Continental Divide Gateway Community: a greater awareness

Work where you play. Live the lifestyle. Play in your backyard. These are all catchphrases that many of us use a lot of the time to describe where we live. It is a determining factor in why people move to a community. It is often the case of why we live here.
We know we have thousands of acres at our disposal to fish, hike, hunt and ride (from ATVs to bikes and horses). What many people may not know is that our backyard hosts part of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT).
The CDT is about 3,100 miles, stretching from Mexico to Canada, and is the highest and one of the most challenging of the 11 National Scenic Trails.
What you also may not know is that Pagosa Springs is a designated Gateway Community for the CDT. Gateway communities are known along the trail as friendly places to stop and visit, provide services needed by long-distance hikers and other tourists who want to visit the CDT, and advocate for continued access to public lands. This description fits Pagosa: friendly, informative and welcoming.
Your business can support the CDT Coalition. How can you do this? By joining the coalition, you would show your support by displaying a window decal being a CDT-supporting business. You can offer discounts to coalition members, you might create a product referencing the CDT or even offer shuttle service to hikers from town back up to the trail or vice versa.
In return, CDT travelers know where the gateway communities are located and what businesses offer these discounts and services and those that support the CDT. Perhaps your lodging facility would like to offer a special CDT rate and also receive packages for hikers to claim once they get to town.
There is a free part of supporting the CDT and signing up allows you to receive a free supporter window decal and other information. If you would like to participate on a greater scale, then you can also become a member or have the business join the Gateway Ambassador Program.
Organizations can also join the ambassador program. Ambassadors explore sections of the trail and look for maintenance issues, increase local knowledge and awareness of the trail, and host a few events throughout the year to increase awareness and participation.
Is this a program that your employees could engage in as a business “give-back” program? Is your group involved in outdoor activity and could you sign on as a CDT supporter?
If you would like more information about being a CDT business participant or you would like a supporter window decal and information material, the Chamber of Commerce has forms you can fill out and mail in, or you can fill out the form online at www.bit.ly/CDTsupport.com. In a 2017 survey of small businesses along the CDT, 88.5 percent reported that trail users had an impact on their business. Is this a clientele that you would like to reach? Find out more and promote and protect this part of Pagosa’s backyard.
ColorFest is fast
approaching
With all the rains lately, there is a chill in the air, especially in the mornings. ColorFest, which will be held from Sept, 20-22, is right around the corner. Plans are quickly moving forward.
We are pleased to announce greater participation from our restaurant community this year in the Passport to Pagosa Wine and Food Festival, and more and new brewers coming to the Saturday Bands and Brews event. More restaurant participation means more food, shorter lines and a greater selection of cuisine. Along with our local fine brewers, new brewers will be joining the ranks.
A great weekend of food and beverage is planned. To obtain your tickets, go to the Chamber website, www.pagosachamber.com and scroll down to the Chamber and Community News section, where you can click on the link to purchase your tickets. You can also purchase your tickets for the Adventure Package Raffle and we will draw the winning ticket at 7 p.m. at the Bands and Brews event. You do not need to be present to win.
In addition to the Chamber events, you can purchase tickets for the Arts Council’s Mosaic Extravaganza on Sept. 19, the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership’s Breakfast with Balloons on Sept. 21, and Rise Above Violence’s ColorRun/Walk also on Sept. 21.
The hot air balloons will be launching on Sept. 21 from the downtown area and on Sept. 22 from the west side of town. If you have friends coming to town, it is a perfect way to entertain them at one of the afore mentioned events. Get your tickets now.
Membership news
We have one new business to add to the membership roster: Mountain Paws Dog Sled Tours.
Our renewals this week include AAA Propane, Footprints, the Made in Colorado Shoppe, the San Juan Historical Society, and individual members Kenny and Karin Daniels.

This story was posted on August 16, 2019.