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National Geographic Four Corners Region Geotourism designation

On Saturday, June 2, in Aztec, NM at the Aztec Ruins, National Geographic officially designated The Four Corners Region Trail of the Ancients as one of the nation’s geotourism sites. The Four Corners Geotourism Stewardship Council has partnered with the National Geographic Society to capture the history and heritage of the Four Corners Region through an interactive website and printed map. The Four Corners Geotourism Stewardship Council has the expertise of the local communities to list interesting and important sites. National Geographic has the map-making expertise to produce detailed and collectable maps. The Trails of the Ancients Geotourism site is one of about 11 sites throughout the United States including other regions such as the Sierra Nevada and Redwood Coast, Greater Yellowstone and the Lakes to Locks Passage in New York.

What is geotourism?

Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place — its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents. Geotourism incorporates the concept of sustainable tourism — that destinations should remain unspoiled for future generations — while allowing for ways to protect a place’s character. Geotourism also takes a principle from its ecotourism cousin — that tourism revenue should promote conservation — and extends it to culture and history.

In developing the website, numerous locations were nominated to be placed on the website and the map. The designated region includes Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona on the western edge, moving up to Utah to include Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. The northern part of Utah includes Canyonlands National Park, with the northern part of the region moving over into Colorado and including the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park. The Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve make up the north-eastern portion of the region which extends down into New Mexico to include Santa Fe and the Pecos area. Moving along the southern part of the region, the area dips down into Albuquerque and encompasses numerous Native American pueblos in New Mexico, then back over to southern Arizona. Archuleta County has numerous sites on the website map encompassing archaeological sites, arts and entertainment, and history. Some of the sites are Chimney Rock Archeological Area, Goodman’s Department Store, the Fred Harman Museum, historic downtown Pagosa Springs, Healing Waters Spa, The Springs Resort and the Four Corners Folk Festival.

The Visitor Center will be carrying the new National Geographic maps. They are so well done that just getting one will encourage you to travel around the region and explore all that our area has to offer. Jump on the new geotourism website at www.fourcornersgeotourism.com or stop by the Visitor Center and pick up a map. What a detailed, well-thought out publication and website, and such a benefit to our community and region. We are rich with history and heritage; use this resource to help plan nearby vacation trips for your family or just a weekend getaway.

Input needed

On Monday, June 11 at 5:15 p.m. at Town Hall, there will be a continuation of a discussion regarding temporary vendors. Issues such as vendor fees, health and fire department requirements, trash containment, hours of operation, and conflict with existing events are just a few of the topics where input and guidelines are needed. There is certainly an opportunity to service the hundreds of people that line the River Walk in the summer or other areas of town where food products may be difficult to obtain. All merchants are welcome to attend, listen to the discussion and present their input. If you are unable to attend but would like to voice a comment on the issue, please contact Mary Jo Coulehan at 264-2360 or director@pagosachamber.com.

Upcoming events

There are lots of events coming up in the next couple of weeks. Here is a quick synopsis of some of the activities. Some of the events require registration, so plan ahead and buy your tickets or mark your calendars.

The Great Golden Retriever Roundup will take place on Friday and Saturday, June 15 and 16. The people and animals will gather for a welcome dinner at the Quality Resort & Suites (aka The Pagosa Lodge). I think the dogs have as good a time as the owners! Then on Saturday, June 16, there will be a dog parade along the River Walk, followed by games, contests and activities throughout the day. Then, in the evening at about 8 p.m., the movie “Up,” will be shown in Town Park and the movie is free. Round up the kids and the dogs and bring them down to the park for an evening of fun in the park.

On Sunday, June 17, decorate your best kayak, tube, canoe or other floating device and head down the San Juan River in the Pirates of the San Juan Regatta sponsored by the Pagosa Mountain Morning Rotary. The event begins at 1 p.m. and floating devices should be brought to the area behind the Malt Shoppe. The entry fee is $10 and there will be a first-place prize in each category. Categories are single person inflatable, kayaks and canoes, and other. The music begins at 2:30 p.m., and you can also enjoy food and beverages at the Plank and Pillage area in Town Park. The festivities will continue until about 6 p.m.

The Thingamajig Theatre begins a new production on Friday, June 15. The musical “Chicago” will be performed at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts throughout the summer. This Tony award-winning Broadway musical will “razzle-dazzle” the audience with lively music, dance and fast-talking dialogue. You can get the performance schedule and purchase tickets online at www.pagosacenter.org. The musical will continue until Aug. 12.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 2012 Home and Garden Show to be held this year on Friday and Saturday, June 22 and 23, at the Pagosa Springs High School. The event will be held from 1–7 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. New home, renovations, landscaping, interior décor and more will all be available to give you creative ideas for your home or garden. You will be impressed at the wide range of products and services and the talented crafts-persons that are available right here in Pagosa Springs. Come out and see what the building industry is doing in Pagosa and what it can do for you.

Membership news

We would like to thank everyone that participated in this year’s Business to Business Expo. We will give a complete run-down of the participants next week, but we especially want to thank our sponsors: The Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation, the Bank of Colorado, Bank of the San Juans, 1st Southwest Bank and The Springs Resort. I would also like to thank our guest speakers: Cinda Baxter, Marc Willson and Zak Barron for their contribution and commitment to small business.

Our new member this week is Pagosa-raised girl Melissa Buckley with Buckwild Productions. Melissa is the promoter of the Outlaw Snowdown musical festival in winter and will also be bringing us “Red, White and Brews” on the Fourth of July. For more information about either event or to contact Melissa, email her at Melissa@buckwildproductions.com.

Our renewals this week include At Your Disposal, Hickory Ridge Apartments, Pagosa Outside, Studio 160, The Lindblad Group, Weminuche Drafting and Winslow on the Shire. We also welcome back Certified Folder Display.

Having been a volunteer at the Visitor Center for years, we would like to join the Genelle Macht’s family members in inviting the public to a life-celebration for Genelle Macht on Wednesday, June 13, at the Archuleta County fairgrounds. The celebration will be held from 4-6 p.m. Come help us celebrate Genelle’s long and fruitful life and her contributions to Pagosa Springs. We will miss her stories here at the Chamber and Visitor Center.

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