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Live locally, Grand County, you might be surprised what you discover

Janet Day / Talk of the ValleyWinter Park, Colorado

Living Local. If ever there was a time to do business locally, this deteriorating economy is it. Save on gas and possibly save a local business by getting things done in the Fraser Valley instead of driving to Denver.I love the surprise of finding local businesses that I didn’t know very well or didn’t know at all. If last week’s Business Expo is any indication, plenty of other people feel the same. The event sponsored by the Winter Park-Fraser Valley Chamber and Business Without Borders was a standing room-only event at Winter Park Station.There were giveaways, Halloween-themed displays and great food, but the focus of the event was on business education and networking. Pushing through the crowded space led visitors to everything from local services for writing a will to catering. Some businesses were new and unknown, at least to me.No Moosin’ Around is a new lodging services firm with a cute name and logo to match. Owners Gabriella Vogelbacher, Heidi Hostetter and Ann Kresler help connect property owners with vacationers looking for short-term rentals. Check them out at http://www.nomoosinaround.com.Epic Mountain Sports, in the Park Place Shopping Center, caters to visitors looking for convenience and quality. The shop delivers high-quality ski and board equipment, providing professional fittings in the comfort of the guest’s lodging. They’ll even send someone onto the slopes to fix any equipment problems or replace it. How’s that for service? Details and discounts can be found at http://www.epicmountainsports.com.Liz Woolf’s Woolf Design Works in Hot Sulphur Springs produces gorgeous, luxurious fabric furnishings window coverings, bedding, cushions and pillows. The artistry and craftsmanship in her tiny display was enough to convince me to never go to Bed Bath & Beyond again.As we get feisty and forward-thinking new businesses in the area, some of the more entrenched companies should take notice and reconsider their customer service, or lack of it. This is not an economy in which to take customers for granted.It’s amusing to talk about how things work on mountain time up here when a delivery, repair, service or installation technician is an hour or two late. It’s another thing entirely to have appointments repeatedly canceled, workers show up four hours late or phone calls not returned. A co-worker spent weeks and lost plenty of her own work time trying to get a simple installation completed. That disrespect for the customer is what drives many people over the pass to Home Depot and Costco.Seasonal Sightings. I laugh as I drive through town these days. The scarecrows and straw-people set up outside local businesses are wonderfully disturbing. There are skiers galore with pumpkins as heads and straw-stuffed bodies, but the ones that make me smile every day include the buck-toothed, bug-eyed, pumpkin-headed beaver in front of Beaver Village Condominiums (pity it was somewhat torn apart this past weekend) and the bucket-head group sitting outside Main Street Real Estate.Elsewhere, there’s a lampshade for a head, a straw-filled computer user and Bridezilla. For a big laugh, head to the Tabernash Tavern and get an eyeful of the pumpkin moon in front of the restaurant.Then get yourself and the kids dressed up for the Halloween Bash at Copper Creek Square on Friday. The winning scarecrow will be announced. There’s also trick-or-treating, a costume contest, haunted house and dinner specials. Keep in Touch: What’s got your attention around the area? Let me know. I’ll try to find the answer or spread the news. Send it all to JDayQuilts@msn.com.


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