Value of partnership is present at all times
THIS ARTICLE APPEARS IN THE RED ROCK NEWS
September 22, 2023
Each year, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau holds its Annual Partner Meeting to give an overview of the accomplishments we made during the last fiscal year. Our event was held on September 7 at the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock in the Village of Oak Creek. With over 150 guests, many new members as well as those businesses who participated year after year were in attendance.
Several partners spoke about their experiences with the Chamber including Cheryl Barron, president of the Sedona Lodging Council and owner of Whispering Creek Bed & Breakfast, Jesse Alexander, COO of Canyon Portal and Sinagua Plaza shopping centers in Uptown, and Maya Cadigan, owner of Cadigan Marketing.
FY23 was a landmark year for the SCC&TB, encompassing a year of decisions, transitions and new beginnings. While some of the decisions were difficult to make, we are making great progress with the transition of separating from the city of Sedona. Our commitment to the business community is our utmost priority. As your advocate for business, our sole purpose is to support your growth and help to move your path forward. Your future and your success are of importance to us at the chamber. That will never change. And that is what fuels us.
That passion for business and its positive impact on our community started 70 years ago when residents organized the Sedona Oak Creek Chamber of Commerce. We currently serve more than 760 partners, who are the lifeblood of our community. Half of our partners have been with the chamber for 10 years or longer. We’re very grateful to see continued growth with nearly 100 new partners coming on board this past year.
One of the top reasons partners join the chamber is to get more exposure for their business. We provide our partners with local business support and growth opportunities by way of educational programs, business exposure and relationship building. And we support all types of businesses from retailers to contractors, from hotels to event organizers.
In addition to the chamber function, we have also operated the Tourism Bureau for the past 20 years.
Tourism in Sedona is a $1 billion industry. Visitors generate 77% of the city’s sales and bed tax revenues equating to $31 million this last year. We support more tourism jobs than there are actual residents in Sedona’s city limits. We are the envy of many destinations worldwide and should be very proud to be a city powered by tourism.
According to the latest visitor research, we found that our current typical visitor has:
- A median household income of $116,000 per year which is double the national median.
- Most visitors are from Arizona, California, Florida, Wisconsin and Illinois.
- Many visitors stayed nearly four days during their visit and spent $653 per day.
- Top activities were dining, shopping, sightseeing and hiking.
Last year while we were still under contract with the city of Sedona, we focused on educating visitors on the importance of recreating responsibly, using a few different tactics, including a geofencing campaign.
Our official Uptown Visitor Center has been a source of visitor education. The Visitor Center served over 144,000 visitors collectively last year. The good work was accomplished largely by our incredible volunteers who logged on nearly 6,500 hours at what would have cost over $200,000 If they were paid employees.
Throughout the year our scope of work included updating Sedona’s Secret 7 geared to diversify trail usage. In addition to highlighting hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, scenic overlooks and stargazing places we added hidden gems in the Arts & Culture section and introduced the Ancient Trails of the Indigenous Peoples throughout the Verde Valley.
Additionally, we partnered with the city of Sedona to promote the Sedona Shuttle, the Verde Shuttle, environmental programs such as Leave No Trace and assisted with the Good Neighbor Brochure for Short-Term Rentals.
To learn more about the programs we completed last year, stop by the Administrative Office for a copy of our FY23 Annual Report or find the report online at sedonachamber.com/research/.
The SCC&TB is deeply rooted in relationships. We take our responsibility seriously for convening and representing a broad business coalition inclusive of the Village of Oak Creek and other unincorporated areas like Oak Creek Canyon and regional enterprises throughout the Verde Valley, in addition to our core city of Sedona-based partners.
The real Chamber of Commerce stories take place behind every storefront — real people taking genuine risks, striving to succeed with businesses they created, often working side by side with family members spanning a few generations. We are inspired by their commitment to see their dreams become a reality.
This is what partnership is truly about. Together hand and hand we strive to be supportive of our businesses by providing advocacy, promotional opportunities, professional development, networking and much more.
We are fortunate to have the caliber of people who live and work in our community. I am honored to lead the SCC&TB towards a new and promising future and look forward to our mutual success.
–Michelle Conway, President/CEO
Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau