Keeping holiday dollars in Pagosa

As the weather changes to winter and the holidays are upon us, we start decorating, and planning parties, school breaks and vacations.

The national and local economies are on everyone’s mind. How do we maximize our businesses and make our income stretch as far as possible?

Start off by seeing how far your dollar can go in Pagosa. Spending your dollar in Pagosa creates a large circle of use. Spend your money here, instead of taking it outside the community.

Here are a couple of upcoming events and programs that will maximize your spending power, right here in Pagosa.

Parade of Stores

Stores all over Pagosa will be participating in the annual Parade of Stores Extravaganza Dec. 5-7.

Why an “Extravaganza?”

On this weekend, participating businesses will offer “No Tax” benefits, which mean great savings for shoppers. Stores will also offer additional savings, open houses and fun giveaways. Each participating store will have donated a gift or gift certificate for the event. Shoppers can get a card stamped at participating stores and be entered into a drawing to win these prizes. If you have determined to buy one “large” gift item for your family for the holidays, then stay in town, shop our stores and not only save yourself gas money, but also the sales tax dollars. Plus, you’ll know you are helping support your neighbors, friends and fellow residents.

Send the gift of Pagosa to other parts of the country by shopping at our stores. We have so much to offer the shopper: convenience, great prices, unique merchandise, and a fun weekend to shop, Dec. 5-7. If you are from out of the area, this would be a great weekend to visit Pagosa, as many of the lodging establishments are offering “Shop & Stay” packages to enhance your visit, giving you even more dollars for your shopping.

While in Pagosa over the Parade of Stores weekend, visitors and locals can enjoy other activities.

Don’t miss the beautiful Festival of Trees Friday evening, Dec. 5, at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, where both live and artificial trees will be available at an auction benefiting numerous non-profit agencies in our community. Enjoy sumptuous food and a cash bar along with the creatively decorated trees.

Adults and children will relish the crafts, tasty food, and festivities planned for United Way’s Breakfast With Santa on Dec. 6, also at the community center, beginning at 9 a.m.

Santa and Mrs. Claus make their annual stop at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center to listen to children’s holiday wishes. Professional photography is available to document the moment, and there will be warm drinks, sweet snacks and giveaways. Listen to holiday music, then enjoy the lighting ceremony in the downtown area.

The Bar D Wranglers from Durango perform their annual Christmas show in Pagosa on Saturday night, Dec. 6, at the community center. This Grand Ol’ Opry performing group is a must see act and their winter schedule in this area is limited, so don’t miss this performance. Tickets will be available at the community center and the Chamber of Commerce.

The Community Choir will also perform during the weekend and if you haven’t had the chance to hear them before this, don’t miss it. The talent and soul of this local group rivals any large community group. Whatever you prefer — from inspirational to whimsical music — the Community Choir will make your heart sing and leave you inspired for the holidays.

The Christmas in Pagosa weekend is the time to come to Pagosa, stay in Pagosa, shop and enjoy Pagosa. Stretch your hard-earned dollars and support your community businesses while purchasing affordable and unique gifts.

Pagosa Perks

Another way to keep your dollar in Pagosa and support local businesses is to buy and use Pagosa Perks.

Pagosa Perks are “dollars” that can be spent only in Pagosa. Every Chamber business, and some businesses that are not Chamber members, accepts Pagosa Perks. Perks are just like cash. If a business owner says, “We don’t accept these,” or asks, “What are Pagosa Perks?,” they are turning away business.

Pagosa Perks have been around for more than 10 years and they are great gift items. Perks come in $10 and $20 denominations. They are great gifts, because they can be spent nearly anywhere in town. Give them to that favorite teacher, that hard-to-buy-for teenager, a housekeeper or service person who you want to give an extra thank you gift to. Or give them to your employees. In this way, the recipients can spend the dollars the way they want. Maybe it’s treating themselves to a manicure, a massage, a hot springs soak or a special dinner. Or, maybe, they’ll buy groceries, or gas, or pay that utility bill.

Know someone from out of town who loves to visit Pagosa? Send them Pagosa Perks. Sending Perks will encourage them to come to Pagosa and they’ll have some dollars to spend when they are here, making their visit even more special. They can use it at their lodging facility, at a restaurant, or when they go shopping. What a perfect gift.

Business owners should treat Pagosa Perks just like a traveler’s check. List it on your deposit as you would a check. The Perks are guaranteed and won’t ever bounce. You can give back change with Pagosa Perks if the total purchase is less than the denomination. Remember — if you turn away a Pagosa Perk you are turning away business now, and possibly in the future, as people will be dismayed that your business did not honor a Pagosa Perk. Pagosa Perks are good gift ideas all year round, but are especially popular during the holidays.

Don’t miss these opportunities to stay in Pagosa, come to Pagosa and shop and play in Pagosa in the coming months. If there is any activity the Chamber needs to be aware of and promote during the Dec. 5-7 Christmas in Pagosa weekend, notify us immediately at 264-2360. In addition, if there are any questions about Pagosa Perks, we will be happy to explain them to you or your staff.

Business Bites

The Business Bites series continues on Nov. 18 at noon at Boss Hogg’s Restaurant with Mike Dalsaso speaking about retirement options and pitfalls.

It is never too early to learn about retirement options, to plant the seed for your, and your family’s future security.

Dalsaso is the current president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors of Southwest Colorado and a Chamber member. He will speak about maximizing long term returns on your savings while eliminating risk; about annuities, protecting your assets from nursing home expenses without paying for expensive long term care insurance, the rule of 72 vs. rule of 108, IRS regulations (so you can pass more inheritance onto your family) and much more.

There is a lot to cover in a short period of time, so lunch will begin promptly at noon. The lunch meeting will last until about 1:30 p.m. Walk-ins for the Business Bites luncheons are always welcome, but we prefer you call and reserve a space so we can alert the restaurant and speaker as to the number of attendees. The cost of the lunch is $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers and this price includes a choice of entree, non-alcoholic drink, tax and gratuity.

Business Bites are held the third Tuesday of the month and various topics are covered, including computer knowledge and growth, marketing techniques, health care, how to grow or start your business, education, community topics, and in this case, retirement tips. Business Bites speakers are well known in their fields and are there to help the attendees, not for personal gain.

If you would like to submit a topic for Business Bites, be a speaker, or have any other input, give us a call at the Chamber at 264-2360.

‘Into the Woods’

The Music Boosters are ready for their winter performance, and this year it is Stephen Sondheim’s classic “Into the Woods.” Imagine numerous storybook characters, all in one story. Author James Lapine melded some of our favorite mythical characters to the music of Stephen Sondheim to create “Into the Woods.”

Performances will be held Nov. 20-23 at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium. Performances on Nov. 20, 21 and 22 start at 7 p.m. and there will be a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Nov. 23. You know you can also get a tasty snack at intermission. Tickets may be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, www.brownpapertickets.com, and at the door.

Start your Thanksgiving holiday off with another wonderful Music Booster production.

Membership news

We have several businesses to welcome back this week: Growing Spaces; Perry Schjolin of PC Servant; Milner chiropractic at the Springs Resort; and Royal Pines Ranch.

We thank everyone for their renewals and as we gear up for the holiday season, remember to keep your shopping dollars in Pagosa and take advantage of the mechanisms that we have in our community to keep our business community vibrant and successful.