San Juan County businesses, parks try to attract visitors over long weekend

James Fenton
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Stores and national parks in San Juan County offered incentives over Labor Day weekend to attract both residents and visitors.

Over the holiday weekend, Bowlero Lanes in Farmington gave bowlers a few extra reasons to drop by and try to throw some strikes.

On Sunday morning, the bowling alley cut its per-game charge from $3.50 to $1.50 until noon, according to Illa Hodges, desk manager at Bowlero. And after 5 p.m. Monday until close, she said Bowlero would up the ante by not charging families of four or more its standard $3 shoe rental fee, she said.

Hodges said the bowling alley saw about 7 percent more customers over the weekend, especially families of four or more. She attributed the uptick both to increased traffic over Labor Day weekend and the rainy weather.

"Yes, all weekend, we've seen more folks come in," she said. "The rain helped because (bowling's) an indoor sport. Usually, it's slower in the summer, but there's been more here the last few days."

Bowlero is open until midnight Sundays through Thursdays and until 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Hodges said.

"It's nice to see more people coming out," she said. "They're all playing the jukebox and having a really good time."

Over in Aztec, Yards-N-Inches, a fabric and sewing supply store, was holding a before-and-after Labor Day sale, offering 10 percent off nearly everything in the store through Friday.

Owner Audria Green said the business sustained damage to the showroom's carpets and four display areas when the Aug. 26 rainstorm sent water and sand pouring in under the front door. On Monday, sandbags lined the front of the business under handpainted signs announcing the store's sale.

"It got me good," Green said of the flood damage.

On Monday, Green and her mother kept busy helping customers and cutting fabric to sell at the upcoming Silverton Colorfest Quilt Show and Sale this weekend in Silverton, Colo.

Aztec City Commissioner Roberta Locke came by the store Monday looking for supplies and furnishings for a split-level home she just bought in Aztec.

"I prefer to shop local when I can — antique, thrift stores — regularly," Locke said. "You can find quality stuff at a fraction of the price."

When Locke came to the store looking for items for her home, Green's mother shared the name and number of a friend who had furniture for sale.

"This is cool — to get referred to a local person for nice oak furniture for my home," Locke said. "Not something you get at (a box store)."

For those looking for something other than shopping on Monday, Aztec Ruins National Monument offered self-guide and guided tours of the 900-year-old Puebloan ruins.

Sara Darrah, a clinical research nurse at the Center for American Indian Health's Gallup office, opted for a self-guided tour. Darrah said she took Friday off to travel to Pagosa Springs, Colo., to take in live music at the Four Corners Folk Festival. She said had not heard of Aztec Ruins, but noticed the park's sign on the drive north and decided to visit the ruins on the drive back home.

"I love the prehistoric stuff," she said after walking through the Great Kiva at the park. "I didn't know which way I was going to go (home), whether I would go to Mesa Verde (National Park), but I don't have that kind of time, so thought I'd check out Aztec Ruins. It's right on my way home. It's cool."

Aztec Ruins was open on Labor Day, the last day of the year the park observes its summer hours. On Tuesday, the park switches to its winter hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until the day after Memorial Day.

James Fenton is the business editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4621 and Follow him @fentondt on Twitter.