Dear Editor:

I was glad to see Karl Isberg’s editorial, “Clean up the Corridor, Now.”I want to add that the southern approach to town, along U.S. 84 as it joins 160, needs attention, too.Some properties are within the town and some are in the county.

These entry points leave a lasting impression on potential repeat tourists and home buyers.Even as elected officials are spending time and money to stimulate business and boost tourism, Pagosa residents have gotten so used to the unsightly clutter on both ends of town that they don’t realize how bad it looks to visitors.

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.These are the gateways into Pagosa Springs, and their message is: We like junk. The uninviting visuals reduce the town’s appeal and potential for future tourism; hurt local businesses and tax revenues; and turn off potential home buyers and renters, and therefore lower property values and the tax base.

When people have lived with clutter for years, it’s understandable that they don’t notice it anymore. And sure, it might take some money to fix it. But cleaning up the mess is cheap, compared to the cost of ignoring it.

Bruce Wilke

This story was posted on June 6, 2013.