Official Launch of AzLTA’s Northern Arizona Committee



March 1, 2024





“Unity is strength. When there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.”

This was the message that resonated with members of the lodging and tourism community who attended an Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association (AzLTA) event on February 20, held at Enchantment Resort & Mii amo.

The purpose of the gathering was to honor AzLTA members and to celebrate the official launch of the AzLTA’s Northern Arizona Committee.

The AzLTA is engaged in the most pressing issues facing the lodging and tourism industry. In recent legislative sessions, they have advocated against harmful mandates affecting hoteliers, supported the continuation of funding to help attract major events to the state, called for modernized liquor laws and worked with policymakers to fight human trafficking. There is no other group in the state that has AzLTA’s insight and collective experience on the challenges facing the tourism sector.

Those in attendance from AzLTA’s Executive Committee included Dan Rama, Chairman of the Board, Stan Kantowski, Managing Director of Enchantment Resort and Mii amo and Kim Sabow, President & CEO who spoke to the group about the importance of Northern Arizona’s voice in advocacy.

“When we are advocating again, at all levels, whether it be City Council, the state legislature, or in the halls of Congress, we want to ensure that you feel as though your voice is being heard,” stated Kim Sabow, president, and CEO of AzLTA. “You have a committee through which you can work and build your voice. I hope that all of you will take some time — if you are not currently a member — to consider becoming a member, and then consider joining that committee.”

As chairwoman of the Northern Arizona Committee, I am honored to lead the regional efforts and vision. We need the members of our industry to bring their knowledge of local tourism issues, challenges and opportunities to the table by serving on this committee. AzLTA already has their ‘boots on the ground’ with the issues that they’re very aware of and are advocating for on our behalf, but it’s also important that Northern Arizona tourism leaders further share their local perspectives and collaborate with AzLTA. By working together as a committee, we will effectively represent our entire region.

“Arizona is a big state. We have separate regional issues. By creating this committee, we can support the issues that are local to Northern Arizona,” Kantowski stated. “This is not only about the tourism industry, but about all businesses here. We never had a voice before. This committee will evaluate what kind of issues we have in Arizona, how we present them to the legislative bodies and how we can grow membership so that we have one united voice on behalf of tourism.”

Sabow mentioned several issues that are percolating throughout the state which are critically important to businesses, including hiring staff, affordable workforce living, preventing mandates and fees that target hotels and travelers, water and energy conservation and the I-17 expansion.

Out of the more than 1,700 bills, memorials and resolutions that have been introduced, 195 bills, constituting over 11%, impact the lodging and tourism industry.

Discover Flagstaff Executive Director Trace Ward, who brings 30 years of experience in the hospitality/destination marketing and management arena believes that having a voice in Northern Arizona is essential.

“We’re rural and that makes a big difference between us (Flagstaff) and the Valley and even Tucson for that matter. So, we tend to get overlooked when it comes to funding and money, Ward said. “We also have a bigger amount of tourism as an industry than some of the other parts of the state which have a more diverse economy. Between Flagstaff and Sedona, our number one economy is the visitor economy. I think that makes us unique.”

Julie Richard, CEO of the Sedona Arts Center noted “As the Arts and Economic Prosperity Six (AEP6) study recently told us, cultural tourists in the city of Sedona contribute two and a half times the national average to our city’s economy. We are engaged in all of what is happening at the state level. We need the AzLTA to also support our efforts at the state level when we’re lobbying for arts funding.”

It’s great to see the leaders in the community gather to support not only tourism but advocate as the voice of business in greater Sedona and beyond.

I would like to encourage members of the lodging and tourism community to join AzLTA’s Northern Arizona Committee. For more information on serving on the committee, contact me at For more information on joining AzLTA as a member, visit


Michelle Conway Kostecki, President/CEO

Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau