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ColorFest and Business Expo dates set

SUN Columnist

Two big Chamber of Commerce events have been set for the fall months.

Coming first on the calendar is the traditional Reach for the Peaks balloon rally and the ColorFest weekend events, including the Passport to Pagosa Wine and Food Festival and the Bands, Brews Festival. The festivities begin Friday, Sept. 20, with Passport to Pagosa and continue on Saturday, Sept. 21 with Bands, Brews.

The activities are interspersed with hot air balloon mass ascensions on Saturday and Sunday mornings. With the event being held on the third weekend of September, there is a better chance of more autumn colors for visitors to enjoy and a little bit of a reprieve after the busy Labor Day weekend and the start of school.

Passport to Pagosa will again have fantastic food from our local restaurants and caterers and fabulous wine selections. The theme this year is Calypso ColorFest, so get ready to be festive and colorful.

We will also have wine dinners at various restaurants around the community on Thursday, Sept. 19.

Bands, Brews will host about 15 microbreweries from southwest Colorado and northern New Mexico, and we have expanded to include some Front Range breweries. We are also working to include some Colorado distilleries, as well. As usual, we will have live bands on stage throughout the afternoon, children’s activities throughout the event and we end in the evening with a balloon glow.

Hot air balloon rallies will take place downtown on Saturday and on the west side of town on Sunday. These rallies are a popular part of the ColorFest weekend, providing great photographic opportunities as these colorful balloons take to the skies in the early morning hours.

This weekend would not be possible without the support of the members of Pagosa’s lodging community. Their sponsorship involvement is critical to the weekend’s success and we continue to be grateful for their support. Other sponsorship opportunities are available for any portions of the ColorFest weekend. Find the event that works for your business and get your name out there on a glass or plate at the Passport, a taster glass for Bands, Brews or on a balloon at the hot air balloon rally. Contact Stacy Kirby at the chamber to find out more about sponsorship opportunities. Tickets for the Passport to Pagosa will be on sale in early August.

Business to Business Expo

In 2011 and 2012, the Business to Business Expo was held in May. Due to all the activities in our community at that time, the Chamber decided to move the event to October. This year, the Expo will be held Wednesday, Oct. 16. The Expo will again be a half-day session filled with speakers and topics critical to our community. Technology and customer communication continues to become a bigger part of running or marketing our businesses, but how to handle all the changes and improvements when technology improves almost at the speed of sound? Jack Jostes, with Ramblin Jackson marketing agency, specializes in social and video media. He will speak about ways that you can wrap your head and hands around the Internet changes in bite-size ways. As a certified Constant Contact representative, he will give you tips on how you can more easily speak with your customer base or gain new customers. Linda Gann, with the Colorado Health Exchange, will speak about the upcoming national and state health care changes scheduled to be rolled out in October. Connect for Health Colorado is the managing organization for the Colorado Health Exchange program beginning in 2014. There will also be insurance representation on hand from companies involved in the Colorado Exchange. You will be able to shop and speak to representatives about health care options. This portion of the event is a must for business owners to attend and find out about personal and professional options.

The last speakers are Tim Merriman and Lisa Brochu with Heartfelt Associates. Tim and his wife, Lisa, have over 40 years experience working with communities all over the world. We are lucky they live in Fort Collins, Colo., and have a slot open to keynote our conference. They will discuss ways community entities can work better together. We hope that, through this expo, businesses, non-profit and government agencies will begin to collaborate and work better together. Now is the time to start.

As in the past, we will have opportunities for vendors to have booth space and tout their business. The day will start off with a luncheon and luncheon speaker and continue throughout the day with other speakers and interactive sessions, and the Expo will end with a networking reception. Sponsorship opportunities are available for the Expo and vendor space will be made available soon.

Don’t miss out on both of these great fall events. Mark your calendar, get coverage for your business and plan on attending this critical Business to Business Expo. Be a part of the change and conversation in Pagosa Springs.

It’s fair time

The 62nd Archuleta County Fair begins today, Aug. 1, at the fairgrounds and Western Heritage Event Center. There is something for everyone beginning with bringing your junkyard vehicles or tractors in on Thursday for display at the fair. At 8 p.m. on Friday, the boxing matches return. On a busy Saturday, enjoy the 4-H Chuckwagon dinner, the Ranch Rodeo, the livestock auction and the fair dance with the High Rollers. On Sunday, don’t miss the Kid’s Rodeo and BBQ cookoff. A big attraction all throughout the fair will be the Cowboy Fast Draw Colorado State Championship. See some of the best gunfighters in the world shoot it out. You can also enjoy games and activities every day of the fair and see the livestock all throughout the event. New to the fair this year will be the water bubbles. Inside the exhibit hall, you’ll see baked and canned goods, photography, floral arrangements, quilting and many other exhibits.

The Archuleta County Fair is full of activity, showmanship and just plain, good fun. Pick up your fair book at the Visitor Center or at one of the many stores throughout town. See you at the fair!

Colorado space business

You might be asking yourself why the Pagosa Chamber is informing people about aerospace opportunities in Colorado. On Tuesday, Aug. 6, there will be a Colorado Space business roundtable at the Durango Discovery Museum. Business owners and other individuals involved with high-tech products and services, advanced manufacturing solutions, engineering, software developers or aeronautics should consider taking the time to connect with representatives from companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Exelis, PADT and Colorado Space Business Roundtable members while they are here in southwest Colorado. We have many home-based businesses and some could be involved, even on the periphery, of a business that fits this aeronautical category. An open house will be held from 4-6 p.m., with presentations about aerospace opportunities in Colorado. Then, from 6-8 p.m., there will be one-on-one networking opportunities. Learn how you might be able to work with these companies. You should R.S.V.P. for this event by contacting donna@yeslpc.com by Aug. 2. We hope a few Pagosa people will be able to make some connections with representatives in this industry and continue or expand business. Don’t miss this unique opportunity.

Membership 

We have one new member to welcome as a Chamber member this week. Located in the Country Center is Chow Down VI. Chow Down has a wide variety of healthy pet foods and a fetching array of toys, treats and accessories for your four-legged friends. They also have a self-serve dog wash at the facility and specialize in finding that hard-to-find product. We welcome the Bushes to Pagosa Springs and congratulate them on opening their sixth Chow Down facility in the state. Stop by the store and see what new or unique treat or accessory you can get for your pet — or take them out to the dog wash.

Our renewals this week are plentiful, and include Archuleta County, The Rose Restaurant, Two Chicks and a Hippie, L Bar Z Cabins, the Last Resort RV Park and Campground, Solid Management Disaster and Restoration Services, Troy Ross Construction, Andie’s Undies, Lake Capote Recreation Area, and Whut Marketing Solutions.

Stop by the Visitor Center and see our newly refurbished lobby area, with soothing colors and new display boards including those for the San Juan and Fred Harman museums and a new Chimney Rock National Monument display. There are still more improvements to be made. We are also getting ready to renovate and paint the outside of the Chamber/Visitor Center building in August. Please excuse our mess as we work on our building improvements. It won’t be your gray building anymore!

This story was posted on August 1, 2013.