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My husband, Al, and I first stopped by the Visitor’s Center on our way to Durango 13 years ago. The enthusiasm expressed by the diplomats at the Visitor’s Center (Ray, Sam and Ella) was contagious! As a direct result of that contact, we first rented vacation homes a week or more at a time exploring Pagosa, next, leased for a year, and two years later bought our home. After talking with many homeowners, I have found that this is a fairly common experience — benefiting the motels, businesses, Realtors and then the town itself.
Therefore, I sometimes can hardly believe how little credit the Town Tourism Committee and leaders of the town of Pagosa give the Chamber of Commerce. I was shocked to read in The SUN some weeks ago that the Tourism Committee was quoting statistics saying that visits to Pagosa were down and used as its example the one and only month that visitors cancelled lodging because of the nearby fires. The Tourism Committee neglected to say that the Visitors Center serves over 40,000 people annually who stop and sign the Visitor’s Register and pick up brochures, this in addition to the phone calls and online inquiries that are answered by Mary Jo and her staff. All this is a matter of record if anyone truly wants to objectively check yearly statistics to determine the value of the Visitor’s Center.
We are very appreciative of all the work of the Visitors Center staff, their promotion of Pagosa and their efforts that helped coin the phrase when we smile and say, ”Another day in Paradise.”