“Next Thursday’s rate increases on newsstands and subscriptions will not be accompanied by an apology,” reads an editorial penned by then SUN editor David Mitchell more than 20 years ago in January 2001.
Those words apply this week.
Beginning next Thursday, May 27, a copy of The SUN will cost $1 at local newsstands.
Annual subscription rates will also be increasing to $35 for in county and $45 for out of county.
Multiple price increases for paper, ink, postage and supplies over these past 20 years have been absorbed for far longer than they should have. Just about every week, we receive a notice from our suppliers about another price increase.
We are appreciative of our loyal readers and subscribers. We’ve had readers drop a dollar in the tin cup in the front office because they said our paper is worth it and we need to raise the rate. We had planned to do just that last year when the pandemic changed everything.
Twenty years ago, local Realtor Harold Kelley had two brand new three-bedroom, two-bath homes on adjoining lots for sale. One was priced at $177,500 and the other priced at $175,000.
Realtor Lee Riley advertised a home close the ski area with three bedrooms, two and a half baths and a two-car garage for $213,000.
Realtor Pam Barsanti had a two-bedroom, two-bath home plus a loft and decks with views of Pagosa Peak priced at $165,000.
A brand new GMC Sierra Sport Side pickup was $32,016, on sale for $26,737.
You won’t find those prices anywhere these days.
Houses under $400,000 are rare for this area. New truck prices start at about $50,000.
Lumber prices have doubled due to soaring demand. The National Association of Home Builders reports that expense of lumber has added an average of $24,000 to the cost of a new home.
The SUN, with its print and online formats, plays a critical role in documenting the activities of our community.
While we won’t be apologetic for this necessary price increase, we will commit to some important objectives, which are similar to those from 20 years ago.
Here at The SUN, we will continue to print obituaries about local citizens at no charge. We are one of the few newspapers that still doesn’t charge for obituaries. We still believe that no family should have to go without having an obituary printed for their loved one if they do not have the ability to pay.
Celebrations of engagements, weddings, anniversaries, major milestones and births of Pagosans will continue to be documented free of cost.
We will still print photos of pets who need loving homes from the local humane society.
We will keep on supporting area nonprofits by printing news releases and advertising regarding community events and area activities. We will inform of church happenings, social events, fundraising efforts, civic organizations and more.
Our reporters will continue to cover education, arts, local government meetings and hometown high school sports.
We will remain an effective vehicle for local business advertising by offering both print and digital options. Our digital and online components provide 24/7 access to our readers for breaking news and updates. We have over 13,964 followers on Facebook.
SUN staff will continue to fulfill our responsibility of providing accurate and timely news coverage of our community. The newspaper is a venue for public opinions through Letters to the Editor.
We will remain vigilant in fulfilling our role as government watchdogs and holding local governmental officials accountable.
Our award-winning staff will continue to strive for accuracy and objectivity and we will cover the news of Archuleta County and Pagosa Springs like no one else can.
We believe The SUN is worth buying and reading. In an effort to better serve our readers, we welcome your input and suggestions for improvement. Feel free to email any ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Box 9, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
In the words of the former editor and owner of this newspaper: “Standards: Sometimes, a newspaper must raise its prices. At all times, a newspaper must strive to maintain its standards and to preserve its integrity.”
Thank you for investing in local journalism.