August 2010 Newsletter
This weekend is the 59th annual Archuleta County Fair. The fair runs Friday through Sunday with a whole host of events including live music, a rodeo, a chuck wagon dinner, a chili cook-off, a livestock auction, and lots of games and contests for the kids. For a schedule of events, visit ArchuletaCountyFair.com I hope to see you there!
I was glad to read in the local paper that the upcoming United Way Charity Golf Tournament will be sponsored by BootJack Ranch. The BootJack, a flagship property in the area, recently sold, and I’m happy to learn that the new owner is getting involved with one of our local charities. This charity tournament, which will be held August 21, is the primary fundraiser for our local United Way. If you’d like to get involved, contact Teddy Adler Finney at 970-731-0484, or you can just stop in. The United Way office is located in our beautiful building, where our company has donated office space as our contribution to their efforts.
In other local news, San Juan Outfitting has recently relocated from Durango to the Pagosa area. The company purchased the Rocking Bar MB Ranch, which is north of town just across the Hinsdale county line. The company is currently building a ranch house along with some staff housing and outbuildings. Originally, they had planned to include some guest cabins, but I understand that those plans have been shelved. San Juan Outfitting offers trail rides and guided hunts all around our corner of Colorado. You can visit SanJuanOutfitting.com for more information.
I recently spoke to Mary Jo at the Chamber of Commerce regarding any new developments in our business community. Mary Jo had two interesting items to report. First, many of our local businesses are expanding their hours and staying open on Sundays in order to better serve their clientele and capture as much business as possible. In this rocky economy, I’m encouraged to see our businesses taking a proactive approach. Second, congratulations to one of our local businesses known as Growing Spaces, LLC, which was named one of 50 “Colorado Companies to Watch” for 2010. The award recognizes outstanding second-stage growth companies in our state. Growing Spaces builds greenhouses in the shape of geodesic domes and sells them throughout the country and overseas. You can learn more about Growing Spaces at GrowingSpaces.com.
On the real estate front, the stats have continued their unfortunate decline through July. This was the first month in which we did not meet or exceed the sales numbers from last year. Though there has been a recent upswing in the vacant land market, it is not enough to make up for the falling number of residential sales. Perhaps it is just a coincidence, but I believe that the recent local downturn is related to all the negative news we were experiencing over the last several months. Oil was gushing into the Gulf, Europe was showing signs of a financial panic, and all the talking heads were muttering about a “Double Dip” recession.
Recently, the news has turned more positive. It appears that the oil leak is finally plugged. Europe seems to be edging away from disaster. Many corporations have come out with relatively upbeat earnings, and the stock market is on a strong run. Over the past couple weeks, I have seen a marked increase in the number of people in my office and in my car. The trouble is, it is difficult to translate showings into contracts. Many potential buyers are feeling gun-shy right now.
July and August are traditionally very touristy months anyway. We have a lot of short-term visitors in town who like to ride around in my car and play “looky-lou.” They’ll get really excited about a property while they’re here, but once they get home, they cool off. As we move into September and October, we usually see an increase in the seriousness of our buyers. I’m hoping that this traditional seasonal improvement will combine with the more optimistic national news to create some sales.