June marks progress for Chamber

June 29, 2018



Whew! As we get ready to celebrate a fantastic Sedona Fourth of July, we can look back at a month of big wins for Sedona as we work together toward a tourism strategy icon_stewardshipthat benefits everyone.

The community moved closer to a Sustainable Tourism Plan this month, with ASU conducting surveys and focus groups ahead of a public input meeting later this summer. A plan that works for all of Sedona needs that kind of community-wide engagement. It will be finished in October.

On June 12, the City Council unanimously approved the FY19 Tourism Bureau budget and a new tourism management philosophy:  balancing a visitor-driven economy with the critical need for environmental stewardship and preserving the Sedona quality of life.

How are the Council and Chamber putting this approach into action?
•    At the Chamber’s request, the City will use a scheduled $268,900 tourism budget increase to expand the Verde Lynx transit system and develop visitor-focused transit plans, ultimately reducing traffic.
•    The Tourism Bureau will eliminate in-state advertising this summer to make a dent in day-trip traffic congestion.
•    23 percent of the tourism budget will be reinvested in Sedona programs, focusing on stewardship, transportation, and visitor management programs to reduce overcrowding and disperse vehicle and foot traffic.
•    The Chamber and Council reaffirmed our partnership with ASU on creating a Sustainable Tourism Plan.

Sustainable tourism concepts have tremendous potential for Sedona, educating visitors to respect the environment, support local economies and make only a positive impact during their visit. It will be very exciting to see new ideas on visitor transportation, management, activities and education.

But that’s not all!

In June, our Trail Keepers program donated $50,000 to the USFS to preserve local trails around Sedona, the second consecutive year we’ve joined with Chamber partners to raise that amount. Our local businesses have been so responsive, we are expanding the 5-year goal from $250,000 to $310,000.  Working to preserve our environment harmonizes with the Chamber’s new mission:  to serve the community by helping make Sedona the best place to live, work, play and visit.

In June, I launched a weekly ‘coffee chat’ at the Chamber Administrative Office. Starting July 9, every Monday at 9:00 a.m., you are welcome to stop by, enjoy coffee and chat about any topics related to Chamber activities, such as tourism management and transportation ideas; simply call 928.204.1123 to RSVP. As part of our mission to serve all of Sedona, I’d like to know more about your thoughts on making our community better.

With best wishes for a safe Fourth of July, I hope that like me, you will remember June as an important month as we look forward to a bright future here in the most beautiful place on Earth!

–Jennifer Wesselhoff

Listen to what Kegn Moorcroft says about the Sustainable Plan: