Well-managed city merits public thanks


December 14, 2018


snl-editWe love a Christmas family dinner at home, but a stress-free, no-cooking-or-dishwashing experience in Sedona’s fantastic food scene is equally alluring. Fortunately, lots of favorites are open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

If you haven’t firmed up your plans yet, visit the “Find Your Feast” page at SedonaChamber.com to see the many partner restaurants ready to welcome you for an excellent holiday meal – while they do all the work!

We’ve included a list of partner restaurants that are also open New Year’s Day – a great time to dine out – as well as partner restaurants closed on Christmas.

Sedona Northern Lights Show 2018

What did you think of the debut of the 2018 Sedona Northern Lights show last night? I heard lots of oohs and ahhs among those watching from Uptown. I agree it is a spectacular sight, complemented this year by KAZM radio’s accompanying music. We made improvements after hearing feedback from last year’s inaugural event – and I love how the production team at paintscaping.com has adapted.

Santa himself is in town for Sedona Northern Lights – he’s welcoming young people with hot chocolate and a hearty “Ho! Ho! Ho!” at the Visitors Center at Forest and SR 89A from 6-9 p.m., Thursday thru Sunday.

At least once this weekend, you’ve just got to catch this amazing 9-minute show of projected 3D art on the red rocks of Sedona, next to Snoopy Rock. You can see it tonight, Saturday or Sunday every hour on the hour from 6 thru 9 p.m. Details at SedonaNorthernLights.com.

Send an email to let us know what you think of the light show – my address is below.

SFD: Tourism makes service better, less expensive

Sedona got eye-popping news last month about how tourism saves everyone money and improves emergency services. An independent study commissioned by the Sedona Fire District (SFD) shows more than half of SFD revenue is tied to tourism, yet tourism does not create a dramatic increase in service demand. Seventy-five percent of SFD calls come from the 17,000 District residents, and just 25 percent originate from our 3 million annual visitors.

SFD says tourism-related revenues pay for increased staffing, better life-saving equipment, additional training and the SFD policy of waiving co-pays for resident ambulance transport.

Tourism dollars even allowed SFD to cut the county property tax rate last year. Their analysis shows residents of neighboring fire districts pay 25 percent more in county property taxes than do residents of the SFD. And, remember, because of tourism, the city of Sedona doesn’t levy a property tax at all.

Why we’re grateful

Thank you to those who responded to a recent column about gratitude this holiday season. My favorite is from Sedona Park Ranger Bob Huggins, who sent this list:

• The Volunteer Park Rangers who work every day to help visitors and support events, making Sedona a better place to visit and live.
• The friends and neighbors who drop everything to help you out.
• The plumber who came over to re-light our water heater and didn’t charge a cent.
• Merchants who greet you by name.
• A City staff responsive to our needs.
• A Mayor and Council who listen.
• The opportunity to live in a City that has not lost its small-town character.
• The great work and support of Chamber volunteers and staff.

Great list, Bob! And thanks for all you do to make the Volunteer Park Rangers a Sedona point of pride!

Jennifer Wesselhoff, President/CEO