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For the third year in a row, my wife and I have enjoyed visiting the La Esperanza Vineyards and Winery in the Mimbres Valley of Grant County during their harvest season. Though I was having some pain in my back this year, we still had a great time helping pick grapes. If you have never done this, you should try it. You meet new people. You see friends. You enjoy the conversations from one row of grapes to the next row. And Esperanza cooks up some pretty tasty dishes to share with the volunteers at brunch and lunch. The harvest season has ended this year, but you can always call them to volunteer for the 2018 harvest toward the end of September or early October depending on the weather. And yes, I admit it, not every grape I picked went into the bucket. I thoroughly believe pickers must complete quality test tastes from time to time. Personally, I tasted no sour grapes at La Esperanza Vineyard and Winery.

The Chamber of Commerce hosted a pretty good Tourism Summit Meeting this past Monday afternoon with the New Mexico Hospitality Association. We had over 70 people in attendance. Our panelists did a great job. The director of NMHA facilitated the meeting rather well. Facts and figures were shared with the crowd, and there was lots of great discussion about the state of "tourism" in our area. A couple of things I drew from the discussion included: the need to develop a collaborative game plan that brands our efforts, and, if we truly want to become a tourism destination… what and how do we market it to targeted audiences. This was a good meeting and we need to keep pressing forward to increase tourism revenues in our region.

Tomorrow (Thursday – Sept. 28) the Chamber of Commerce will help with a ribbon cutting and open house for Phase Zero Therapy. Phase Zero Therapy provides speech-language pathologists that specialize in adult disorders of speech-language, cognition, and swallowing. Their office is located at 206 East 11th Street in Silver City, New Mexico. The open house will take place from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. The ribbon cutting event will begin at 4:15 p.m. The public is invited to stop by to visit with Amanda and Jacob Martinez, as well as office manager Yvonne Esparza, to learn more about Phase Zero Therapy. For more information, call their office at (575) 956-7696.

As usual, there are lots of events taking place over the next few days. Here are a few things on the "To Do" list: There is the Edwina and Charles Milner Women in the Arts Lecture with Susan McAllister and Naomi Natale; there is a quarterly review book sale where you can meet the authors at Tranquil Buzz Coffee Shop; the Southwest Festival of the Written Word has numerous events taking place this weekend; the 7th Annual James H. Pirtle Walk for Heroes will take place at Western New Mexico University; and the Mimbres Valley Harvest Festival and free health fair will be held this Saturday in San Lorenzo. In fact, the Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce will have a tent at the Harvest Festival to hand out information about the Chamber of Commerce and the Grant County Veterans Memorial Business & Conference Center. Stop by to say hello and tell me what you would like me to write about next week.

On Thursday – October 5 at 11:45 a.m., the Chamber of Commerce will host its monthly lunch meeting. We will have two speakers. Steve Chiang with Techserviceondemand, LLC will speak on "Small Business Information Technology in Grant County". During our second presentation, Bruce Ashburn with PNM will announce the new "Century of Service" grant recipients. The cost is $15.00 per person. You must register online at https://silvercity.chambermaster.com/eventregistration/register/930.

If you have questions or need information, please call the Chamber of Commerce office at (575) 538-3785. We invite you to stop by and visit with us or take a tour of the Conference Center. Our address is 3031 Highway 180 East in Silver City. Check out our website at www.silvercity.org.

Live from Silver City

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