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RANGELY I In terms of experience and geography, Sandy Payne and Candy Collins come from different places. Which might make the two newest Rangely Chamber of Commerce board members just right for the job.
Payne, who owns Giovanni’s Italian Grill with her husband John and has lived in Rangely for 21 years, sees things through a distinctly business-oriented lens.
“The stronger our businesses and our support of them, the stronger the town will be,” Payne says. “People may not realize how much revenue and value the in-town businesses bring. But the employment and services businesses offer here really do have a long-term impact.”
One way to market these businesses within and outside of the community, Payne believes, is through the growing venue of social and other online media.
“The social media world nowadays is huge,” Payne says. “There’s a role for all the ad methods out there, for print and online, but advertising costs a lot of money, and we need to be able to use that money wisely.”
Online rating sites like AAA and Trip Advisor, Payne says, could also promote Rangely in new ways.
“These are a kind of advertising, too,” she says. “People have had lots of good experiences here, and we need to let people know about that.”
In addition to her business background, Payne brings both computer experience and a love for marketing to the board. She worked as an information technician at Colorado Northwestern Community College for nine years before deciding to run the restaurant full-time with John.
“I thought it might be a good time to step up a little bit,” Payne says. “If I made a commitment to the board, I wanted to have something to offer.”
On the other end of the spectrum, new board member Candy Collins has lived in Meeker most of her life and is now learning what the other side of the county has to offer. The variety of hunting and outdoor recreation opportunities in the area, plus close attractions like Flaming Gorge, were a surprise to Collins, who moved to Rangely two years ago.
“I never realized that there were all these neat places to go in Rangely, even though I’ve lived in Meeker since I was 9,” Collins says. “I thought, ‘Who knew? And how is it that I didn’t know?’”
To Collins, joining the chamber board seemed like a logical way to know more. Now the Moosehead Lodge property manager plans to share that knowledge with people passing through the area.
“Rangely has a lot to offer, but people don’t realize it when they’re visiting,” she says. “Before I visit a new place, I go check out the chamber websites. We’re on the right track for advertising, but we need to collectively come to ideas about how to promote Rangely.”
Rangely Chamber of Commerce Director Brooke Lohse agrees.
“I’ve been amazed at the number of phone calls requesting information about tourism,” Lohse says. “People want to know about the mountain biking and the rock art. So we’re giving out the Rangely booklet, we’re getting tourism and relocation information packets mailed out.”
Lohse is excited about what the new board members will bring to the table.
“Candy will be a great voice, being newer to the area,” Lohse says. “And Sandy’s such a successful business owner. She’s a great addition. Two people with two different points of view are a wonderful thing to get on the board.”
Qualifications necessary for the two or three positions still needing filled on the board are basic, Collins says.
“The only thing that really matters is having a genuine interest in Rangely. That, and a desire for it to become what it can and should be.”
For more information or to apply for a position on the Chamber board, contact Brooke Lohse at 675-5290 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.