Sedona | Safe.Clean.Ready



May 15, 2020

sedona-1000x250It takes less time to tumble down a hill than to climb back up.

We have seen how quickly the coronavirus brutalized our plans, families, jobs and dreams.  At last, we can stand up, brush ourselves off and look upward to the place from where we fell.

Now comes the hand-over-hand climb.

The climb looks different from every perspective.  With tourism-related tax dollars plummeting by millions, city leaders face a daunting task in planning for the budget year ahead.  Visitation to Sedona is down by roughly 90 percent. Hotels, spas, restaurants, art galleries, gift shops, tour companies –  in other words, most Sedona businesses and the employees counting on them – must survive a recovery that will take time and force operational changes.

It is a cruel lesson in how critical the travel industry is to our financial well-being.

The good news is that most of us are still here, determined, even eager, to resume operating and claw back the lives and livelihoods the pandemic tried to snatch away.  It is a quintessentially American attitude.

But the coronavirus is different from other economic calamities due to the ongoing risk to our health.  Crudely, alarmists call the prospect of slowly reenergizing Sedona “choosing profits over people.”

Catchy but false, not to mention insulting.

By cautiously working together to reopen our civic life and commercial activity, we are rebuilding our dreams. By doing it carefully and cooperatively, we are prioritizing safety.  Everyone – hands-on business owners, Sedona workers, government leaders and their families – wants to be safe.

This week, the City of Sedona and the Chamber have been talking about our Sedona|Safe.Clean.Ready partnership. From news reports, you may know that the website features suggested CDC-based safety guidelines and a constantly updated list of the Sedona businesses voluntarily implementing them.  Most practices, such as employees using personal protective equipment, are by now familiar.

Information is power. Armed with insight into the safety actions businesses can take and which businesses are signed up, you can decide for yourself whether you feel ready to participate in Sedona’s gradual revival.

But you may not know about our partnership’s strong emphasis on visitor education and responsible individual behavior. On the Sedona|Safe.Clean.Ready home page are eight prominently listed behaviors we highly recommend for every customer and visitor – from maintaining social distance on trails to staying home if you are sick or in contact with a sick person.

We are featuring the campaign on, reaching tens of thousands of potential visitors around the world.  All our promotional materials will soon be adorned with Sedona|Safe.Clean.Ready stickers. Our volunteers are being trained to deliver the message to everyone seeking Sedona information. The City is erecting signs around town for all to see. It is a full court press to ensure Sedona’s safety.

We are making it crystal clear:  Sedona|Safe.Clean.Ready means action on everyone’s part.

As we know, gradual reopening does not mean the coronavirus is gone.  We are likely to see more COVID-19 cases as more people interact and as testing becomes more common.

But with caution and programs such as Sedona|Safe.Clean.Ready, we can find ways to resurrect our community and minimize our risk, while remaining ready for the many adaptations that no doubt await us in the coming months.

Let’s continue to move forward in the spirit of collaboration and determination that has thus far, defined Sedona’s pandemic response.

–Jennifer Wesselhoff, President/CEO