Get your tickets now for Denim and Diamonds annual meeting

SUN columnist

Photo courtesy Mary Jo Coulehan Joan Ward and LaQuita Johnson receive the Volunteer of the Year awards at the 2012 annual Chamber membership celebration.  

Photo courtesy Mary Jo Coulehan
Joan Ward and LaQuita Johnson receive the Volunteer of the Year awards at the 2012 annual Chamber membership celebration.

“Valuable and designed to fit your needs” is this year’s Chamber theme and it is also the theme of this year’s annual meeting celebration. Get your tickets now for Denim and Diamonds slated for Saturday, Jan. 25.

The festivities will be held at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts and will begin at 6 p.m. Start the evening off with selections from a cash bar while enjoying music from saxophonist extraordinaire Bob Hemenger. Enjoy a delicious buffet dinner provided by Nello’s Bistro to include Black Angus tenderloin medallions, salmon and a vegetarian option, in addition to the fresh veggies and delicious Key lime cheesecake for dessert.

You will be able to score some great gifts from our retail merchants in the silent auction and pick up some offerings by our businesses.

The evening will be filled with door prizes, celebrations and awards. Turn out and support this year’s nominees for volunteer and citizen of the year and cheer on the small business, nonprofit and green business leader of the year.

Tickets are $40 for an evening of great food, fun and networking.

This will also be the last opportunity you will have to vote for the slate of candidates for the Chamber board. Six nominees are running for a three-year term. The nominees are Jeannie Sinkie, general manager of Mountain Landing Guest Suites and RV Park; Mary Hunt with Team Pagosa Realty; Mike Beckel, partner with Wilson, Rea, Beckel & Associates CPAs; Jessica Bilazzo with Growing Spaces; Peggy Andrews, owner of Mt. Mist Soaps and independent Realtor; and Nicki Alley, owner of Higher Grounds Coffee. Three nominees will be elected to serve on the board.

You can vote in advance of the annual meeting online or at the Chamber. In order to vote online, you will need your user name and password. If you do not have that information, please contact Jan Santopietro, membership coordinator, for your codes. There is only one ballot allowed per Chamber business. However, should you have more than one Chamber business registered, you are allowed one ballot for each of your businesses. You can visit the Chamber’s homepage and connect directly to the voting information. This is a diverse group of candidates and we encourage you to read their bios to ascertain those talents that you feel would be most beneficial to the Chamber organization.

We look forward to a festive evening with some awesome networking opportunities. If you are a new business, do not have a store-front business or have been out of the business loop for a while, this is a critical event for you to attend to connect back to the business world. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the Chamber.

WinterFest activities 

Get ready for a unique Valentine’s and President’s Day weekend as WinterFest rolls into action.

Take your sweetheart out for a night of dinner and dancing at the second annual Chilly Bowl contest on Friday, Feb. 14, with varieties of chili being served including green, red and vegetarian along with posolé and cornbread. Enter your best chili recipe or come out and just enjoy the food and vote for the People’s Choice award. Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge will be rocking the house with their popular country and western music. Tickets to enjoy both the Chilly Bowl and the dance are only $20 and can be purchased online or at the Chamber. What a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day or maybe to meet a new Valentine! Chili contest entry forms are now available.

Entry forms are also available to enter your best sled creation into the Anything Goes Downhill Sled Race on Saturday, Feb. 15, and the Penguin Plunge on Sunday, Feb. 16. Start raising your pledges now to plunge into the freezing San Juan River for your favorite nonprofit organization. Join the other crazy plungers or just watch the antics from the River Walk at noon on Sunday. Snow permitting, the sled race will be held on Reservoir Hill prior to the Rail Jam hosted by the Skaters Coalition. WinterFest weekend is shaping up and we’ll be talking more in the next couple of weeks about more WinterFest activities including Nordic races and a Snowmobile Poker Run.

Get your tickets now for the Chilly Bowl and rally a group to go out for a night of fun, or take your sweetheart out for a night on the town. Registration forms are also available online or at the Chamber for the Penguin Plunge, Chilly Bowl contest or sled race. For more information, contact the Chamber at 264-2360.

Business news

Unfortunately, the Chamber has recently been sending out some alerts about business scams that have been circulating. While they have not hit our town, they have been in the Durango and South Fork areas and could easily affect our town. Please read the alerts that we send out to our businesses.

A group of young individuals are going door to door attempting to sell magazine subscriptions and, once they have made a sale, they are using either the routing number on your check or credit card numbers through PayPal and then trying to obtain more than you authorized. One citizen in Monte Vista was taken for $800. The group is being dropped off out of a white Ford Excursion with an unknown license plate number. If you are approached by these individuals or see the suspect vehicle, please call Archuleta County Combined Dispatch at 731-2160.

There is another organization offering the “Best of Pagosa Springs Awards.” Your business has been selected to win an award and you need to pay to receive the plaque or award. We have attempted to contact them with no response. We are considering this a scam and have notified the company of our position. Please alert the Chamber if you are contacted.

Please also let the Chamber know if you feel that you have been exposed to a scam or suspect proposal. We will research the offering and alert other business members. Thank you for your attention and protection for all our businesses and residents.


With it being the beginning of a new year, we have a plethora of renewals this week. One new member is Pagosa Springs Friends of NRA. Our renewals this week include Goodman’s Department Store, Next Door Décor, Elk Meadows River Resort, Harbison Auto Sales, Safer Living, massage therapist Christa Laos and Good Earth Meds. Our individual associates renewing include Bob and Carole Howard and Pete Gonzalez.

We will be announcing the nominees for the community awards next week. Stay tuned and come out to support your favorite nominee and get your tickets for the Chamber’s yearly bash.

This story was posted on January 23, 2014.