Gearing up for summer
THIS ARTICLE APPEARS IN THE RED ROCK NEWS
May 26, 2023
The Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau is gearing up for summer.
Summer is looking good for visitors coming to our state. That’s what we hear from our peers at the Arizona Office of Tourism.
To quote Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport spokesman, Eric Everts, “Sky Harbor expects to continue the busy first quarter into the summer and beyond. We have already seen multiple records broken this year including the busiest day and now the busiest month ever. The release of the March statistics shows that travel has continued to be an area of high demand and even record-breaking here in Phoenix.”
According to Phoenix Sky Harbor’s economic development statistics, 2019 was the airport’s biggest year ever with 46.2 million passengers. If passenger traffic patterns continue to match or beat pre-pandemic levels throughout 2023, visitation is expected to surpass that number.
So far, this upward trend in Phoenix is not the same trend we’ve seen in Sedona. With declining tourism indicators in Sedona for several months now, it’s clear that our lack of destination marketing the past two years hindered our ability to tap the activity that’s taking place 90 minutes south. It’s time to bring the pendulum back to the center and care for the business community. They are the ones who work hard to serve our visitors who supply nearly 80% of the city’s revenue which is used for services like police, parks and roads. Sedona businesses can benefit from this surge over the coming slow summer months. With this in mind, the Sedona Verde Valley Marketing Alliance’s campaign was launched this week, targeting affluent residents of the Phoenix metropolitan area with highly targeted digital messaging. While the campaign is primarily focused on Phoenix residents, geofence marketing around high-end dining and galleries will also encourage those visiting the Valley of the Sun to come to Sedona.
Speaking of dining, we are fortunate to have some amazing restaurants right here in our backyard that have garnered national attention such as The Table at Junipine Resort with James Beard semifinalists Chef Brett Vibbers and Chef Jaren Bates. We ask that you support our local restaurants, especially during Arizona’s Restaurant Week (May 19-28) which is already in progress.
During the summer months, Sedona has amazing views of the Milky Way. It’s a photographer’s dream to be able to capture the galaxy of stars due to our Dark Sky commitment. In 2014, Sedona was awarded the prestigious designation of an International Dark Sky Community. It’s one of the reasons we included “stargazing” as a hidden gem in our Secret 7 locations to visit.
As a reminder, we would like to ask our businesses and residents to proactively replace non-compliant outdoor lighting with dark-sky-compliant lighting. Our friends at Keep Sedona Beautiful have a plethora of information on dark sky efforts. Please visit their website, keepsedonabeautiful.org and select the Programs dropdown to learn more about our dark sky community.
With Memorial Day weekend upon us, we would first like to thank our veterans for their service to our country, and please remember that Sedona does get busier over holiday weekends, so adjust your drive times accordingly. Have a safe and Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
–Michelle Conway, President/CEO
Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau