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Changing of the guard at the Chamber of Commerce

SUN Columnist

In the transition of the writing of the weekly SUN articles from Mary Jo Coulehan to myself, I would like to expand on an announcement that went out to the Chamber membership last week and inform the entire business community.

In lieu of everything that you have been reading and hearing, I want to be the first to reach out to our community and give you an update from the Chamber’s perspective on the transactions concerning the Chamber and Visitor Center.

As you are probably aware, the Chamber was given a reduced budget from the town with which to run the Visitor Center. It was agreed by the Chamber Board of Directors that the budget was not enough for the Chamber to run the Visitor Center efficiently. Thus, beginning May 1 of this year, the plan is for the Visitor Center to be run through the Town Tourism Committee.

Since we made this decision, we have always been willing and eager to negotiate with the town to find the best solution for the future of the Visitor Center, and we have always wanted to keep the Visitor Center at its current location.

Today, we hear that the majority of our members, as well as the community at large, strongly believe that the Visitor Center should remain in its current location. We are taking that information to heart and are again going back to negotiate with the town. We are hoping to come up with a solution that works for the Chamber, our members and the community.

The future of the Chamber looks bright and we ask that you continue to stay patient with us during this time of transition. Our plan is to increase our services to our members. We will still continue to refer our business members to the public and we are planning to boost our website to give our members even more exposure. We are also developing a Welcome Service program to bring our business members directly to new residents and businesses in our community. Finally, we are committed to growing an effective Economic Development Program.

Please remember that this is a transition month for me as well. I am eager to hear from you, but may not be able to return your calls immediately. I am looking forward to leading the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce in the future. Should you wish to contact me, I can be reached at c.galabota@pagosachamber.com.

Upcoming events

Businesses, especially in the downtown area and our fast food establishments, should be prepared for a busy weekend as the annual Dirk and Colt Ross Memorial Basketball Tournament is in town April 10-12. The tournament will be held in the junior high and high school gyms. Hundreds of people will be in town and they will be hungry at their break and off times. Please make sure you are stocked with food and staffed with personnel.

For all you Broncos fans, the 2014 Broncos Salute to the Fans Tour will be coming to Pagosa Springs on Thursday, April 17. Several Denver Broncos players, cheerleaders and Miles the Mascot will be at The Springs Resort from 4-5 p.m. for autographs and photos. The event is free and open to the public. The Broncos want to get out to the communities and thank the fans for their loyalty, passion and ongoing support. What a treat for children and adults alike.

The Colorado-wide talent show, Colorado You Got Talent is coming to Pagosa Springs on Friday, April 18. Get your best talent act together and head over to the community center for auditions beginning at 5 p.m. with the youth category. Adult auditions will occur later in the evening. Spectators are welcome. There are cash and prizes and the event will be hosted by Mr. Puff. For more information, contact the community center at 264-4152 or go online to www.coloradotalent.org to register your talent act.

The community celebrates another business milestone this month with the 15th year anniversary of KWUF radio. Will and Christie Spears, owners of KWUF, will host this month’s Business After Hours on April 23 at the KWUF studio on Trujillo Road. Mark your calendars now for this event. Festivities begin at 5 p.m.

There are many more events coming up later this month, so visit the Chamber website and our comprehensive calendar of events at www.pagosachamber.com.

Business news

If you haven’t attended a Maximizing Your Membership class recently, then you don’t know all the new amenities that the Chamber is offering. Find out about no-cost or low-cost membership benefits and let us help you with marketing your business. The next class will be held on Monday, April 28, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; it is free and lunch is provided. Please call the Chamber to reserve your spot and so that we can assure there is enough food for the attendees.

We welcome our renewing members this week: Hickory Ridge Apartments and the Pagosa Springs Kiwanis Club.

Thank you, again, for your patience with me and with Chamber of Commerce during this time of transition. And, thank you for your comments. I appreciate hearing your thoughts and suggestions. Keep them coming!

This story was posted on April 10, 2014.