamper packages. Also on this weekend, most of the stores will be offering a No Tax Shopping discount. If you are in the market for sporting equipment, appliances, clothing, jewelry, or even small gifts, this is the perfect time to save some money. So, get your gift lists together now and get ready to shop Dec. 6-8.

Another way to shop local is to invest in Pagosa Perks — local shopping dollars. The Chamber is conducting our annual Pagosa Perks Raffle in which winners could hit the streets with $1,000, $500 or $250 in local shopping dollars. Raffle tickets are available for $5 each or five for $20. The drawing will be held Dec. 19 at the SunDowner at The Springs Resort at 6 p.m. Raffle tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce, from staff or board members. You can purchase raffle tickets during the Thanksgiving holidays and give them to employees as thank-you gifts. You can purchase raffle tickets and use them as your exchange gift at your holiday office party. Just think of the possibilities!

Remember, you can also just purchase Pagosa Perks. Pagosa Perks spend just like a cashier check. A Perk has a face value and can be redeemed at most businesses in town. Pagosa Perks not only spend like cash, and can be used just about anywhere, but they also leave the choice of the gift up to the recipient. They can be used for groceries, gifts, restaurant meals or pamper packages. They make great gifts for teachers, employees, bus drivers, kids, babysitters — just about anyone. Pagosa Perks can only be purchased at the Chamber. If you have a large number of Perks to purchase for your employees, contact the Chamber in advance and we will get them ready for you to pick up.

Shopping local is made easy with the various programs available to our residents. Support our local establishments by attending the various holiday open houses starting this weekend. Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming Parade event and get your shopping shoes out!

Survey and DCI visit

On Nov. 13 and 14, the Community Development Corporation and Chamber of Commerce welcome the Downtown Colorado, Inc. organization to Pagosa. For two days, the group will work with government, nonprofits, business agencies and the general public to obtain input regarding our community. They will dedicate a day to gathering information from various focus groups, then take a day to process the information and report back to the community. In preparation for their visit, the Chamber has issued a survey on behalf of the planning committee. It is important for DCI to receive your input through this survey. You should have received several notices with instructions on how to complete the survey online. There is also a link to the survey on the Chamber’s website, on the homepage. The questionnaire takes about 15 minutes to complete and asks an array of community and business-related questions. Any business owner can take the survey and we encourage you to pass the survey on to business friends. For more information, or to take the survey in hard copy, contact the Chamber.

The specialized focus groups that DCI will conduct will meet throughout the day on Nov. 13. The community-wide focus group will gather at 6:30 p.m. on that day. You do not need to be affiliated with a business or community agency in order to take part in this focus group. You can just show up to any of the focus groups or you can R.S.V.P. to Shari Pierce at sharipierce@centurytel.net. All meetings will be held at the Ross Aragon Community Center.

Capitol Christmas Tree

On Saturday morning, the transportation entourage bearing the Capitol Christmas Tree will stop off in Pagosa Springs from 8:30-9:30 a.m. The tree will be stationed on the frontage road next to the San Juan Motel. All attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite bells to ring as the tree approaches that location. There will also be some bells available for children to ring. Please refer to the related article in The PREVIEW for details and information about the sponsors. Just to view the 100-foot, specially-designed Mack truck and trailer will be a treat. This is a unique opportunity for Pagosans to show our support of the great outdoors. Bundle up the kids, gather up the family and come out to enjoy some hot cocoa and treats. And don’t forget to bring your bells!

Fill the Bucket

Also on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., La Plata Electric Association will host its annual “Fill the Bucket” food drive. The drive will take place in the City Market parking area. Non-perishable food items (canned or boxed goods) will be collected. Cash donations for the food banks will also be welcomed. This drive is conducted by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. When shopping on Saturday, think of purchasing a few extra cans of food to help those less fortunate. For more information, contact Mike Alley, LPEA district supervisor in Pagosa Springs, at 749-0260 or bring a donation by the LPEA office at 603 S. 8th St.

Membership

We welcome one new business this week. We highlight Rocky Mountain Knives, with owner Elizabeth Rios. This complete knife store is located at 150 Pagosa St. They have name brands such as Leatherman and Gerber or forged Damascus fixed-blades with beautiful stag handles. They also carry high- and low-end folding or throwing knives. They will soon carry Shun cutlery — the original Samurai sword company from the 1700s. You can also get one of those popular handmade chainsaw bear carvings at Rocky Mountain Knives. Stop by this unique store and send a collectable gift from Pagosa.

We want to thank one of our renewing members, Happy Trails Ladies Boutique, for hosting the recent “Fashion Night Out” fashion show last week. All proceeds benefitted the local food banks. We thank the volunteers, models and public for attending this fashionable and fun evening, and congratulations to Happy Trails for renewing with the Chamber again this year. Our other renewals include Immaculate Heart of Mary/Pope John Paul II Catholic Church, All Season Lake Lodge, the Taylor Ranch, the Pagosa Springs Noon Rotary Club and Pagosa Glass.

Remember that the Chamber of Commerce is here to assist you with business advice, an exchange of ideas and training. To schedule a consulting appointment, call Mary Jo at 264-2360. Your success is our success.

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