Destination Resiliency Plan 2022
THIS ARTICLE APPEARS IN THE RED ROCK NEWS
January 7, 2022
Groundhog Day isn’t until February, but I suspect it may have arrived early this year. The rise in hospitalizations, flight and event cancellations, and the reinstatement of travel restrictions due to the omicron variant make today look a lot like early 2021. Thankfully, adapting to events we cannot control is what our FY22 Destination Resiliency Plan, in partnership with the City of Sedona, is all about.
The city and the chamber are working hand in hand to address Sedona’s most pressing issues under these unpredictable circumstances. This year, I anticipate progress on tactics that enhance our quality of life – one of the four pillars of the Sedona Sustainable Tourism Plan.
We strongly support the City Council, City Manager Karen Osborn and Transit Administrator Robert Weber in revitalizing Sedona’s first public transit system – the Sedona Shuttle. Debuting in early March, the shuttle will service five popular trailheads to ease congestion and mitigate illegal parking. In December, Council approved the purchase of ten-seater vans for a micro-transit program – a cutting-edge rideshare concept that will allow residents and tourists alike to hail a ride, like ordering an Uber. The system will operate within designated zones, initially along the 89A corridor in Uptown and West Sedona. Aimed at reducing traffic and parking problems, it is expected to be ready this spring.
The re-branded Verde Shuttle debuted last summer, and we continue to promote it in English and Spanish to our employers and regional workforce. It’s expanded hours, low fares and dozens of stops making it much easier to leave your car when traveling between Cottonwood and Sedona.
Many people are frustrated by the complexity involved in reducing the impact of OHVs/ATVs on our neighborhoods. The US Forest Service, city and chamber are committed to finding solutions while respecting people’s rights to access our public lands. The chamber formed the Red Rock OHV Conservation Crew (RROCC), a consortium of twelve OHV/ATV/Jeep rental companies along with Tread Lightly!, a national nonprofit dedicated to ethical motorized recreation. Beginning in September, these companies began voluntarily dedicating one percent of their sales to trail maintenance, driver education, and working with Arizona State Parks on potentially expanding enforcement. Nevertheless, the issue defies easy solutions, and recent bad weather resulting in trail closures that exacerbated it.
We are also watching inflation – exemplified by price increases in consumer goods and housing – and the ongoing workforce shortage.
Join us on Wednesday, February 9 at the Sedona Performing Arts Center (SPAC) for our Community Pulse where you will hear directly from policymakers working on these challenges. Sponsored by APS, the event runs from 9:30-11:15 a.m. with plenty of room for appropriate social distancing. Hear from the City of Sedona, Sedona Airport, USFS, Big Park Regional Coordinating Council, and Yavapai College. In addition, the League of Women Voters will address voter registration and how to research candidates and issues like Home Rule as local and statewide elections draw near Your voice is your vote, and as a voters, I urge you to keep in mind how longstanding community partnerships continue to yield results.
Greater Sedona is poised for excellence in 2022, driven by the commitment of the Sedona City Council and staff, in partnership with the dedicated Sedona Chamber Board of Directors, our passionate staff and volunteers, and many other nonprofit organizations. We appreciate the support of so many as we work together to solve our challenges. Please accept our best wishes for a happy new year and a more sustainable Sedona!
-Candace Carr Strauss,