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Maximizing your Chamber membership

While reorganizing the Visitor Center lobby again this past week, I was saddened to see how many businesses were not using the lobby space to display their brochures or even their business cards.

Display of your business information is a free service affiliated with your Chamber membership. For those business owners who are not familiar with this service, the lobby is broken up into different areas and categories, such as lodging, restaurants, retail, construction, real estate, religious organizations, outdoor activities, etc.

Your brochures or business cards are placed in the appropriate area and category or with Chamber member businesses. Visitors like to take information to remind them of a service while they are here. They also like to send out information to family members for future trips. People also look for activities and businesses in alternate seasons, so while they may be here skiing in the winter, they would like to return in the summer. It is important to have at least a business card in the lobby. When we are referring businesses, it is easier and more effective to hand out a card than to write down the information.

It is difficult to promote your business if you don’t have a presence. You will be hearing from us in the near future about replenishing your business information in the Visitor Center lobby. Please help us market your business.

When was the last time that you went on the Chamber website and viewed your business listing? One website listing for your business is another free service affiliated with your Chamber membership. Are you utilizing this service that promotes your business to those that would rather find their information via the Internet?

Also, with the holidays coming up, restaurants, lodging facilities and religious organizations will be receiving inquiries as to their hours of operation or their services for the holidays. Please respond to our e-mails or phone calls, as our wish is to give out correct information and send people your way.

Beginning in January 2012, we will again be hosting Maximizing Your Membership lunch classes. We have a lot of new and improved services that we offer you for your membership investment. Are you taking advantage of your membership benefits to your full potential, whether it is a free service or one at minimal cost? Our new membership coordinator, Jan Santopietro, will be hosting these classes and is there to help you get the most out of your membership, as well as help you market your business through the Chamber amenities. If you have an existing association, we would be happy to come to one of your meetings and make a presentation specifically directed at promoting your sector of the market.

We want to help our membership get the most out of their investments and we want you to see the impact that your Chamber membership can make for your business. If you have questions on how to access your account or need a reminder on your log-in information, contact Jan at the Chamber at 264-2360. We’ll get you up and running and utilizing membership benefits.

Upcoming events

Women’s Civic Club Bazaar. The first Saturday in November brings us the Women’s Civic Club Holiday Bazaar. This year the bazaar celebrates its 37th anniversary on Nov. 5. There will be crafts, gifts, goodies and much more. The bazaar will take place at the Ross Aragon Community Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Inquiries can be directed to the community center at 264-4152.

Fall Fashion. This first weekend in November also brings us a fashion weekend presented by Happy Trails. On Thursday, Nov. 3. at 6 p.m. there will be a fashion show at the Ross Aragon Community Center featuring woman humorist and fashion guru T.J. Reid. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Pagosa Springs Youth Center and the Pagosa Springs Head Start program to help build a playground. For more information, call 264-4260.

Food bank drive. On Saturday, Nov. 5, La Plata Electric Association, in conjunction with local food banks, will conduct a food drive. The drive will be held in the City Market parking lot from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can tell where to drop off your items as they will have the big boom trucks in the lot marking the location. If you need to drop off food items prior to that time, the Chamber of Commerce will accept food or cash donations. You can also contact Mike Alley, coordinator of the food drive, at 749-0260.

Currently there are four foodbanks in the community: Community United Methodist Church, Pope John Paul II Catholic Church (located downtown at the Immaculate Heart of Mary office), Restoration Fellowship and St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church. Contact their offices for days and times when you might be able to obtain food boxes.

Membership

We are happy to have three new businesses join the Chamber this week.

We start off with a new store in the River Center — Sweets-N-Such, owned by Janet Tjelmeland. Sweets-N-Such offers delicious beer breads, candies including 24 varieties of fudge, condiments and fresh roasted coffee. They also have some gift items, including Montana West and designer belts, purses and hats, Pagosa Pirate blankets and some Christmas ornaments. Located right next to the Malt Shoppe, this is a wonderful new business for the visitor or local looking for that unique present or hostess gift. They can also make up gift baskets. Stop by their new store and see what is new in the retail sector here in Pagosa.

Momentum 24/7 Fitness moves into The Club with 24/7 fitness accessibility. KiraLee Gosney is the new owner and Momentum offers free weights, circuit machines, cardio and group fitness classes, weight loss programs, personal training and much more. They have rates starting as low as $34 a month or $6 per day. With 24-hour access, there is no excuse now not to get out there and get in shape. For more information, stop by the studio at 450 Lewis Street or give them a call at 264-2880.

Another new member is WW Ranch located out on Mill Creek Road. WW Ranch raises miniature Herefords for show, beef or hobby. Being half the size of standard cattle, these Herefords are an excellent option for children to show or retired persons to raise and, of course, they qualify as agricultural exemptions. For more information, you can contact Charlotte Williams at 264-1040 or visit their website at www.ww-ranch.com.

Our renewals this week include Sportsman’s Campground and Mountain Cabins; The Loft; and Moe’s Maps. We also welcome back generous and fun community members, Harris and Karen Bynum.

Don’t forget that, due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the SunDowner this month will be held a week early — Wednesday, Nov. 16, at Plaza Grille. We will be drawing for the winners of the Pagosa Perks Raffle — so there are only 2 1/2 weeks left to purchase your tickets to win $1,000, $500 or $250 in Pagosa Perks. Stop by the Chamber or get them from any Chamber staff or board member. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20. It takes only one ticket to win!

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