|Jeff Greer, owner of The Summit sporting goods and The Overlook — the newest hot springs spa in Pagosa Springs — has the enviable position of outfitting visitors before they head out to the wilderness and then giving them a place to relax, soak tired muscles and really take in the Pagosa Springs experience.
“It’s all about the ‘ings’ — camping, hiking, biking, skiing, snowboarding and, especially, soaking,” Greer says. “We have all the ultimate ‘ings’ in Pagosa Springs.”
Another transplant to Pagosa Country, Greer recalls his introduction — and his attraction — to the area.
“I moved here in 1978, the year we had 846 inches of snow,” Greer said. “When people complain about our snow, I ask, Why are you here?”
In business (at The Summit) for 23 years, Greer has seen his share of visitors — and loves it. “I like being in tourism. When people walk through the door, they’re happy, they’re on vacation.”
Greer appreciates the recent boom in tourism that has blessed Pagosa Country, attributing it to the small town values — “value” being the operative term.
“There’s been a steady increase in tourism. People really appreciate the tremendous value, summer and winter,” Greer said. “You can ski three days here for a single day in Telluride. And we have better slopes, better snow.”
Other than the value, Greer says that it’s the ambience that attracts visitors, again and again, which makes his business successful.
“We’re a real town,” he says, “It’s not strictly tourists, but those who keep coming back really appreciate our down-home atmosphere. People respond to that.”
“People appreciate the down-home hospitality.”
Having invested in a downtown building several years ago, Greer decided to take advantage of the geothermal waters that fed the building’s heating system. “It started out as a big problem,” said Greer. “But we worked it out and, if you have lemons, you make lemonade.”
According to Greer, his spa is, due to pools inside, “A little less seasonal; cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It’s here for people who don’t want to soak when it’s freezing outside or want to sweat when it’s too hot outside.”
“People need a choice,” he said.
Whether gung-ho for a day in the high country hiking, biking or fishing, or clamoring for a soak or aching for a massage, patrons of The Summit or The Overlook get first-class treatment, as Greer’s employees are among the best paid retail employees in the area.
“A lot of ski shops import their help, employees who can’t ski or ride,” he said. “All my employees ski or ride.”
Yet, given the local experts he hires, Greer states that the novice gets the same treatment as the hardcore. “We’re happy to meet or exceed the expectations of everyone who comes in here, especially the beginner. Because, if they have a good time, they’re going to come back. And probably, bring someone with them.”