Pueblo, CO Chamber of Commerce Activities
If it happens in Pueblo, chances are the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce is right in the thick of it. Whether it's providing business assistance and legislative direction or implementing fairs and festivals, the chamber is either doing it or promoting it. That's a tall order, because this is a busy community that reaches out to residents and tourists alike.
"We promote anything that goes on in Pueblo," says Phyllis Samora, chamber vice president.
Under the capable direction of Rod Slyhoff, who has served as chamber president and CEO for the past quarter century, the chamber focus is on providing tangible benefits to members and creating relationships with key leaders in order to facilitate policy that is business-friendly.
"The chamber is the true legislative voice of the community," Samora says. "The legislators call the chamber before they introduce legislation because they want to get the pulse of the community."
Local city and county elected officials also work well with the chamber. "We take the time to keep up with local issues, and we understand what our local leaders are doing," Samora says. "We all want to make Pueblo a better place to live and do business."
Seminars, networking opportunities, governmental relations and leadership-development programs are at the core of the chamber's program of work, but Pueblo loves a party, and the chamber's convention and visitors bureau knows how to throw one.
Now in its 15th year, the Loaf 'N Jug Chile & Frijoles Festival, held the third weekend in September after Labor Day, draws upwards of 100,000 people during its three days.
"We started out having a little weekend celebration of the harvest of our famous Pueblo chile, and now we have four huge entertainment tents of local entertainment and eight blocks of chile roasters, ethnic foods and artists," Samora says. "It really becomes a city within a city, and it's all about celebrating Pueblo."
After the Professional Bull Riders Inc. brought their world headquarters to downtown Pueblo, the chamber started the Wild Wild West Festival (held in May each year) to celebrate the Built Ford Tough Bull Riding Event.
"A lot of their bull riders are stars in their own right, and they draw a high caliber of entertainment to bring to the festival," Samora says. "They have a fan base that is huge."
The Colorado State Fair Parade, planned and sponsored by the chamber, draws 40,000 people into town to kick off this popular event, while July's National Little Britches Finals Rodeo guests are greeted with a chamber-sponsored welcome reception and other activities.
Growing in popularity is the Fat Tuesday celebration, which started small as a member-appreciation event, but has now grown to include the entire community. With all this activity, it's only natural that the chamber would work to draw conventions into town, and visitors are accommodated with almost 2,300 hotel rooms and two top-notch meeting facilities that hold groups from 10 to 1,500.
Find out more about the Pueblo, CO Chamber of Commerce.