Our beloved Sedona is the priority! Here are some of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau (SCC&TB) programs having a positive impact – all funded solely by tourism dollars. We’ve identified four Sedona Reinvestment Programs: Stewardship, Transportation, the Arts, and Wellness.
Sustainability runs through everything we do. We know we must preserve our land and scenic beauty — while also sustaining Sedona’s #1 industry – tourism.
Transportation is an obvious priority as our community of 10,000 welcomes roughly 3 million visitors a year. We find ways to share the story of our impressive history and culture, and to elevate awareness of Sedona’s Art scene. People visit Sedona to reconnect and recharge. Focusing on Wellness is a natural and popular response.
What does the future of Sedona look like?
Sustainable Tourism Plan
The SCC&TB conducted a comprehensive assessment of Sedona’s tourism as part of our move toward sustainable destination management. The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (“GSTC”), the world’s leading standard-setting body for sustainable tourism operations, did a fantastic job. See how Sedona stands on the 44 criteria for sustainable communities at SedonaSustainable.com.
The City of Sedona and the SCC&TB are partnering with Nichols Tourism Group and Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability to develop Sedona’s first Sustainable Tourism Plan. Learn more at SedonaSustainable.com
How are we protecting our land?
A visitor-based economy places strains on our environment. We partner with other with nonprofits, private businesses and the USFS on programs that emphasize preservation.
Nine Easy Hikes in Sedona Book
“Nine Easy Hikes” features less-populated trails and background on the geology and flora of Sedona. In partnership with the Sedona Lodging Council and the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund, 100% of the sale proceeds is donated to the US Forest Service for trail maintenance. The SCC&TB and the Sedona Lodging Council produced the book, including design, writing, editing, printing and business management. By March of 2018, we generated $5,500 to help preserve local trails. We expect the book will continue to raise thousands each year.
Sedona Trail Keepers
To aid the USFS Red Rock Ranger District in preserving local trails and developing new ones, this program recruited 25 local private sponsors to donate $1,000 each – a total private sector investment of $25,000. With a match from the SCC&TB, the donation totals $50,000 annually – $250,000 over the five-year life of the program. Ten more sponsors have joined this year, bringing the total investment by 2022 to $310,000. SedonaTrailKeepers.com
Trail Maintenance Event
SCC&TB members also give back to the community with time as well as monetary donations. In March 2018, volunteers donated 110 hours working on the Huckaby Trail in Uptown Sedona. Everyone is welcome to join us year round for trail maintenance days!
Oak Creek Watershed Council Voluntourism Project
The Oak Creek Watershed Council (OCWC) and the SCC&TB recently led a unique volunteer cleanup in Oak Creek Canyon that included Sedona tourists. This new way to engage our visitors in helping preserve our greatest treasure and connecting with local residents harnesses the growing trend of “voluntourism.”
With the SCC&TB support, the Verde Watershed Ambassadors have engaged 332 volunteers in 14 cleanup events, picking up 2,395 pounds of trash since July 2017.
North Sedona Trail Enhancement & Rehabilitation Project
The SCC&TB invested $56,000 – more than half of the project cost – in the USFS Red Rock Enhancement Fund, allowing the Forest Service to complete maintenance in the area of Little Elf Trail. Running from Soldiers Pass to Dry Creek Road was considered a high priority for reconstruction and realignment due to erosion. Major realignments and heavy maintenance were completed on area trails. Highlights include:
• 7 miles of trail maintained
• 1.6 miles of new trails
• 65 steps installed
• 8 signs
• 500 hours of labor
Western Gateway Project
The SCC&TB is a major funding partner for the proposed Western Gateway, a 28-mile trail system. Depending on additional funding support, the project could begin in fall 2018 and develop over three years. Construction on connections to the Dry Creek trail system and user-created adoptions are a priority, with all the work accomplished by volunteers, conservation corps crews, and Forest Service staff.
The Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund and Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition are working with us and the USFS to generate funds exceeding the total needed for annual maintenance. With the help of the City of Sedona, completion of the Western Gateway trail system is possible by winter 2021.
Sedona Secret 7
Dispersing foot traffic to other trailheads is a key tactic for alleviating overcrowding. The Sedona Secret 7 helps spread visitors around Sedona’s many scenic spots by creating a guide to “secret” gems. The Secret 7 sites are already well-developed but underutilized. Visitors and locals share their favorite Secret 7 sites at #SedonaSecret7. SedonaSecret7.com
How else are we minimizing our “footprint”?
Sedona Tourism Cares
The Sedona Tourism Cares Pledge is a commitment from Sedona businesses to turn sustainable thinking into action. Signing the pledge opens opportunities for businesses to put human and financial resources towards specific sustainability initiatives. The program will launch in FY19.
Straw Free Sedona
More than 500 million plastic straws are disposed into the environment everyday in the United States. We are working to encourage Sedona businesses to transition away from plastic straws with the “Straw Free Sedona” program, launching August 31, 2018. Several businesses have already signed up! More information at StrawfreeSedona.com.
What about TRAFFIC?
401 Jordan Road Parking Lot #1
Uptown businesses list lack of parking as a top concern. To address this, the SCC&TB purchased the property located at 401 Jordan Road, opening 44 free parking spaces with good ADA accessibility and more motor coach parking. This property has been labeled as Parking Lot #1. This purchase also addresses concerns about the transition to 100+ paid parking spaces being implemented along SR 89A.
The City of Sedona’s Community Focus Area (CFA) process will assist in determining the ultimate utilization of the property. The Jordan Road CFA began in spring 2018 and will continue in FY19.
The SCC&TB and the City of Sedona are developing a wayfinding plan to enhance visitors’ enjoyment of Sedona, lessen traffic congestion and improve pedestrian flow. “You Are Here” kiosks will help visitors people find attractions, parks, restrooms and information.
In FY19 look for wayfinding signage for parks, city facilities, trailheads, gateway welcome signs and area districts.
Walk Sedona Mobile Program
This GPS-enabled map focuses on showing visitors how Sedona can be a “walk-friendly’ destination and thereby help mitigate traffic conditions. We are focusing the first phase on luring visitors to have a unique experience via a “Sedona Gallery Art Walk,” intended to drive business to our numerous galleries – also aligned with our “Elevate the Arts” program. The map is at WalkSedona.com and has filters for:
• Restaurants, Recycling, Bus stops, Public art, Galleries, Parks, Trailheads, Real-time traffic conditions
Our long-term goal is to see all visitors using cars only to arrive and depart, with all other in-town navigating on foot. WalkSedona.com
Park in Sedona Mobile Program
This new program integrates with WalkSedona.com and the City of Sedona’s parking applications. ParkInSedona.com shows available parking spots on SR89A in Uptown. We are working with the City to sensor all parking in the area to help visitors park and get out of their cars as quickly as possible. ParkinSedona.com
Traffic in the roundabouts can be confusing, especially for visitors. Our Roundabout 101 videos describe what everyone needs to know to navigate roundabout safely. It airs in all hotel rooms, on visitor websites, and is shared with the lodging partners to include in pre-visit communications.
Sedona is a bike-friendly city with a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community Designation awarded by the League of American Bicyclists.
This video informs viewers how to share the road for the safety of all. The video lives on VisitSedona.com, the official tourism website, on multiple pages.
Bike Share Feasibility Study
A study by the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University evaluated the feasibility of a shared-bike program in Sedona and suggested the community “proceed with caution.” The study found many obstacles still need to be overcome. More information on this program is available under the research section of SedonaChamber.com.
Verde Lynx Expansion
Finding alternatives for our growing number of commuters can alleviate traffic congestion. That’s why the SCC&TB agreed to use a portion of the bed taxes allocated to tourism to fund an expansion of the Verde Lynx commuter. Plans are being developed and will likely include longer hours and greater frequency.
Public Transit Implementation Plan
The SCC&TB has contributed $10,000 to Sedona to support planning for a comprehensive public transit plan. The City has commitments of $160,000 from the federal government and $10,000 from Coconino County, and has hired a public transit planning consultant. This public/private partnership will focus on:
• This strategy proposes a bus shuttle system from the Village of Oak Creek to Slide Rock State Park.
• Buses running every 15 to 20 minutes between March and October.
• Developing a Park-and-Ride lot near Red Rock Ranger Station with pick-up points along SR 179 and SR 89A.
How do we support arts, culture & community character?
We have a long-standing reputation as a City Animated by the Arts, with over 80 galleries and shops amidst an eclectic local artist community. We continue to grow in the area of culinary and wine experiences. We have a deep respect for Native American culture, film and western history, and nearby heritage sites and national monuments. By positioning Sedona as an art mecca, we support our artists, nonprofit groups and galleries, and help provide quality of life amenities for residents.
Art History Video
Today’s art scene in Sedona is complete with every possible genre and chock full of internationally renowned, established and emerging artists. The SCC&TB sees an opportunity in telling this story through today’s most popular medium: video. The history of Sedona’s art community is fascinating. In the mid-1950s, Sedona inspired surrealist icons Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning along with famed Egyptian sculptor Nassan Gobran. The 1960s saw the formation of the Cowboy Artists of America over beers at the old Oak Creek Tavern.
Art + Dine in the Evenings Program
This program encourages businesses to stay open later to offer more accessibility for Sedona residents and visitors. A printed version of the WalkSedona.com map provides visitors with evening options that showcase galleries and restaurants staying open until 8:00 pm on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays during peak seasons.
Currently being reassessed, Art + Dine will be promoted to local concierge, web and social media.
Sedona Verde Valley Geotourism & National Geographic Mapguide
The Sedona Verde Valley Geotourism Program promotes the culture and ecological diversity of region the people through the voices and stories of the people living here. Local people express, what’s unique about their area through a National Geographic Society co-branded online interactive website. Sedona is one of only 15 destinations chose to partner with National Geographic on the program. VerdeValleyNatGeo.com
Public Art Brochure
A new map and online guide helps art lovers find all of Sedona’s public works of art, including murals, sculptures and installations both indoors and out. The map is available at the Official Chamber Visitor Center. All public art is also plotted on the WalkSedona.com web map.
Sedona Star Party
We are increasing awareness and promoting Sedona’s International Dark Sky designation with a free star viewing event at Posse Ground Park. With the help of pre-mounted telescopes, volunteer astronomers guide attendee’s through a tour of the fantastic Sedona night sky. A partnership with the City of Sedona Parks & Recreation Department, Keep Sedona Beautiful and the Astronomers of Verde Valley, the first event is Saturday, August 4 from 7:30 – 9:30 pm. SedonaStarParty.com.
How are we contributing to the welfare of our community?
Sedona Performing Arts Center
From 2015-2017, the SCC&TB provided a matching grant to nonprofits who wanted to utilize the Sedona Performing Arts Center to grow their programs.
Funding was also provided to conduct a Performing Arts Center Feasibility Study in FY16 which evaluated enhancements to the Center. The study served as the foundation for The Sedona 30 – a philanthropic community development association – to raise funds for needed improvements.
Annual Event Sponsorships of $300,000 Plus in-kind Support to 30 Local Events
Supporting annual events is another way we support the community and illustrate our commitment to local organizations, volunteers and residents. Some of the event sponsorships include: