SIM: One of Many Improvements


June 28, 2019


road-closedIt’s begun! Traffic fixes are happening after years of careful research, planning and discussion. Construction of the new roundabout at Jordan Road and SR 89A is just the first step.

The City is spending $4.4 million on the Uptown SR 89A project, which includes new roundabouts, a new southbound lane, an artfully designed median and more.

But that’s not all. This week, Council approved a $51.4 million FY20 budget that includes $8.2 million for Sedona in Motion transportation projects. In late May, Council indicated approval for a $2.7 million Forest Road connector, linking Forest from its intersection in Uptown to SR 89A west of the post office.

At City Council direction, the Chamber of Commerce is also working on traffic projects as they relate to the Sustainable Tourism Plan, using portions of the Council-approved $2.49 million tourism management budget to:

• Minimize disruption of Sedona in Motion construction
• Work to reduce parking demand in high-use areas
• Communicate real-time traffic and trail conditions to residents and visitors
• Enhance walkability to get visitors out of their cars
• Bring visitors to Sedona in the summer and winter and encourage multi-night stays

Did you know the Chamber has been working all year on that last item, meeting with hundreds of meeting planners and tour operators? Hosting multi-night group conferences is a sustainability sweet spot — attracting higher-spending visitors in off-peak season without adding traffic congestion.

This and other ‘behind the scenes’ efforts are in our quarterly reports to the City Council, available for anyone to see. You will find them on the City’s web site or at under ‘Reports and Research.’

A few interesting nuggets from our most recent report:

• Much of our traffic passes through en route to the Grand Canyon, adding congestion without benefiting Sedona. We engaged with National Park Trips ‘Grand Six Road Trip Contest’ by offering an overnight Sedona stay for participants on their way to the Canyon. The contest triggered 13,000 requests for our Experience Sedona Guide and 46,000 Facebook impressions. Research shows 75 percent of Guide recipients end up traveling to Sedona and staying multiple nights.

• By the end of March, we had met with 276 professional meeting planners and generated 12,202 views of our ‘Meetings & Sales’ web pages.

This month, we repped Sedona at the nation’s largest international travel trade show, the US Travel Association’s IPW. We connected with travel buyers and media from targeted countries, such as Japan, Canada, UK and Germany, to build relationships, educate, inform and open negotiations for future business.

Some of our most crucial sustainable tourism work doesn’t get much attention – including the need to compete in a dynamic international tourism industry and educate international travelers – you can see all the details in our quarterly Council reports along with updates on the performance measures in our contract.

Building a sustainable-tourism infrastructure is a never-ending challenge, requiring professional management, a community-supported Plan and an engaged, informed and visionary City Council. Sedona is very fortunate to have all three.

Jennifer Wesselhoff, President/CEO