Chamber Corner

Silver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce President Scott Terry will provide a weekly column to the Beat, featuring items and announcements of interest to the community.

I have never claimed to be politically correct and this article will prove my point. I have always enjoyed Halloween. As a child, getting candy was nice, but the thing I enjoyed most was visiting the homes of people who really decorated for Halloween. I remember a house on Greenwood Drive in Ruston, Louisiana that had all types of things in their front yard. However, it was the giant talking pumpkin that always fascinated the kids in the neighborhood. The older I got, I began to figure out the tricks. And frankly, the older I got the more I enjoyed coming up with my own tricks.

I have boxes with different pieces of equipment I have used over the years to have fun scaring kids. Strobe lights, black lights, motion detector sensors, eyes that blink in the dark, eyes that glow in the dark, trip lines, black plastic sheeting, air compressor, even old barbeque grill rotisserie motors… these are the things I can use to make a 10-second walk up to my front door a memorable experience for the child, the parents, and especially myself. I can never forget the little 5 or maybe 6-year old kid in Searcy, Arkansas that hit my trip line as he walked up the steps to my house. He was staring at the rocking lawn chair that was rocking back and forth by itself on the porch. Just as he got to the top step, a white ghost came sliding down across the porch just over his head. And the race was on…. That little kid didn't even touch a step as he took off running. I was laughing, his Dad was laughing, his mother was chasing after him, and my wife was giving me grief about scaring the little boy so badly (or good depending on how you look at it). After they caught the kid and brought him back, I think I gave him about a pound of candy. Even as I am typing this story, I am sitting here with a big smile on my face because it is truly a fond memory for me. I mean think about it – back in the good old days you could scare kids and not have the police show up afterwards. I had fun.

When we lived in Bloomfield, New Mexico, people would actually call our house to make sure we had decorated for Halloween. They would bring cameras to take pictures of their kids being scared at the Terry House. Ah…. those were the days!

When I graduated to helping with "haunted houses", I learned all the neat things you can do with a spool of thread, a large shop fan, an old waterbed mattress, carpet remnants, hydraulic jacks, air horns, and chainless chain saws. I quickly learned it was just as easy to scare young adults as it was little kids… and I enjoyed it.

But those days have come and gone. Nowadays we are lucky to celebrate Halloween on Halloween. People do "Trunk or Treats" and fun Halloween Carnivals. Gosh, I haven't seen a trick or treater at my front door in about 10 years. But I still hope everyone has fun on October 31.

So here are some things that you can do over the next few days:Thursday – Oct. 19: Jayme Stone Folklife Project at WNMU Light Hall Theater at 7:00 p.m.

  • Saturday – Oct. 21: Autumn Art & Wine Extravaganza at La Esperanza Vineyard & Winery from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Mimbres Valley
  • Sunday – Oct. 22: Installation of Pastor Andre Howard at New Hope Fellowship Church, 10:00 a.m.
  • Tuesday – Oct. 24: 4:00 p.m. Open House Ribbon Cutting at Big Brothers Big Sisters located at 1016 North Pope Street in Silver City
  • Tuesday – Oct. 24: New Mexico Tax Reform Public Forum at WNMU Miller Library from 6 to 8 p.m. sponsored by the Republican Party of Grant County
  • Wednesday – Oct. 25: MRAC Annual Meeting at 5 p.m. in Vicki's Eatery in Silver City

Need more information, call the Chamber of Commerce office at (575) 538-3785, or if there's something strange in the neighborhood… call Ghostbusters. So, who are you going to call?

Don’t get excited. These three words don’t mean very much right now… but maybe sometime in the future they will.

This past weekend Grant County Manager - Charlene Webb and I, along with Mike Baragree and Michael Baragree escorted two movie/television location managers around Grant County. We saw some places I had never visited before, and others that were familiar to me. It was a great opportunity to see our area. During our time with these film industry folks, it was amazing to hear some of the comments made about places we were visiting. At the end of the three-day visit, we feel certain we made some great headway in our efforts to attract a major movie, television show or major ad campaign to shoot their script in our area of southwest New Mexico.

About a week ago, the Chamber of Commerce hosted a Tourism Economic Summit with the New Mexico Hospitality Association. Over 70 local people attended, and we heard good comments about the meeting. One of the points that came up several times during the meeting is that we need to find a "Brand" for tourism in Silver City and Grant County.

To do this, we probably need to make some tough choices or decisions that will more than likely not make everyone happy. We need to ask ourselves… do we really want to be a tourism destination and what markets do we want to specifically target? What must we do and how do we grow to become the destination we want to be? What new forms of business or expansion of current business will help us meet our goals?

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.

The Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the New Mexico Hospitality Association to bring the state-wide organizations Regional Tourism Economic Summit Series to southwest New Mexico. The Summit will be held from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. on Monday – September 25, 2017 in the Grant County Veterans Memorial Business & Conference Center.

This event is a great opportunity for tourism stakeholders and leaders in Grant, Luna, Hidalgo and Catron counties to connect at this regionally-focused, tourism economic summit. The is designed to establish a forum to discuss pressing issues and emerging opportunities impacting the tourism economy in southwest New Mexico.

Live from Silver City

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