Sedona is preparing for one of its biggest events of the year



February 17, 2023



This past weekend, Arizona rocked it with major back-to-back sports events such as Super Bowl LVII and the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Nearly 73,000 fans were expected to descend upon State Farm Stadium in Glendale for the Super Bowl, while The WM Phoenix Open in Scottsdale was projecting over 700,000 in attendance. With a surge of visitors, the southern part of the state had high expectations that these sporting events will impart a strong economic impact expected to surpass the $1 billion mark. State representatives believe these types of events bring business and decision-makers with money and clout to the region.

Here in Sedona, we are getting ready for our own influx of visitors and media who will be partaking in the 29th Annual Sedona International Film Festival. The nine-day festival kicks into high gear on Saturday, Feb. 18 – 26. SIFF attracts multi-night visitors who frequent our restaurants, shops and spas throughout the week, while branding Sedona’s reputation as a town that values cinematic art. Arts and culture have always been a part of our Sedona DNA, along with wellness and outdoor recreation. We are thrilled that we have such a rich history in the arts, and that there are many new arts-oriented offerings coming online in Sedona’s future.

In addition to Sedona being known as an arts destination, our hope is that Sedona also continues to solidify its position as a sustainable destination. A destination that wishes to be respected so that we all – visitors and residents alike – can preserve and enjoy its unique qualities for years to come.

Our visitors get our Respect Red Rock Country message as soon as they arrive. We ping their cell phones with geo-targeted messages, promoting the trailhead shuttle, lesser-known sites (to disperse crowds), and advocating Leave No Trace principles. Additionally, the same messages are relayed at our Visitor Center, concierge network and through educational videos broadcast in thousands of hotel rooms.

We could multiply the impact of this message by positioning Sedona’s brand in advance. Reaching visitors before they arrive in Sedona through highly-targeted marketing is something we are now working towards. Long before you visit the Louvre, for example, you know you can’t touch the statue of Venus De Milo. The future Sedona brand will embody that reverence and will resonate with the kind of visitor who knows how to leave a destination better than they found it.

I believe it is natural that we see ourselves as a lovely small town nestled in a remote corner of northwestern Arizona, inspired by stunning natural beauty that energizes our encounters with nature and that can open profound spiritual experiences. And this coming week, we will add a spectacular cinematic layer to these already incredible offerings. We look forward to welcoming film festival goers to our beautiful destination.


Michelle Conway, President/CEO
Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau