Sedona Chamber of Commerce renews vision for the future

August 31, 2018


Panoramic view of the beautiful landscape of Sedona in Arizona.

The passage of Home Rule Tuesday is a victory for local control and a salute to Sedona’s common sense. Sedonans recognized what was at stake and chose wisely, keeping control of Sedona right here where it belongs, assuring that our future remains in our hands. The prospect of handing financial authority to the state and being forced to make a devastating 51-percent budget reduction next year was more than just frightening.

Approving Home Rule means our elected officials on the City Council remain answerable to the people of Sedona for our financial, tax and spending policies.  This is precisely as it should be.

The YES vote also indicates that Sedona rejects the politics of attack and smear that plagued this election. This says beautiful things about our faith in each other and our commitment to working together to meet our challenges.

For the Chamber and our many community partnerships, I believe it means we can return our focus to fulfilling our new mission statement:  Serving the community by making Sedona the best place to live, work, play and visit.

The drive for a Sustainable Tourism Plan is at the top of our list. This new direction in Sedona’s tourism management will help define Sedona’s ‘sweet spot’ of balancing tourism-related quality of life and traffic concerns with the need for a robust, jobs-producing economy.

I’m excited to invite you to our public Sustainable Plan Visioning Sessions set for September 5 and 6 at the Sedona Rouge Hotel and Spa at 2250 W. Rte 89A.

At the sessions, the ASU School of Sustainability and the Nichols Tourism Group will reveal the results of their extensive tourism research as well as the input they’ve received from community groups and hundreds of surveyed Sedonans.  Small group discussions will follow, giving you a chance to react to the findings and offer your ideas for the final Plan, which is due later this year.

We’ll have stimulating conversations on concepts such as attracting “quality over quantity” in our tourism marketing, educating visitors to be sensitive to our culture and environment, encouraging support for the local economy, and more.  Traffic ideas such as pedestrian flows that encourage walking, expanded transit, promoting trips to lesser-known attractions and using technology to help people find parking quickly are also on the table for discussion.

The September 5 session will be from 6-8 p.m. The September 6 session will be in the morning, from 7:30-9:30 a.m.  If you can’t make either, you will find presentation materials and an online comment feature at beginning September 7.  I hope you will participate!

I am also excited to announce our newest environmental initiative – Straw Free Sedona.  Sedona businesses are ‘taking the pledge’ to no longer provide single-use plastic straws with their beverages, and to make paper straws available to customers who request or require a straw. So far 30 Sedona businesses have signed on to this effort to reduce plastic pollutants. We hope you will encourage your favorite dining spots to get on board too! See who is participating and find out more at

–Jennifer Wesselhoff

Listen to what Kegn Moorcroft says about Sustainable Tourism management: