Up and down el Rio Blanco: Rising tide

A rising tide raises all ships,” Meeker Chamber of Commerce board president Margie Joy said before introducing guest speaker Cinda Baxter, founder of The 3/50 Project.
Thanks to the Meeker chamber and sponsor Diana Jones, owner of Meeker Drugs, nearly 40 people representing several local businesses attended, including Darlene Feller of the Rangely Chamber of Commerce.
The goal of The 3/50 Project, the Meeker chamber and, I believe, the Rangely chamber, is to support and see local businesses not only survive but thrive.
“I preach a positive message, a message of balance,” Cinda said. “Unless we work together, we turn off our customers and give them more reason to leave.”
Baxter also reminded businesses to do a better job of greeting and serving customers.
“Consumers need enthusiasm from us when they come into our businesses, they want to be needed,” Baxter, a former retail business owner for 14 years, said.
Personally, I like being greeted with a smile and asked about my well-being when I go to a local business. I like to think that I do that with my customers but I will now make a more conscience effort to letting my customers know how much I appreciate their business. So don’t be surprised if I give you a big hug after you buy an ad or a cup of coffee!
Cinda explained how she started The 3/50 Project and made several suggestions on how we could implement the concept into our businesses. She suggested working together and bundling our goods and services creatively, cross-promoting or referring new customers to each other. Cinda also suggested using technology and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to market our businesses.
I have a Facebook page but I don’t Tweet, not yet anyway. It sounds fun and I do have a smart phone.
“Getting the word out is step one and every business has to be involved, it’s repetition,” Cinda said.
“The bottom line of The 3/50 project is: it’s about you.”
I know I learned some things listening to Cinda speak, I believe others did too and I hope to see our businesses start working together and not only market our own businesses but our friends’ businesses in our towns and county. Let’s start raising the tide!
Another tide that has been rising and the topic of many conversations in our county — is one we can’t do much about but watch — is the annual snowmelt. I checked out the website; http://waterwatch.usgs.gov, Wednesday morning and the White River was running at 5,590 cfs below Meeker and 5,030 just above Rangely. As my friend David Smith Jr. said the other day, looking at his flooded pasture just west of Meeker, “that’s a lot of water.”
Shawn Welder sent me some photos of Buddy Ridings, Mike Sizemore and Kevin Nye snowmobiling last Sunday and after seeing the pictures, my thought was, “that’s a lot of snow.”
Shawn said “snow depths varied from six to 10 feet and the cornice on the summit of Pagoda Peak is still up to 20 feet.”
It’s fun to watch the river flow and take pictures of it, because really that is all we can do … stand back, enjoy the show and talk about what we saw up and down el Rio Blanco.

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