Advocating for Sedona’s Businesses
THIS ARTICLE APPEARS IN THE RED ROCK NEWS
February 2, 2024
As the statewide voice of advocacy for Arizona’s lodging and tourism industry, the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association, (AzLTA), represents over 1,400 hotels and resorts, Arizona’s sports teams, venues, airlines, airports and hundreds of businesses that supply goods and services to the industry.
On January 18, the AzLTA held their annual Legislative Industry Kick-Off Breakfast in Phoenix.
During the reception, AzLTA President & CEO Kim Sabow stated, “This exceptional event serves as the launch pad for an impactful beginning to 2024, bringing together industry leaders, community influencers and legislative powerhouses for compelling discussions on pivotal issues shaping our industry.”
This event convened industry, community and thought leaders for a bipartisan legislative panel to discuss the most pressing topics facing the tourism and lodging industry. It provided us an opportunity to learn more about policy priorities heading into the 2024 Legislative Session.
The Arizona Legislative Leadership panel featured Senate Minority Leader Juan Mendez, House Majority Leader Leo Biasiucci, House Minority Leader Lupe Contreras and Senator T.J. Shope. The panel provided an opportunity for us to gain invaluable insights into the challenges faced by our legislative leaders such as education, the housing crisis and water stewardship.
This event also provided insight into the roles that energy and sustainability play in our tourism industry. The panel discussion, “Energy & Sustainability – Powering the Tourism Industry,” was led by Amilyn Pierce, vice president of Government Affairs with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and included Jason Baran, director of State Government Affairs at Salt River Project, Danny Seiden, president and CEO at Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Matt Liguori, senior manager/public affairs at Southwest Gas Corporation, all of whom provided perspectives on current business trends. As was pointed out by the panel, “The lodging and tourism industry is the front door to our state, and by investing in reliable and sustainable energy we can showcase the best of Arizona.”
Since 1938, AzLTA has been focused on advocacy, collaboration and education to generate support and increase awareness of the profound impact the industry has on Arizona’s economic growth and represents statewide hotels, resorts and tourism attractions. This meeting along with other AzLTA gatherings provide a landscape view of how organizations such as this one, have their finger on the pulse of what is happening beyond our city limits and give us a greater perspective of the future of our lodging and tourism industry.
Sedona is one of Arizona’s most visited destinations, and being informed of what’s happening at the state level is very important. While our city is small in population, our contribution to the health of our state’s tourism economy is substantial. Stan Kantowski, managing director of Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa serves on the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau’s Board of Directors’ Executive Committee, as well as on AzLTA’s Executive Committee, while I serve on the Board of Directors of AzLTA.
Having a Sedona team on AzLTA’s Board is essential because we can help advocate for important issues that affect our state and our region as we continue to represent the Greater Sedona business community at important events like this.
–Michelle Conway Kostecki, President/CEO
Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau