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Thinking ahead, to December Parade of Stores

The Parade of Stores event in December seems so far away, but we are already making plans.

With the help of a merchant subcommittee, it has been decided that the 2012 Parade of Stores will be held Thursday–Saturday, Dec. 6-8.

Many of the aspects of the weekend we all enjoyed in the past will remain in effect. We will offer the frequent stamp program and also the $10 purchase giveaway prize package and no tax weekend.

However, many businesses will also offer additional discounts, later hours of operation and other special promotions. This year, the Chamber will publicize these specials. If you are a Chamber retail member and would like to participate in the Parade of Stores, be thinking now of what you would like to do that weekend. We will contact you soon. Your information will be in the shopping booklet and on the Chamber’s website. We are also reaching out to the restaurants to participate in the Parade of Stores weekend. Look for an upcoming e-mail explaining the weekend and asking for your involvement.

Many of the ideas concerning how we can work better together as a business community come from the Business to Business Expo. We will have another meeting with business owners who would like to promote the 3/50 Project in our community.

First off, business owners should go online and register as an interested party at www.alwaysupward.com. The 3/50 material is then available for you to use as long as you follow the guidelines set forth by Always Upward and Cinda Baxter. The Chamber will encourage Pagosa merchants to collaborate and become involved in projects that better foster cross marketing and referrals.

Is there any way that business owners can get together and have greater buying power? Has any business owner researched this prospect? Can businesses cross market other stores or complementary products?

Stay tuned for more retail community projects that will be attractive to shoppers and beneficial to businesses. Start thinking about what you can do to attract people to your business during the Parade of Stores weekend.

Bike Week

Ignacio’s annual motorcycle rally will be held on a typically busy Labor Day weekend and presents opportunity to draw more people into our community.

Over the Labor Day weekend, we have the Four Corners Folk Festival up on Reservoir Hill and a large bike rally being held in Ignacio. This year, Ignacio Bike Week will take place Aug. 29–Sept. 3. With a big crowd expected, people attending the rally will want places to stay in and around Ignacio. This year, Ignacio is reaching out to various communities to welcome bikers from all over the country to southwest Colorado. While we often get the bikers coming through Pagosa, it is also important to let them know we are close to Ignacio and they are welcome to stay here. We will have lots of activity of our own to help them enjoy the days they are here in the Southwest.

On Sunday, Sept. 2, the mayor of Ignacio will host a poker ride supporting breast cancer research. Riders from communities such as Pagosa will participate in the ride. If you are interested in your business being listed as a potential stop on the Poker Run, contact the Chamber and we will get you more information.

Also, if you have a lodging establishment — motel, cabin or campground — and would like to offer a special rate to bikers, let the Chamber know. We know it is a busy weekend, but many lodging facilities might not be full. We will submit information about participating lodging establishments to the bike rally so they can list these facilities on their website, www.ignaciobikeweek.com.

Pagosa is a convenient location for the bikers to stay and many do because it is such a picturesque environment and we have hot springs facilities that no one else in the region has. We have the opportunity to pull more business into Pagosa and show off our community while celebrating a regional event.

Contact the Pagosa Chamber if you are interested in participating in the Ignacio Bike Week and we thank the Ignacio Chamber of Commerce for including us in their activities this year.

Business news

Due to the busy schedule of the regional Red Cross, Cindi Shank will not be our guest speaker for the July Business Bites. We will move her appearance, hopefully to August or September, depending on the fire situation. We will choose another guest speaker and, due to popular demand, we are looking to start our Social Media sector. We will announce the topic and speaker next week in The SUN.

We welcome two new businesses this week to the Chamber membership.

Evelyn Jones and Elk Trace Bed & Breakfast joins with her luxury five-room bed and breakfast. Located near Stevens Reservoir, with stunning views of our area, Elk Trace offers you the opportunity to rest and relax, or try your hand at ranching activities such as fencing, feeding horses and cattle, and even cleaning up after the animals. The facility has a lap pool, sauna and hot tub as well as a pool table, big screen TVs and wine and cheese tastings. For more information on an escape weekend, contact Evelyn at 731-5868.

We also welcome Lisa and Joe LaMastra with Jim Smith Realty. Since moving to Pagosa, both Lisa and Joe have entrenched themselves in various activities and organizations, are community knowledgeable and can help you buy or sell your home. They are conveniently located downtown and can help you match the right home or commercial property to your needs. To book an appointment, call (970) 426-1315.

We also always welcome our renewing members. This week the list includes Wells Fargo Bank; Mark Miller, aka “Pops,” and Let it Fly; Chato’s Mexican Restaurant; Troy Ross Construction; Southwest Silver Gallery, a fantastic place to get excellent southwest jewelry; the American Postal Workers Union; and the Pagosa Fiber Festival.

As the Chamber continues to become more active in helping businesses and attracting tourists to our community, if you are not a Chamber member, stop by our offices and see what we can do for you. The Chamber is more than just a referral source. Your membership is a support of the business community. We host a monthly Maximizing Your Membership session the last Monday of every month — July 30 this month. Attend a free session and see if a membership could help your business and put you in contact with other members.

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