Planning underway for Parade of Stores

As Richard Gere says in “Pretty Woman” — “It’s time to shop!”

With the holidays just around the corner, fall and winter merchandise on display in the stores, and with economic conditions such that it is more important now than ever to keep our dollars in Pagosa, we look forward to the third annual Parade of Stores, Dec. 5-7.

The Parade of Stores was designed to take place the first weekend of December, when locals and visitors can take advantage of unique Pagosa stores and, since last year ... no tax.

Our vision is for this weekend to become known regionally as an opportunity to come to Pagosa, enjoy some of the festivities that are available, enjoy some outdoor activities, and shop.

With the no tax incentive, we hope to pull in quite a few visitors from the region. Perhaps some people weren’t able to get away for Thanksgiving or they wanted to avoid the crowds. The first weekend in December is the time to get out, enjoy the outdoors, and reap what Pagosa has to offer.

Retail and restaurant merchants should have received their participation notification. The due date to respond with your intent to participate is Friday, Nov. 7.

It is imperative we receive your information, as we will be submitting articles, posters, advertising and press releases about participating merchants to regional and out-of-state outlets If you miss the due date, you will still be able to participate, but you might not be included in the advance marketing opportunities.

This year, restaurants have been added in the hope that people will want to take a break from shopping and patronize the establishments. For the second year, lodging facilities are offering “Shop and Stay” packages again in an attempt to draw people from outside the area to Pagosa for the weekend..

Parade of Stores works like this: Participating merchants donate a gift or gift certificate. There is a card or booklet that shoppers can pick up at any participating retail store, restaurant or lodging facility, or at the Visitor Center. Shoppers need to visit a certain percentage of stores in each section of town — west side, downtown and east side — in order to be entered into the drawing for prizes from each of the stores. Purchase is not necessary but, of course, it is encouraged. The cards can be turned in at any of the stores or back to the Visitor Center. The next week, the cards are verified and winners chosen. With all the stores participating, chances of winning are very good.

While out shopping, participants can enjoy the no tax weekend benefit at the stores. There will also be open houses, additional discounts and festivities at many of the establishments.

This is a fabulous weekend to get out and partake of the amenities that our community has to offer.

There are other holiday festivities during the weekend. On Friday, Dec. 5, the Festival of Trees will be held at the community center. Scuttlebutt has it that there are some pretty snazzy trees being created. The Chamber will decorate one — our first!

On Saturday morning, United Way returns with Breakfast with Santa. This event provides hours of fun, crafts, stories, wonderful food and time spent with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. After a break, Santa and Mrs. Claus resurface Saturday afternoon and evening and take their traditional places at the Visitor Center, where local and visiting children can express their Christmas wishes. Professional photos will be available, as well as hot drinks and cookies, giveaways, and musical entertainment.

When evening rolls around, the Chamber and surrounding businesses will light up the downtown area to the delight of people old and young. Also on Saturday evening, the talented Bar D Wranglers return to Pagosa to the community center to perform their Christmas holiday show. The Pagosa Community Choir will be on hand to fill the high school auditorium and our hearts with the beautiful sounds of Christmas music.

It is a festive, active occasion, and we want people from near and far to take advantage of our natural surroundings and activities, and to stay, play and shop in Pagosa.

If you did not receive your participation notification, have a Chamber business, and would like to participate in the Parade of Stores, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 264-2360.

Business Bites

Coming off a very successful October Business Bites with MTECH and “Crossing the Digital Divide,” we offer a November seminar — “Big Financial Mistakes that Retirees Make and How to Avoid Them” — geared to those planning their retirements.

Mike Dalsaso will be on hand to talk about this ever-growing concern and how we can plan for our futures with a variety of options. He will talk about protecting our assets, the truth about annuities, long-term care insurance, how to transition assets, and much more. Mike is currently the president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors of Southwest Colorado and a licensed independent broker.

Mike’s years of experience will be shared at the Business Bites lunch on Tuesday, Nov. 18. The luncheon will be held at Boss Hogg’s Restaurant, beginning at noon. Admission is $12 for Chamber members and $15 for nonmembers. This ticket fee includes lunch, tax, gratuity, a non-alcoholic beverage and some invaluable information. Take a lunch break and get some great ideas to help enhance your future. It’s never too early to start planning for your family, and never too late to make some changes to your retirement future. Walk-ins are always welcome, but we prefer to give the restaurant a heads-up on the lunch count. So, please reserve your slot by calling 264-2360.

This weekend

Start looking for great holiday gifts at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Fashion Show and the Pagosa Wellness Festival.

On Saturday, Nov. 8, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Happy Trails Ladies Boutique and Victoria’s Parlor will host the 12th annual IHM Fashion Show - “Festival of Fashion.” Tickets are almost sold out, but you might still be able to obtain one at either Happy Trails in the downtown area or Switchback Mountain Wear on the west side of town. One of the great incentives this year is the opportunity to win a $1,500 shopping spree at Happy Trails. All proceeds from the event support the Parish Hall, which hosts numerous community events. For more information, contact Maria at 264-4260.

You can also spend time this weekend becoming better informed about Pagosa’s extensive alternative healing community by attending the Pagosa Wellness Festival. Vendors will be on hand to share free consultations and demonstrations in a variety of healing modalities, including shamanism, Chinese acupuncture, massage and body work, present and past-life readings, energy field aura, and much more. The festival will be held at the Archuleta County Extension Building at the fairgrounds on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. While at the fair, you can find out more about the Wellness Network and their free monthly speaker series, networking opportunities, and the sharing of industry information. For more information, contact Sophia at 903-2108, or Debra at 731-2194.

‘Into the Woods’

Music Boosters brings the popular musical “Into the Woods” to the Pagosa Springs High School theater Nov. 20-23. The musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, brings to life enchanting storybook characters such as Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and many, many more beloved characters into one incredible story. Enjoy this journey of self-growth through storybook characters at the local production of “Into the Woods.”

Performances Nov. 20, 21 and 22 begin at 7 p.m. and there is also a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 23. Tickets are available online at www.browpapertickets.com and at the Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $8 for students. What a great way to start the Thanksgiving week holidays.

Membership news

We have several new members to welcome aboard this week and a few renewals.

This first business has been in Pagosa for over a year. If you didn’t get your Halloween costume from the Costume Pit Shop, you missed out on some very creative opportunities. This delightfully surprising addition to Pagosa Springs provides the ultimate in dress-up, party, and theatrical needs. Owner Connie Paple has been involved in theatrical costuming for many years. She has extensive knowledge of costuming and a huge collection of fun attire. Manager Drake Stewart can assist you with that perfect mask and party planning tips. Stop by the store in the Greenbriar Plaza, or call 731-3477 to check on a particular costume.

We also have Healing Wings Massage joining this week. Owner Mary Barsotti offers traditional Swedish massage, energy work, traditional Chinese medicine and prayer assistance. She brings years of experience to Pagosa to help relax and rejuvenate your body and mind. Call 731-4429 to book an appointment with our newest massage Chamber member.

Next Life Adventures is another new member this week that is ready to help you transform your life. Life coach Laura Ege helps people dust off their “forgotten dreams” and turn them into successful next life adventures. These adventures can be filled with passion, purpose, inspiration and impact on your immediate and overall world. Stuck in a rut? Laura can help you “move off the dime.” Give her a call at 731-9652 for a consultation.

Renewals this week include Pagosa Family Medicine Center; Pagosa Dental; Kathy Calderone and the Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service; Bonnie Masters and Pagosa Springs Real Estate Online; Lynn and Todd Hagerty, with their rental condo at Lake Hatcher Village; Kahrs Insurance Group; the Aspen Springs Metro District; and Flexible Flyers Rafting, in Durango.

To round out our week, we welcome back associate members Karen and Mike Kelley.

Don’t forget, the Chamber newsletter will be coming out at the beginning of December, and fliers for this important newsletter will be due by Thanksgiving. Call Kimberley at 264-2360 to inquire about placing a flyer in the newsletter or for more information.

We also look forward to hearing from all our merchants regarding the Parade of Stores.