Entrepreneurship MarketPlace set for Oct. 10

Attention Pagosa entrepreneurs and owners of growing businesses: On Oct. 10 the Colorado Rural Development Council, in partnership with The Center for Rural Affairs, will host the first-ever “Colorado Entrepreneurship MarketPlace” at Otero Junior College in La Junta, Colo.

This event’s topics will focus on three key elements of success for entrepreneurs: ideas and vision; marketing of your product or service; and financial planning to make your business successful and sustainable.

The MarketPlace store is designed to showcase Colorado products from all over the state. There will be a full day of activities featuring speakers, information sessions, and exposure to resources that will help you get your business ideas off the ground, embellish your ideas for a business, or “jump start” your present business.

There will be sessions on topics related to agriculture, business development, community development, business financing, marketing and technology.

The cost to participate or reserve an exhibition table at the MarketPlace for your products is $100. We have the regulations for setting up the table and the rules for participation available at the Chamber if you are interested in exhibiting at or attending the conference.

This is a great opportunity for a business owner in Pagosa, if you are looking to expand the range of exposure of your product.

You can also visit www.ruralcolorado.org or call Michelle Alcott from the Colorado Rural Development Council at (303) 934-9117 for more information.

SunDowner signups

On Monday, Oct. 6, the Chamber will open its doors at 8 a.m. to those business owners who would like to sponsor a SunDowner event in 2009.

There are 10 SunDowners scheduled during the year. The two months that are not available are January and September.

SunDowners are typically scheduled for the fourth Wednesday of the month, except in November and December, due to the holidays. A Chamber member business sponsors the food and provides the location, and the Chamber provides the beverages. New businesses, businesses that have moved or made a change to their building or product, or a business that needs more exposure are all prime candidates for a SunDowner.

SunDowners or Business After Hours are also great networking opportunities, especially for those businesses without “store frontage.” Businesses in a strip mall or adjacent to each other in a community commercial center can partner to host a SunDowner, gaining maximum exposure for several businesses with one event.

SunDowners for 2009 will be held Feb. 25, March 25, April 22, May 27, June 24, July 22, Aug. 26, Oct. 28, Nov. 18 and Dec. 16. While the Chamber doors will open at 8 a.m., it is common for business owners to arrive much earlier to draw their lottery number (the lower your number, the better chance you have of securing your preferred month for your SunDowner). We will take the names of businesses, in case someone cancels their reservation during the year. We will not accept e-mails or phone calls to reserve a SunDowner.

For more information, contact Mary Jo or Kimberley at 264-2360. We look forward to another great year, seeing new businesses and organizations, meeting new people and expanding our business contacts.

Geothermal greenhouse?

Archuleta Economic Development Assoc., in conjunction with the Town of Pagosa Springs, the Chamber and Region 9 Economic Development are looking at the potential of creating a geothermally-heated greenhouse for the production of a crop or crops that could be sold in local and/or regional markets.

This project could also provide an eco-tourism attraction that draws more tourists to the facility and the Pagosa Springs area.

A grant application to the Advancing Colorado’s Renewable Energy or ACRE program was completed last week in the hopes of raising enough funds to undertake a feasibility study. AEDA has identified the renewable energy industry as one of the key business areas to target in order to diversify the county’s economy and provide better wages. Stay tuned as we work toward creating a sustainable greenhouse for our community.

Get ready for fall

Kids of all ages love searching for that perfect pumpkin to carve, to decorate their home and its entrance. Pagosa Nursery and Feed Company will hosta Fall Celebration Saturday, Oct. 4, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be a pumpkin patch, kid’s activities, free hot dogs and drinks, and equine presentations. This fun day will really get you in the mood for fall. For more information, call Pagosa Nursery & Feed Company at 731-4126.

Lifelong Learning

The free Lifelong Learning Series begins Saturday, Oct. 4, at the Sisson Library.

“They Take Our Jobs: Looking Backward at Contemporary Immigration Debates in the U.S.” will be the topic. While we think much has changed in the work force over the last century, immigration debates have remained at the forefront. There are recurring themes of national security, jobs, and Americanization in the immigration debate. John Baranski, associate professor of history at Ft. Lewis College will lead the discussion.

Future sessions include: “Lost Cities: Petra, Machu Picchu, Mesa Verde” with Judith Reynolds; “China: How Does China’s Emerging Economic Power Impact the World Economy” with Ali Sabeti of the World Bank Group; “Talents to Strengths to Success” with Barbara Conkey; “Musically Speaking: Where Giants Dare to Tread” with Arthur Post of the San Juan Symphony; and “Living Responsibly: Saving the Environment, While Saving Money” with Denise Rue-Pastin of the Southwest Organization for Sustainability.

All sessions begin at 3 p.m. on Saturdays at the library. For more information, contact the library at 264-2208 or go online to www.pagosalibrary.org/lifelonglearning.html. There is typically a great crowd at these events, so get there early and get ready to expand your mind.

OktoberFest

Archuleta Seniors, Inc. will host its annual OktoberFest celebration Saturday, Oct. 11, beginning at 4:30 p.m. The festivities will again take place at the community center where delicious German foods such as brats, sauerkraut, potato salad, and dessert will be served up to the hungry masses. There will also be a child’s plate available, with a hot dog and chips.

Pagosa’s own Pauken Schlagel band will be on hand to get everyone up and dancing and there will be several wonderful microbrews available for purchase. Come and enjoy an evening of music, good food, and a silent auction, and don’t forget to enter the costume contest.

Tickets are available at the Chamber, the community center or the Plaid Pony for $20 in advance or $25 at the door for adults, $12 for Archuleta Seniors in advance and $15 at the door, and $5 for children 5-12. Children under 5 are free and there are also Family Pack tickets for $40 in advance and $45 at the door.

Don’t forget your dancing shoes.

Membership news

Travel to the east side of Wolf Creek Pass and enjoy the service provided by our new member — the latest scenic passenger train in Colorado, the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad. This train travels over La Veta Pass and through the Sangre de Cristo mountain range, offering beautiful views of mountains and meadows. Starting out of Alamosa and traveling to La Veta, this train covers 170 miles of track, and provides fantastic, scenic views. Check their summer schedule for some great musical concerts. Also check them out at www.riograndescenicrailroad.com or call (877) 726-7245.

We have renewing members to welcome back this week: At Vacation Station, with Steve and Alberta Nickerson; Shaw Electric, with Brian Shaw; and Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort.

Thanks to FolkWest and Gecko for another great day of trail running, music and activity. Town Park was alive Saturday with the sights, sounds and the smell of green chile wafting through the air. The line of folks waiting to taste more than 30 entries in the chile contest was long, but it was well worth the wait. We look forward to another great fall event next year with even more runners and more great food and music. Thanks to all who made this event happen.