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Eddie Maddock: A few Sedona Secrets

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock discovers a few Sedona secrets.

Sedona AZWith the number of controversial issues seeming to endlessly plague Sedona is there at least one thing upon which we can all agree? Does anyone disagree about it being hot, dry, and the need for rain? If so, there’s little doubt we will hear from you.

Likewise, it should be fairly safe to say, we all agree on our reasons for being in Sedona. Red rocks and scenic beauty should surely prompt an affirmative nod. Right? However rarely, if ever, are a few negative aspects openly discussed with the exception, perhaps, of traffic, traffic, traffic – particularly on weekends related to national holidays. Labor Day is the here and now occasion – and predicted traffic as anticipated prevails. How much represents Sedona “destination or drive-through to Oak Creek Canyon” might best be reflected when tax revenue is analyzed and uptown businesses provide sales statistics for this 2019 annual event, essentially the final hurrah of the season.

Back to the drawing board. Are there any downsides to living in Sedona…with the exception of avoiding going out when the population of the entire world seems to be in town? Well – here are a few things about which to ponder.

Try cupping your hand, palm side up. Then reverse it – claw like. Visualize an additional three digits and then imagine a black, fuzzy coat to your revised appendage. That, folks, will closely resemble a rare exotic critter commonly known as a tarantula (spider). And, unless one is forewarned, observing this critter appear from behind a piece of furniture without warning can be pretty scary! As in – OMG – what IS that?

Unless warned in advance, try to reflect favorably about that fabulous hike on one of Sedona’s many trails if you should get out of bed the following morning to the reality of red, itchy blotches on one or more parts of your body. It isn’t necessarily a rare event to be the victim of “no see ums” – a local bugaboo that particularly enjoys the new blood in town.

Scorpions are abundant, but better known to be on the move when the earth is disturbed by new construction. Their sting, however, isn’t friendly.

An infestation of flying ants doesn’t occur very often, but when it does make a move, it isn’t a pleasant sight! Screened windows are a must as they gravitate towards light and congregate en masse on accessible windows and screens.

Oh the critters that our Sedona red rocks house, writes Eddie Maddock in this tongue in check look at Sedona’s secrets.

There was a time when Sedona had a restaurant called Dutchman’s Cove on Art Barn Road, down by Oak Creek. How was the food? Does anyone really know? The featured attraction seemed to be watching raccoons feast on bread on the ledge outside the dining tables by the windows. In fact, there’s little doubt raccoons outnumbered people in Sedona back in those days. It was rather common for raccoons to climb trees, hang by their tails, or wash themselves in any pond or waterfall, natural or decorative.

When Sedona was still classified as “open range” unless one was aware seeing a herd of cows munching on newcomers’ extravagant landscaping was more than stunning. Clearly it was a somewhat costly and a waste of time for fresh arrivals – accustomed to beautiful landscaping from where they came – to learn the hard way what NOT to plant here. To wake up and see beautiful flower beds leveled by Sedona’s lawn mowers, its bunny rabbits and squirrels, was awesome!

Brazen coyotes, javelinas, and beloved deer still hold their own, but bobcats, mountain lions, and an occasional bear remain on the shy side.

It would be remiss not to remind people that critters have no boundaries and a door or unscreened window is an invitation. Lizards, snakes, toads, rats and mice will gladly drop in for a visit and to check things out. Recently, there was a lizard on my own kitchen counter, next to the double sink and closest to the one with the disposal. Understanding over the years how easy it is to remove the little nuisances, reaching for a glass in the cupboard just next to my right hand should have been a piece of cake. Not so fast! Better yet – not fast enough! One quick glance away and the lizard had disappeared. Oh no – the logical place for it to have gone was the disposal! Yikes! What to do?

A recent ADOT traffic study found the majority of Sedona tourist traffic will back up for miles just to drive through the Sedona city limits on way to Flagstaff and Grand Canyon.

Poking into the disposal with a few harmless kitchen utensils produced no hint to the lizard’s whereabouts. A flashlight offered no help. Running water and turning on the disposal was unthinkable. Conclusion – lizard (as usual) outsmarted me, even though over the years and with two previous cats that frequently gifted me with lizards on what seemed to be a daily basis, this little dickens fooled me. If they remain in the house, generally they will gravitate to a sunny window sill and just placing a glass by their heads solves the problem – they go right in. One must quickly remember to have a towel handy to use as a “lid” and then just release the little darlings back in the great outdoors. Not as amusing as the day a squirrel perched atop the vacuum – when momentarily it was shut off in order to take a phone call.

One sight, however, that is rare indeed is observing what appears to be a snake with two heads. Yep – that happened in our early years here in Sedona. There it was – stretched out in the sun on the steps leading up to our gazebo. Well – unbelieving this two headed monster was in our yard, we checked with the ranger station and were informed how fortunate we were. What we had witnessed? Two snakes mating. How lucky were we?

Now these are just a few aspects of the real Sedona, none of which are disclosed at the Chamber of Commerce or Visitors Center. After all, some of the best kept secrets are just that secretive. Agreed?

235 Comments

  1. Incorporation was the biggest mistake ever says:

    Sedona incorporation was the biggest mistake ever. It is one that can be painlessly undone. Painless for residents anyway.

  2. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    The Greater Sedona Chamber of Commerce has members statewide, and we have the right to hold meetings at any venue we choose. The Hilton and Cliff Castle Casino are members, and we are proud of that fact.

    Just because we receive the majority of our income from your little town, it does not give you any special rights.

    We got the money and that means we are good !

  3. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    THE GOOD TO THE GOOD and you’re not among them .

    GREED IS GOOD.

  4. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    To the person questioning my comment about the C of C event,

    First you say: “Poco Diablo, for one.

    But then you say “It might not be quite as large as the Hilton but most assuredly would accommodate the C of C event”. If it isn’t quite as large then it’s NOT as large. How would you know “most assuredly” it would since you hate the C of C so much and never attended???

    In case you never noticed, the RRN hardly ever publishes any business name. But you keep thinking you’re right.

  5. Also Sedona Residents says:

    We too will not patronize C of C members and recent comments here uphold our decision. For incorporated Sedona to give money to this admittedly regional organization who blatantly boast how they promote their members outside Sedona City Limits who do NOT collect city taxes is absurd! A complete disrespect to legitimate licensed Sedona businesses who do contribute millions to the tax base – which goes to fuel competition! Absurd!

  6. Mike H says:

    As a matter of principle I never patronize or recommend a chamber affiliated business.

    I cancelled my subscription to the Soy Boy run Sedona Red Rock News long ago. It is down to about 8 pages last time I saw it in the barber shop and has far less value than Kudos, which is free.

  7. @ John Daniels Of Mars says:

    You say “In case you never noticed, the RRN hardly ever publishes any business name. But you keep thinking you’re right.”

    You are so, so funny. I read the comments here just to laugh at you and Segner’s idiocy.

    HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHA

  8. Oh Brother says:

    @ steve please STOP all the trash talk about hate.

    NO one HATES the chamber. The Chamber OVERSTEPPED their own incorporation. They are a business ASSOCIATION. Need to get 100% of their money from their MEMBERS!!!!! Why don’t they focus on their members? $$$$ Why has their membership dropped?

    They are NOT elected, NOT the voice of BUSINESSES, NOT the City Government. They are a SPECIAL INTEREST!!!!!!

    WE didn’t sign any LEGAL WAIVERS giving UP our RIGHTS to a regional chamber as residents, stakeholders, business owners even flatlanders. YOU ARE stealing our RIGHTS and WE PAY while you PLAY and BULLY us.

    IMO YOU NEED to learn to play YOUR OWN BILLS. Stop sucking Sedona dry.

    Sign it anyway you want WE have NO Transient BED DISTRICT which MAKES those inside the city limits have to work HARDER collecting city-taxes while THOSE CORPORATE OWNED Hotels Outside the city limits get enriched!!!!!!!!!!

    It is NOT hate, it is ABUSE, BULLY and stealing of Sedona IMO.

  9. GNS, Sedona says:

    At a city council meeting several years ago, when asked whether or not ALL Sedona City licensed businesses were offered equal representation at the alleged “official” Sedona City Visitors Center (clearly identified as being that of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce) the response from the Chamber Pres/CEO was that ONLY Chamber Members were allowed referrals from that city financed facility. Reason given was the requirement “pay to play.”

    Now, however, we are being informed this same Chamber of Commerce embraces businesses throughout the entire Verde Valley and as long as they are members of the C of C benefit from Sedona City revenue although they do not contribute even one penny into city coffers.

    Why does the City of Sedona allow businesses not collecting Sedona City sales and bed tax to have a free ride? Why do they get away with NOT paying to PLAY?

    Wise up! If this isn’t corruption then what is?

  10. F.Y.I. says:

    According to the internet, the Chamber of Commerce’s Oct. 16th Annual Meeting was held at the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock. https://www.sedonachamber.com/chamber-partnership/

    Steve Segner is full of crap when he claims “new roads, more paving, a new park being built [are] all paid for with visitors’ money.”

    Residents pay sales taxes and contribute as well. And WTF, the Chamber of Commerce receives $1.4 million/yr in taxpayer money from the City of Sedona.

    BTW, the State of Arizona shares money with the City of Sedona. There’s Urban Revenue Sharing, the sharing of HURF revenues (gas tax monies collected from gas sold in Sedona), and the sharing of Vehicle License Tax Revenues and State Sales Taxes collected here.

    Tourists and day-trippers pay little for their wear and tear on our streets or their adverse impact on Sedona’s traffic, police, parks, trails, residents’ quality of life, etc. Very troubling is the discrimination against Sedona’s non-Chamber-member businesses.

  11. @John Daniels W Sedona says:

    You very cleverly covered your tail by writing the RRN hardly “EVER” publishes any business name. Check old issues. If you do you will find the RRN has clearly defined a previous venue for C of C events as Enchantment Resort.

  12. A Reminder says:

    That most recent increase on Sedona Sales Tax was for the purpose of funding SIM (Sedona In Motion). God forbid they would take the millions of $$$$$ handed over to this chamber to improve Sedona’s infrastructure. Sure they’ve reportedly earmarked a measly million bucks for in city road maintenance. BIG DEAL! HaHaHaHaHa!

    All of Verde Valley is having a great laugh about Sedona Stoopids especially the free breakfasts, lunches and dinners those businesses are enjoying from Sedona tax revenue! Yep inmates running the asylum. Whatta better example is there?

  13. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    I’m a hard working public servant, you jealous people who comment here need to get a life .

    I’m right, you’re not. Just like the you come to Sedona City Hall, I’m in charge !!

    You think you pay my salary, you’re wrong, the City Council pays my salary.

    I work for the council, not for you.

    Hope this helps.

  14. Alarmed says:

    About inmates running the asylum – Vice Mayor John Martinez supported a 1% City Sales Tax increase at the time. He is big on millions of taxpayer dollars going to the regional Sedona Chamber also.

    Isn’t the reductive 10.40% sales tax rate in Coconino County Sedona among the highest in the USA? The 9.85% sales tax rate in Yavapai County Sedona is outrageous too and likewise adversely affects low income workers living in town.

  15. @A Reminder says:

    You may not believe it but SIM is a big investment in the infrastructure I heard to a tune of $60m. It’s sad that you are so small-minded to realize that SIM is fixing most of ADOT’s mistakes.

    I work in CV and I have never heard one person say a bad word about Sedona, in fact, they’re jealous that Sedona has the money to actually make changes to ADOT’s screwups.

    I know this isn’t the “anti-chamber” comments that you like but I have a different opinion so suck it up buttercup.

    It’s so sad that you are so myopic to only focus on the chamber when there are people becoming homeless because of AirBnB’s. Mothers and kids having to live in their cars because of AirBnB’s. But you just care about old stuff that isn’t going to change. Sad, so sad for you.

  16. A Point Made by the Real John Daniels says:

    So you think that by mocking me and using my name instead of your real one that I’ll go away, NOT A CHANCE! I actually feel honored to have to use my name, it means I’m making a difference and getting under your skin.

  17. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    There is no real John Daniels.

    I just post as disinformation and to irritate you.

    Hope this helps.

  18. Real Fake John Daniels says:

    We don’t want you to go away. Who would we get a regular laugh at? Steve segner, Steve Segner, steve Segner are not nearly as entertaining. Segner , at least one of them is a poorly educated greedy fool. You on the other hand are so full of yourself it is hilarious. How often do you get a look into the twisted soul of a government employee? You know dear, we can spot you from a mile away what ever alias you use. Please, keep writeing. We’ll keep laughing.

  19. @@A Reminder says:

    $60 million to fix ADOT’s mistakes? How many “million” would it take to fix or undo the damage that’s been caused with the millions of $$$$ the city has given to the chamber of commerce? And without any genuine, substantial, or other evidence of a positive ROI (return on investment? Unless you consider miles and miles of cars clogging our highways as a positive aspect of Sedona.

    And now just because the “city” has done away with the official “contract” with the C of C, what difference does it make? They are still raking in millions of dollars of city revenue on an annual basis – now allegedly to educate us about sustainability. Talk about adding insult to injury.

    If there’s anything disgraceful about how Sedona is being managed, it doesn’t include ADOT’S pretty meticulous upkeep of our two state highways, (compare them with most city roads) especially compared with the disgraceful display of city’s financial support to the C of C. Chamber should be standing on their own feet – financially supported by their membership dues – and NOT with government funding! City or otherwise.

    ADOT makes mistakes? Maybe on occasion but NOTHING like the City of Sedona and their ongoing love affair with the gawd-awful Chamber of Corruption!
    My opinion – speaking of pushing the wrong buttons.

  20. Mandy, Sedona says:

    Oh sure ADOT spends millions to keep our two State Highways in good condition. And what does the city do in comparison? Gives virtually millions of $$$$$ to the Chamber of Commerce and throws a pittance of the recent one million dedicated to improving city roads.

    No doubt Coconino County did a much better job on this side of town at least in keeping the roads in our subdivisions in good shape. That cannot be said since Sedona incorporated and became a city. Big deal! No fake news here.

  21. F.Y.I. says:

    @@A Reminder: don’t be ridiculous. It wasn’t ADOT that reduced the width of 2+ blocks of 89A
    in Uptown so as to allow sidewalk widening—nor did ADOT eliminate the 89A merge lane
    accommodating Jordan Road southbound traffic either.

    Why not go with an early City Council and their Director of Community Development

    the Uptown Enhancement Project recommendations followed were manipulated IMO)?

  22. Mid-West Snowbirds says:

    We just returned to Sedona to escape harsh Minnesota winters. Much to our surprise, things keep changing here (not for the best) and we will seek other options for next year.

    We are shocked at the new hotel, Element By Westin, in the VOC. Stunned may be a better word. As we understand it if this new hotel becomes a member of the local Chamber of Commerce they will be promoted at the city (of Sedona) funded C of C Visitors Center and Sedona businesses NOT members of the C of C are slighted?

    We’ve never known or even heard of such nonsense! Don’t forget – word of mouth advertising has been proven to be the most effective and be assured after our stint here this year our comments to friends and relatives about Sedona will NOT be favorable. And we are aware – people like us apparently aren’t wanted anyway. And that, Folks, is a fact.

    So sad how city government has destroyed this beautiful spot. NO MORE!!!!! We also are aware we will NOT be missed so it appears to be a two-way street – speaking of which – it’s been reported the Sedona city council has approved $44M for a public transit plan! OMG – crazy is an understatement. Isn’t there already a local transit? Roadrunner or something?

  23. Mary C says:

    I tell everyone NEVER to come to Sedona on a weekend. If they want to see a town with character go to Camp Verde, Jerome or Old Town Cottonwood.

    Do you idiots incharge ever notice how fast Sedona is losing population and non tourist services?

  24. Nebraska Snowbird says:

    I used to go to Sedona. No more. Who needs so much traffic no matter how beautiful it was.

  25. Best Kept Sedona Secret? says:

    Why, after Sedona incorporated allegedly primarily for the purpose of providing a “waste water treatment plant” (AKA sewer plant) …… just why wasn’t it a priority to connect ALL existing subdivisions to the proposed “plant?” Instead, new development flourished and to this day older subdivisions remain unconnected and on septic tanks.

    What a farce – then AND now! The whole BS scheme was to promote new development because without a resolution to the sewage disposal situation there would have been NO new development.

    Many certain self-proclaimed know-it-all posters on SE (initials SS?) might have checked into the real truth about the deceitful scheme for incorporation before shooting off their mouths?

    It was a sham then and maybe even worse now with the questionable ongoing negotiations this incorporated “city” (of Sedona) has with a two-bit regional chamber of commerce that prior to incorporation was about to go bye-bye. (Maybe the best reason of all why Sedona should NOT have incorporated?) Not a secret here that the C of C and their connection with the Sedona Lodging Council control Sedona City Hall. (again – just another opinion)

  26. Joan says:

    I find it so telling that – in my opinion all the below – :
    1. The regional chamber wanted favoritism, gifts and public funding for their private membership, were they directed and given special treatment by city staff and council?
    2. No in city business got a vote or voice, EITHER did the chamber members vote
    3. They along with their affinity group aka sedona lodging (regional and those in SL didn’t vote either)
    4. The chamber and their lodging club got unlimited time & resources with city staff. Unlimited presentation time to present their (deleted by editor) TAKING public SUBSIDIES. City Council members hung out with them help them plan it?
    5. (Names deleted by editor) and their club worked it and told city council this is the way its done. Directing city council (deleted by editor). Trust me
    Pennies on the dollars, Locals don’t contribute to tax base

    Now they point the finger at city council? Trying to shift the blame.
    The city council was wined and dined? Told that what was presented was exactly what Scottsdale does? A total LIE> Scottsdale’s Chamber gets ZERO city money.

    Lies, deceit, fraud, RICO is killing sedona.

    VOTE out ALL incumbents stop the gifting of ALL third party subsidies. (deleted by editor) VOTE buying? The building of government paid items is driving YOUR costs up driving the real people out.

    Remember IMO only now what’s your opinion?

  27. Just wait says:

    Those in charge care not about the future, only their current greed. Just wait, they too will pass, Sedona might become a ghost town like Jerome was many years ago. Houses for the taking, and no one wanted them. We can see the direction, schools closing, very few young families choosing to make Sedona home. As I moved here with my young family many years ago, I would not choose Sedona now,. Sedona is dying. Perhaps 100 years from now, those that come after will ask, “What were they thinking.”

    Things must die to be reborn.

  28. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    To Joan or whatever your real name is:

    I’m glad that you disclosed that your posting from 11/6 was YOUR OPINION so I will share my opinion as well. You sound very disgruntled and since that is the case perhaps you should consider relocating to a non-incorporated city or town that doesn’t have a CoC. Then you can live happily-ever-after.

  29. @ John Daniels Of Mars says:

    In most cities THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE GETS NOTHING from the city. They have to earn their own money and are member supported. In Sedona the inmates run the asylum. The City council rubber stamps what ever the chamber and staff recommend.

    Sedona City is stupid, crooked and wrong. Residents leaving, schools closing, but hey the City Staff and Chamber is EXTREMELY well compensated.

  30. @John Daniels W Sedona says:

    Hahahahaha You’re so funny……..

    Fact no city gifts a regional chamber city*bed-tax.

    IMO go get another city job elsewhere

    Thanks I knew you couldn’t resist. It is very telling that my comment pushed your buttons.
    hehehe

  31. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    @ John Daniels of Mars.

    Only you and your 12 aliases care what the chamber “gets”. As we all know YOU LIVE in Sedona so what difference does it make what other cities do with their chamber? Obviously, the system IS GOING TO CONTINUE FOR AT LEAST ONE MORE YEAR and hopefully for a lot more. As a business owner, I love what the chamber is doing and hope it continues for years to come. Like I said yesterday, don’t like it????? You may as well pack up and move to a city that isn’t a tourist town and doesn’t work with their chamber.

  32. Donna says:

    Thank you John Daniels W Sedona for your post because your attitude or opinion is exactly what I have witnessed. Your way, your city.

    The city of Sedona doesn’t have a city-chamber. The sedona chamber is a regional, non-city membership. I’ve check the numbers and only 2.9% of chambers members collect city-bed-tax. We have no transient bed district. So those outside the city limits are getting a benefit from those that are imposed city-taxes. No waivers or legal rights were ever waived.

    I am so shocked that the state would permit such behavior as this is the attitude of City Hall, City Council, Chamber and Lodging Council is hurting our community. IMO. Each and every group has told me the same thing. In my experience if you speak up for fair and positive change you are blackballed. While you can say it is in my opinion, I can say it is my experience.

    I was told by a Chamber Director now also on the Fire Board “there is a front door and a back door.Don’t like it leave. We get someone to replace you” I had so many friends tell me that they experienced the same thing.

    In my opinion it is a very sad thing. To enable this attitude, control as it has driven so may great friends, businesses, and workers out. This effects us all. If you slow it down and think it through those working in the tourist industry are required to work weekend and holidays. This takes it away from their families.

    I mentioned this to the manager- family of a print paper. He responded with ” then they shouldn’t move here” Sad Sad and even more sad. IMO Are the city employees, council, chamber, print paper employees required to work every weekend, nights, and holidays? No. I

    I hope that you are happy as your wishes are coming true. More locals are leaving, some taking their businesses with them. Since the city has driven a one sided favoritism to tourists-chamber your wish and plan is coming true. IMO

    For those inclined, please write your state representatives. The city operates under the state.
    Representative Blackman – WBlackman@azleg.gov,
    Representative Thorpe – bthorpe@azleg.gov,
    Senator Allen -sallen@azleg.gov,

  33. @John Daniels W Sedona says:

    Since you claim to be a business owner and love what the chamber is doing please disclose
    1. Are you a chamber member?
    2. Are you located in the city limits?
    3. Do you collect city sales tax?
    4. Do you collect city bed tax?
    5. Does the chamber pay you for any services or product?
    6. Where do you physically live? In the city limits?

    I know so many businesses that are inside the city and that collect city taxes, they don’t like what the chamber is doing.

    Why not allow all the city businesses the ability to vote and rank the chambers performance?

    Wouldn’t that be the fair thing to do?

    Then since the city is paying the chamber for residents quality of life. Then the residents should be able to vote on that performance. IMO

    @John Daniels your post “Like I said yesterday, don’t like it????? You may as well pack up and move to a city that isn’t a tourist town and doesn’t work with their chamber.?
    Pushy and nasty IMO Why should the city be run by special interests? Should they be allow to run the locals out? Clearly you are getting yours and don’t care about anyone else. Is Sedona your cash cow?

  34. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    Since you claim to be a business owner and love what the chamber is doing please disclose
    To the anonymous person asking here are my answers.

    1. Are you a chamber member? YES
    2. Are you located in the city limits? YES
    3. Do you collect city sales tax? YES
    4. Do you collect city bed tax? NO
    5. Does the chamber pay you for any services or product? Absolutely NOT
    6. Where do you physically live? In the city limits? Kachina subdivision

  35. Sedona Frank says:

    Editors, Where to ask this Sedona secret? Recently on the radio we heard news that Walgreen’s handled nearly 1 in 5 of the most additive opioids! How many prescriptions did Walgreens fill in Sedona and nearby and how about the other pharmacies in our area that aren’t a Walgreens? Who wrote those prescriptions here? We hear rumors every day that Walgreens and CVS are packing up and leaving and many of us always wondered why it was profitable for both to come to our little place anyway with lots of pharmacies here already and they spent millions to build here. Now we are beginning to know. How much does Walgreens pay to the city or towns annually in Arizona? Where does the simple person find those answers? Do tourists fill prescriptions here from the Valley, beyond? Scary scary people influencing our city.

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