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The summer edition of the Pagosa Springs Official Visitor Guide™ hit the streets late last week and distribution continues this week. At 116 pages, the publication is filled with important visitor information and advertisements promoting local businesses.
The guide is published by The Pagosa Springs SUN and is distributed throughout the region through dozens of different vendors.
In addition, the Pagosa Springs Town Tourism Committee has ordered 17,500 copies to mail to potential visitors who request information about our community. The committee ordered an additional 5,000 copies that will be sent to visitor centers throughout the state. Visitors can order a complimentary copy of the guide at visitpagosa.com.
If this year is no exception, all 55,000 copies of the guide will be distributed by summer’s end.
The winter edition is shared with vendors in October.
Copies of the guide are available at the newspaper’s office at 466 Pagosa St., if you wish to pick them up for your business. It will take some time to fulfill vendor requests for the free visitor publication, according to Terri House, publisher.
“We appreciate that the region’s business community is so dedicated to making valuable retail space available for distribution of Pagosa Springs Official Visitor Guide™,” said House. “It shows the broad reach the publication has and the year-after-year dedication shown by business people to help in the publication’s distribution.
“This year, the cover features a Williams Creek Reservoir scene taken by local photographer, Beth Tollefsen. The cover inset photos depict activities in and around our community and were provided by Michael Pierce Photography and Pagosa Outside,” House said.
This year’s guide features stories about town and county employees and also includes wayfinding information, a calendar of events, and information about recreational pursuits, cultural activities, family fun, entertainment, tours, major community events, lodging and dining, neighboring communities, real estate, local history, shopping, maps and outdoor adventure.
Local business owners and individuals in the tourism industry reacted to the new guide.
Terry Smith, of Terry’s Ace, said, “I anticipate the Visitor Guide is going to drive droves of people through our door; it is one of our most effective means of advertising. We have a very unique store — it’s like the mall of Pagosa, and it’s a place where tourists and locals have a good time looking around. They spend a lot of time wandering around in here because it has a real oddball mix of stuff. The Visitor Guide is part of what makes that possible.”
According to Pagosa Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mary Jo Coulehan, “I’ve already given out the new Visitor Guide. I love it. I think it is the best representation of our community. I actually gave them out yesterday. There’s a conference called Rural Philanthropy Days. It only comes to southwest Colorado every four years, and we were bidding on it for 2014. Instead of just listing everything that goes on in the community, we really felt that the Visitor Guide was the best tool that we had to give to the group, so that’s how we used it. It was great! I love the personal stories from people. It personalizes the town.”
Chamber board president, and owner of Alley House Grille, Farrago’s, The Backroom Wine Bar and First Crush, Todd Stevens also commented on the new guide. “Honestly, I really like the Visitor Guide. We don’t do a lot of written advertising, but we use the Visitor Guide. The SUN does a great job in publishing that; it’s very tight and very well put together. I say that as a business owner. As a member of the Chamber of Commerce, I think just the sheer number we send out, and the fact they look so nice means people use them and take them home and hang on to them for a while creates a lot of value for them and for our community. I really like this latest one where they do snapshots of people in the community. It’s a great way for people to see us on a level that they might not if they just came to visit. They get a little background as they’re visiting or they take a little bit of that with them. The feedback that I have gotten from most of the people I talk to is extremely positive. People really seem to respond well to it.”
The guide is used to provide information not only to people intending to visit the area, but to those who have traveled here and are seeking activities and establishments. According to Leslie Montroy of the Wyndham Pagosa Activity Center, “Our marketing team uses the Visitor Guide, as far as helping our guests when they get here — where to go, what to do, how to use it. They appreciate it very much … our guests have already gone to marketing before they get over here (the Activity Center), and we hear the people talking about it. We get good feedback on it. It’s a good publication; it’s done very well. I can tell The SUN spends a lot of time on it. It is very informative and it helps our visitors. I think that is the main goal.”
House also noted that a project as large as Pagosa Springs Official Visitor Guide™ requires the dedicated support of the entire SUN staff. “While they are working on Pagosa Springs Official Visitor Guide™, they are still working on each week’s edition of The Pagosa Springs SUN and PREVIEW.”
The SUN staff’s work on Pagosa Springs Official Visitor Guide™ has been noted statewide and nationally by peers in the newspaper industry. The twice-yearly publication has received first-place honors in the state Colorado Press Association competition, as well as a first place award from the National Newspaper Association contest every year it has been published.
House noted that the staff is always interested in feedback from the community, especially with suggestions for story and photo ideas. E-mails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Photo submissions are always welcome.
“The purpose of Pagosa Springs Official Visitor Guide™ is to show this community in the best possible light,” House said. “We want to provide a package of stories and information which helps people get the most out of their visit here.”