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Eddie Maddock: A Miracle in Motion?

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock discusses the Sedona in Motion issue as a city plan comes with yet another expensive traffic standstill in Uptown for a year.

Sedona AZAt long last initial steps have been taken to launch the Sedona in Motion plan. Tackling this monumental task aimed as the first step in addressing Sedona’s transportation issues has commenced at Sedona’s city center, commonly known as “Uptown,” and the disruption is predicted to be ongoing from now until mid-summer of 2020. The project will include two roundabouts and a median with landscaping.

City Council has approved the project budget in the amount of $4,401,990. It’s reported the source of $200,000 of that amount is from the parking meter fund made possible by the merchant advisory group.

Of course uptown businesses have concerns relating to how this disruption will affect their sales. And their concerns are justifiable. Let’s face it. For the past several years Sedona has literally spent millions of dollars on campaigns to promote Sedona as an attraction for destination tourism.

Long before that specific target marketing was put into place Sedona was already extensively well known which was true even prior to Sedona becoming an incorporated city. Therefore it made good sense to reason that any type of marketing whether targeted at a specific purpose or not, even more day-trippers would jaunt up from Phoenix just for the day. This might directly or indirectly serve as an example of the law of unintended consequences.

With the reputation of being a don’t-miss-location on the agendas of so many travelers, the pending disruption of uptown Sedona could act as a catalyst for bad publicity when visitor’s pop into this magical place for a day. The common wait in traffic lines has already served to usurp the costly portrayal of Sedona that over the years has eroded to the status in many instances as becoming “just another tourist trap.”

The Importance of Word Of Mouth Marketing – Statistics and Trends

1. 28% of consumers say word of mouth is the most important factor in strengthening or eroding brand affinity. 64% of marketing executives indicated that they believe word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing.

A recent ADOT traffic study found the majority of Sedona traffic backs up miles to drive through the Sedona city limits, and then continues without stopping to reach Flagstaff and Grand Canyon.

Remaining developable land in Sedona is limited, as are options for accommodating increased traffic. If plans move forward to amend building codes to allow higher density development, that doesn’t automatically increase access to additional routes to accommodate even more traffic within Sedona City Limits.

Proposed transit methods as a solution, unless the trend has substantially changed, is a waste of time. People in general will not give up their cars. Would you?

Since the drought during 2018, Sedona has been blessed with abundant rain to assist Mother Earth’s ability to stave off pending disaster. “Seriously?” you might ask. Yes, indeed, because no matter how much power mere humans sometimes think they have, when it comes to Mother Nature, there’s no competition.

The lush vegetation we are enjoying from the Pennies from Heaven via snow and rainfall will soon dry out under unrelenting summer sun.

We will still have lines of cars backed up within our three entries of limited space. Uptown will become almost inaccessible. People will be angry. And considering the proven fact that word-of-mouth advertising is the best, how favorably will they relate their “Experience Sedona” to their friends back in “wherever?”

Sedona wild fires have been reminders of Mother Nature’s dominance over city politics and best laid plans.

Regardless of how much money the “City” subsequently throws at the local Chamber of Commerce or if by a miracle they ventured outside city limits and contracted with a professional advertising agency, would results even come close to word-of-mouth feedback which will be forthcoming during and even after this project is finally completed? It may not be wise to disrespect the influence of “Karma.”

And, of course, let’s not forget the worst case scenario: WILD FIRE.

Don’t ever ever say it won’t happen to you!

Point of message: Please, please consider reassessing your own priorities as more and more increased density projects are placed on City Council agendas.

Does being consumed by one’s own perceived power to control represent a positive attribute? Isn’t Sedona already on overload?

Read www.SedonaEye.com for daily news and interactive views!


  1. Sedona City Talk to a Rock Council says:

    From Carl T “You can b**ch all you want on sedona eye but that gets you nothing. If you want to stop the chamber give away you need to behave decently and talk with the city council and vote.”

    A citizen gets 2 minutes to address the council. Where said citizen’s concerns are promptly ignored. You may as well line up 7 Red Rocks and deliver your concerns to the rocks.

    Unless of course you are the Sedona Chamber, in which case you get full day workshops with the Council.

    Lest we forget Mayor Sandy owns the Sedona Wine Fest, which seems to be a tourist event. The Wine Fest takes in lots of cash too, I’m sure it is all properly declared for tax purposes.

    Lots of vote buying. The problem is when you sell your soul for city dollars you do not deserve, the devil comes for payment. You realize taking money by force, which is what taxation is, is theft. It is theft even if you let someone else steal it and give it to you, as the library does. Do you know the Sedona Library has over $2 million dollars in the bank ? The Library routinely banks most of the funds it receives from the City of Sedona.

    Traffic is only the devil’s first installment.

  2. @@Alarmed says:

    @@alarmed. Don’t be foul and out to lunch. The City has yet to provide a comparison for FY 2018. FY 2017 is the last comparison provided because the City Financial Services Office is only finished with the February 2019 Monthly Financial Report.

    According to this February 2019 monthly report, “Bed taxes decreased by 21% for the month….While the average daily hotel/motel rate was up slightly (1%), the hotel occupancy rate was down (13%)….

    Sales Tax Revenues by Category
    Communications & Utilities 4%
    Amusements & Other 5%
    Retail 34%
    Restaurant & Bar 20%
    Hotel/Motel 22%
    Construction 7%
    Leasing 8%”

  3. Dana Varney says:

    The https://myrtlebeachsc.com/corruption-myrtle-beach-continues/ same game is playing out in Myrtle Beach. Corruption.

    Using tax payers money to control the tax paying citizens. When will the people wake up?

  4. Dana Varney says:

    How ironic: The city of Sedona uses public money, which is the citizens of Sedona’s money to control those same people. They dole out money to buy votes and get their agendas through. That is why they gift millions to a regional chamber and a county funded library. These people do not need your tax dollars. The city manager, however incompetent, makes more than double of that of the governor of our state. Far be it for Justin to rock the boat, let alone Karen and all the rest in your government. The Chamber and the library help them accomplish this goal. When will the people wake up. http://sedonacity.com/SedonaFactCollective/TAXreturns/2017-860134659-0f044b79-9O%20Chamber.pdfhttp://sedonacity.com/FollowControlSedona.htm

  5. @sedona city talks says:

    Oh my
    So overblown. So dramatic . Please get a life.. Thnk you

  6. Art says:

    You DO realize UPTOWN that city and both counties gave a flying rat about us SR 179 businesses when we were headed to the toilet because of road construction and economy crash. We weathered the storm. To hell with weeping crocodile tears for help to keep businesses afloat. Sink or swim. Nobody helped us. You’ll survive if necessary to our economy. That’s what we were told. It’s true.

  7. Business in Sedona says:

    For sure trying to make a business succeed in Sedona is not for sissies. Just as a reminder there was a time when Sedona residents actually shopped uptown! True – there were some nice clothing stores and not just western wear and red rock souvenirs.

    So here we are – another critical situation and where are the locals? Fed up to their eyeballs with being treated like second-class citizens that’s where. Shopping in the VOC and Cottonwood that’s where. And not because of Sedona businesses. But because of the shabby way they’ve been disrespected and treated by Sedona City Council Members all in favor of a regional chamber of commerce that’s why. And BTW, that C of C was also once respected by – yes – RESIDENTS!

    And the poor sappy businesses who must now be a member of this selective C of C in order to have referrals from the official(?) Sedona Visitors Center? (clearly identified otherwise) And at the same time C of C members are competitors outside Sedona City Limits and not collecting Sedona taxes are getting referrals. What’s wrong with this picture?

    Give it up – move your business to VOC, Cornville, Page Springs, or Cottonwood. You will have locals tracking you down providing you offer something for US and not just tourists.


  8. Oregon Verana says:

    Lackluster. Sedona. Been.

  9. Our Way says:

    Unless we drive to Cottonwood or Flagstaff to shop we make it a point to patronize ONLY those businesses in incorporated Sedona that aren’t members of the chamber and that includes restaurants! So sock it to us with all the sarcastic comments slamming those of us who exercise our right to protest what we perceive to be corruption in Sedona. If none of the city council read Sedona Eye anyhow who cares? We still can pick and choose where we shop and it ain’t with members of the Chamber.

  10. Spence & Evelyn says:

    We couldn’t agree with you more @Our Way. We’re very pleased to say our very favorite restaurant is NOT a chamber member and has survived in Sedona for well over 30 years.

    Just imagine a success story accomplished by hard work, good product, self-promotion. Word of mouth advertising works and cheaters never win. It’s been proven over and over and over. Can’t wait for the bubble to burst for Chamber of Commerce, Lodging Council AND City of Sedona for dumping on city licensed business by promoting only chamber member competition! How sick can it get?

  11. NH says:

    Important Hearing on Tax Increase (Yavapai County)

    Wednesday July 17
    Yavapai County is proposing an 18% property tax increase!

    For a 100K home taxes would go up more than $30. The public hearing is at 9 AM in Cottonwood at the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 10 South 6th Street. Be there or email your opinions to ALL the supervisors, not just Garrison, for a fair notice to all.

  12. Sedona Hikers says:

    This is true. We live in Sedona. We are avid hikers. We meet many tourists. As residents we are frequently asked where “locals” eat, shop, etc. And without going into the sordid story of the C of C/City and Sedona romance, we politely give them referrals and guess what? NONE of them are directed to businesses who are members to the chamber of commerce. We repeat THIS IS TRUE!

  13. @sedona hikers says:

    Please…..please tell us something factual.. not your made up nonsense.. You are full of you know what.

  14. Joe & Roberta T, Sedona says:

    Where’s proof the controversial contract with City & Chamber of Commerce brought in one single penny that wouldn’t have occurred without them? None to date? Shame!

    This is skim scam if ever it exists and why it’s allowed to continue is beyond belief.

    And if you think for one split second “we” residents of Sedona need pushy BS chamber advice on sustainability or anything else relating to City management think again!

    Begone! You are a blight on Sedona in our opinions!!!! Join us on any Sedona Facebook group and see “we” are in agreement.

  15. Sedona Hikers says:

    @@sedona hikers – Made up nonsense? You wish! One day you foolish deniers might wake up and realize the value of word-of-mouth advertising! It really does work and is far more effective than you care to admit. Might try comparing it to “tough love?”

  16. F.Y.I. says:

    Joe and Roberta T. indicate they would like proof that the Chamber of Commerce “brought in one single penny that wouldn’t have occurred without them.” No s***!

    According to the SEDONA EYE article,”Sedona Mayor on Tourism Ad Dollars Unnecessary,” Mayor Moriarty stated during the “Meet the Candidates for Mayor” forum on July 18, 2018 at the Sedona Pubic Library that “Tourists aren’t goin’ to go away whether the Chamber advertises or not, frankly. They’re not goin’ away! There’s a million ways people hear about Sedona. They’ve been hearing about it for years…everybody knows about it!”

  17. steve Segner says:

    Sedona Hikers says: You wish! One day you foolish deniers might wake up and realize the value of word-of-mouth advertising!

    Oh, so why is advertising a multi billion dollar business? When word of mouth is all that is necessary.

    Why do we see ads for Disneyland ? And Tide detergent? Sedona is a Tourist town and just like Tide, Disneyland and all the other advertisers in America they know depending only on word-of-mouth advertising! Is a quick way to go out of business, but I think that is what you want anyway.
    According to the last numbers from the city 77% of Sedona income comes from visitors and the city council knows that people just as easily go to San Diego or L.A . We need more advertising not less.
    Tourist town need to grow like any business expenses never go down and neither do rents….Advertising For the long stay is a great business plane for the city and local business.

  18. Same Old Same Old says:

    OMG more advice from the self appointed expert —- “Oh, so why is advertising a multi billion dollar business? When word of mouth is all that is necessary.” @steve Segner

    He fails to mention that Tide, Disneyland, and all the other advertisers in America pay for their OWN advertising. They don’t rely on public funding! DUH.

    Rather a substantial difference that ones with brains and/or logic might consider.

  19. Roger Andrews says:

    For goodness sake @steve Segner. Grow up! Simple solution.

    Dismiss ties to the regional Chamber of Commerce. Investigate and if promoting Sedona is deemed necessary do so via the Arizona Office of Tourism: https://tourism.az.gov/ End the feud Pull up your big kid panties. Follow examples set by other tourist towns such as Park City UT. They promote via the Utah State Bureau of Tourism.

  20. Donna says:

    It is up to businesses to advertise their own businesses.

    A chamber of commerce is business association membership driven. The Sedona Chamber has less than 3% of their members that actually collect city-bed-tax.

    Many of the chamber members in lodging don’t ; for example timeshares. 97% of Chamber members get enriched with taxpayers money without paying into the taxes.

    Don’t be fooled Sedona doesn’t have a Transients Bed Tax District. Those Big hotels outside the city limits do NOT contribute to tax base. I offered to help set one up. But the Lodging council just wanted taxpayers money and declined my offer. I was told to shut up or else.


    The process of creating a Transient bed district would require the owners to sign an petition. The business inside the city are paying while those outside the city limits DON’T. Why do you think there is a push to build so many hotels in the Village? They are being enriched with the taxes the in-city-hotel collect.


    Where is the efficiency, fairness of advertising fee taxes? The in-city businesses owner never got a voice nor do they rate the chamber’s performance. Does a teacher allow their students to give themselves their own grades? Where is the checks and balances?

    This is why no city gift a private association membership base 2.5 million a year. Write your state reps.

    Scheduled new hotel rooms for Sedona Area Communities is 686 more ROOMS! This will increase hotel rooms by 16% and put more tourists & employees on the roads without the proper infrastructure, system or program in place. Visitors cars go in and out 6-7 trips per day!

    WRITE & use your voice to make positive change.

  21. F.Y.I. says:

    Tide and Disneyland don’t receive advertising money from a government municipality. Other than donations, if any, they need to raise the rest. Tide even has an Advertising Agency.

    As to the State of California, it is illegal for a governmental entity there to grant or give away taxpayer money.

    The regional Chamber–having an abundance of members outside the Sedona city limits–needs to make do with revenues from membership fees and fundraisers. Receiving $2.5 million enrichment a year from the City of Sedona, or any amount whatsoever, is a hoax.

    The drive-through traffic that doesn’t stop in Sedona (brought in from Chamber advertising) is ruining the quality of life for residents and tourists.

  22. Joe Lee says:

    As if Sedona’s chamber of commerce and or Sedona city gives a damn about the residents @F.Y.I. They care about one thing & it’s hanging on to that bed tax PERIOD!

    Let’s keep a good thought about two things (1) Sedona doesn’t turn into an inferno with this stretch of heat without rain (2) Justice will be served and some outside authority might put an end to the great scam incorporated Sedona has with this Chamber.

  23. Steve Segner says:

    F.Y.I. says:Tide and Disneyland don’t receive advertising money from a government municipality.
    That was not the question , the questions is word of mouth advertising is the only way to advertise…the city should not spend money to advertise.

    Lets stick to the subject….. And this is not California and the chamber does not get any money from city, it is a vendor.
    The city council took away the % split of bed tax….. You need to read the Red Rock news. You have never seen a ad placed by the chamber or the city for any business….. And according to city traffic studies traffic is down this year………. The chamber is a member owned origination and know how to market Sedona better then any organizations in America.

  24. Jeff says:

    steve give it a break, your lips are glued to city’s hindquarters, even the brain dead can see your comments don’t hold up under scrutiny

    the Chamber can’t exist without city money & its due to poor leadership & planning for the past few years

    w/o the city council chamber intercourse this city would be cleaner & richer & successful & able to preserve its grandeur accordingly

    red rock news ? see above adjectives.

  25. Donna says:

    F.Y.I. is correct. The chamber composition is a majority of NON City businesses.
    I’ve audited the members physical location. https://sedonaeye.com/sedona-businesses-withdraw-from-chamber/

    The Chamber counts many of the non-city businesses as in-city as Jennifer told me it is too difficult to figure out who is in the city and who not. Since I looked up every chamber member physical location beginning in 2012, I offered to do it for her. I was a chamber member then. Jennifer declined.

    I reported the numbers and records to the city council and city manager.


  26. John Wilson says:

    IMO and thanks to above thread of comments, especially those from S. Segner, it seems the grand sand castle built by the city/chamber is destined to be washed away the same way a house of cards eventually tumbles. What a sweet day and blessing for all tourists & residents that will be. Amen & Hallelujah

  27. Marilyn T. says:

    Why don’t the fools at city hall review their priorities? At the moment uptown is torn apart adding to the traffic congestion. Windy conditions prevail. The heat is unbearable and prediction for rain is still at least a week away. The situation with the city/chamber is old news that grows even more trite when stale articles are dredged up. Who really cares? Same old, same old.

    @Joe Lee summed it up IMO. At least for now concentrate on this: “Sedona doesn’t turn into an inferno with this stretch of heat without rain.”

  28. @Steve Segner says:

    Steve Segner says there’s never been an ad placed by the Chamber or the city for any business (July 16). WTF? Didn’t the Chamber advertise Tlaquepaque and the Verde Canyon Railroad on TV two Christmas seasons ago, or was it three?

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