Get ready for ColorFest activities

SUN Columnist

A reminder to Chamber member restaurants and all non-profit agencies: Turn in the appropriate paperwork for ColorFest or County Lodging Tax special event funding.

The Chamber is planning for ColorFest activities Sept. 20 and 21. In conjunction with the Passport to Pagosa Wine & Food Festival, some of Pagosa’s eating establishments will be showing off their delicious fare, whether a noteworthy item already on the menu or a new menu item. Restaurants will also be vying for food awards, including the People’s Choice award.

We’re waiting for local residents to purchase their tickets, as all tickets to date have been purchased by people coming to Pagosa for this event.

ColorFest is a perfect time to attract visitors to your restaurant, either this trip or on their next visit to our community. Please submit your food information forms to the Chamber by Friday, Aug. 30.

Non-profit groups and special event producers have the opportunity to apply for Special Event funds set aside in the 2013 budget approved by the county commissioners. A total of $10,000 was set aside to assist organizations and invest money back into our community. Since the money is collected from lodging tax, the funds need to be used to enhance the visitor experience. This can be in the form of a special event, or special project or improvement. If a project will attract visitors to your facility or event, we encourage you to apply for some funding. The maximum amount you can request is $1,000. You cannot have received funding from the town lodging tax Special Event funding in 2013. Applications for funds are available online at under the “Stay Connected” tab or in hard copy at the Chamber. After receipt of applications, a group of community members will review the forms and allocate the money. Forms must be turned in to the Chamber by Friday, Aug. 30. You will be contacted to arrange a meeting with the review committee. Questions on either deadline can be directed to Mary Jo Coulehan at the Chamber at 264-2360.

Business training

In the next few months, there will be training classes and seminars held throughout the Southwest Region, put on by chambers of commerce and economic development groups.

The first will be held in Telluride and the Town of Telluride Planning Department will bring Bob Yapp of PBS “About Your House with Bob Yapp” fame to speak on the topic of historic properties, on Friday, Sept. 6. The full day seminar will focus on preservation and will include sessions on “Preservation Doesn’t Cost-It Pays,” “Energy Efficiency for Old Houses” and “Old Windows Aren’t a Pane- They’re a Goldmine!” The seminar is free and open to all interested parties. What a great excuse to travel to Telluride and get a roomful of information.

Another session coming up in October will be the Pagosa Springs Chamber’s Business to Business Expo, to be held on Wednesday, Oct 16. Consultants and authors Tim Merriman and Lisa Brochu will work with us on community planning and implementation. Authors of the award-winning book “Put the Heart Back in Your Community,” they will keynote the conference in the afternoon. Connect for Health Colorado’s Western Slope outreach coordinator Linda Gann will speak about the new healthcare laws and Colorado’s exchange program. Linda will be the luncheon keynote speaker. And, with the inundation of social media in our lives, Jack Jostes, with Ramblin Jackson social media and marketing agency in Boulder, will provide businesses management tips with “Social Media Made Simple.” Jack is also a certified Constant Contact instructor and can assist you with newsletters, mailings and client retention. Our community is reacting to numerous issues that occur at a very fast pace these days. Combine community involvement with running your own business and trying to find time to manage everything, then add the new healthcare laws, and you have plenty of reasons not to miss this Business Expo. Attendee and vendor registration, and sponsorship opportunities, will be available online soon.

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, the La Plata Economic Development Alliance will host its annual economic summit. Jay Elliot, former senior vice-president of Apple, will be the luncheon keynote speaker. The all-day conference will be held at the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio. Registration and information is available at There are always informative breakout sessions and educational opportunities, so if you can spare even a part of a day away from work, this is an excellent conference to attend.

Preview in the Park

Don’t miss the free concert with two musical groups from the Four Corners Folk Festival: Haldon Wafford and the High Beams and New Country Rehab on Thursday, Aug. 29. The festivities begin at 5 p.m. in Town Park with music, a beer garden and food vendors. Bring the family to this free event and enjoy the last vestiges of the summer season.

Beginning Friday, FolkWest presents its 18th Four Corners Folk Festival. There will be three days of music, performances on the late night stage, music camps, kids’ activities, food vendors, a beer garden and unique retail vendors. You can purchase single or multiple day passes. Tickets are available at

Business news

If you haven’t looked at the Chamber Membership Coupon Book that you receive when you renew your membership or join the Chamber, you’re missing out on some great deals. There are SunDowner admission coupons, Chamber website banner ad coupons, copy coupons and more. Don’t just throw it away — save yourself some money, research a new marketing avenue, and take advantage of this small way we say “thank you” for your membership.

We welcome another new business to the Chamber membership ranks. Mark Douglass and the RVing Accessibility Group are working to improve accessibility and awareness — not only in our community but nationwide. RVing Accessibility provides ADA assessments and education to private businesses and the public with an emphasis on outdoor life and hospitality. Mark can be a speaker at your conference or conduct a private business assessment for you. For more information about this much-needed service, contact Mark at 903-7442.

Our renewals this week include Summit Ski & Sports, Joy’s Natural Foods, Professional Insurance Resources, FolkWest, The Quality Resort and Suites, and piano technician Robert Shoffner. From out of the area, we welcome back Buzztown, based in Durango.

The new school year is soon upon us, so be careful on your way to work in the mornings and watch out for the kiddos. Enjoy the community festivities and get the family out to a few more events.

This story was posted on August 29, 2013.