Home » City Council, Community » Eddie Maddock: Sedona Year 2020

Eddie Maddock: Sedona Year 2020

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock reminds Sedona in 2020 it’s wise to keep in mind that hindsight is always twenty-twenty.

Sedona AZThe birth of a brand new year, 2020, is welcomed with optimism for positive opportunities on the horizon. Breaking in a new calendar and not forgetting when writing to change the date to “2020” accordingly are reminders that time flies, and not necessarily just when a person is having fun. It might be wise to also keep in mind a quote from Billy Wilder: Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.

A trendy word that continues to persist is “sustainable:” In general the meaning is obvious, but cutting to the chase might include extending efforts to avoid the reality of missing the water after the well runs dry.

As has been proven by experts, word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising good and bad. Most will admit the reason they visited Sedona to begin with is .. drumroll please .. because they heard about it from previous visitors. With that kind of publicity, it remains difficult to understand why millions of dollars have been spent on advertising campaigns, especially since nothing has ever been offered to conclusively prove enhanced destination tourism to compete with day trippers was an end result.

Although Sedona is frequently compared to other tourist locations such as Park City, Utah and Vail, Colorado and even Arizona’s own Scottsdale, it might be well to know The War on Tourists exists even in faraway countries. That title appears in the September 2019 issue of The Atlantic publication relative to the Netherlands and the extent to which visitors have outnumbered its population and thus forced serious action to combat their collateral damage.

Comparing Sedona to the Netherlands .. a place reporting some 19 million tourists visited there last year far exceeding the population and projected to increase by 50% over the next decade .. is, of course, premature at this point. However, the Netherlands finally declared ENOUGH. How long will it be before Sedona is forced to take similar measures and address their own situation realistically?

A recent ADOT traffic study found the majority of Sedona traffic backs up miles to drive through Sedona and Oak Creek canyon without stopping to reach Flagstaff and Grand Canyon.

In Amsterdam recent legislation including a moratorium on new hotel construction and restrictions on Airbnb rentals of 30 nights a year per unit have been approved. In addition implementation of bans and restrictions on “new tourist-centric businesses” referencing bike-rental outfits and even selected guided tours as examples. There is even talk of charging day trippers to step foot in the city, a bold policy recently enacted in Venice.

Of course speaking of the Netherlands, a country, compared to Sedona, a small city of 10,000 or less, may seem inequitable. However that country is half the size of South Carolina with one of the world’s highest population densities. And yet scenarios remain the same. When is enough enough?

It becomes even more curious when “sustainability” remains a word of the day while at the same time the Sedona City Council approved four story commercial and residential developments for the Sunset Community Focus Area!

At a recent Planning and Zoning Commission meeting more discussion was under way to amend the Community Plan to allow rezoning of Sedona’s remaining vacant lots for increased density. Yet not long ago Sedona was among those objecting to a large development not far from El Rojo Grande.

In 2008, Ron Verniesoni hoped to alert the community of danger posed to Oak Creek by recent flooding and construction. In 2020, Oak Creek watershed issues remain due to increased environmental impact of tourism compounding sustainability, flooding and construction issues.

A very lengthy article appeared in the Arizona Republic December 23, 2019: Quite rabidly opposed by local residents is the proposed Spring Creek Ranch presented at a meeting lasting over seven hours before the Yavapai County Planning & Zoning Commission. The owners, Lisa and Eric Borowsky, request rezoning of their 282-acre property in order build 1,900 manufactured homes, 400 RV spaces, and rental housing. The proposal was denied by the commissioners with a 5-4 vote, but the Yavapai County Supervisors will consider the request of the zoning change at their meeting on January 14, 2020.

There’s no doubt this area is in need of workforce and/or more affordable housing. The problem would be much less severe had the purpose of approval for Nepenthe been strictly enforced. There are other examples of lodging facilities that wriggled out of initial commitments to provide a specified number of workforce living accommodations. Our regulators mysteriously turned their heads the other way, and for what reason? We know why developers reneged .. they wanted to make more money from tourists instead of accommodating this sorely needed provision. What guarantee will there be that future projects won’t also end up as even more additional money grabbing sources for greedy developers?

In spite of already stressed “sustainability” why are projects ignoring the obvious allowed to continue? Clearly congestion will only worsen. Squandering money for alleged solutions through member driven organizations only adds to the putrid stench. Sedona doesn’t have the ability to randomly build alternate routes because they don’t own the land. It belongs to the U.S. Forest Service which is a good thing. Otherwise opportunists would have long ago snatched it up to erode the beauty of Sedona even more extensively.

The people organized and brought the fight to the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors preventing almost 1,000 mobile homes and RV spaces near Cottonwood and Sedona. Now the Board is considering rezoning for 2,000 mobile units on a nearby property this January 14.

Why do you suppose that when people purchase land based on existing zoning they aren’t realistic and accept the attached zoning constraints? Is it because they had no intention in the first place of complying with decisions originally made for logical reasons? If approval for a subdivision requires homes on 2-acre lots, then stick to it ..  especially if the land is deemed an imperiled species habitat in addition to serious concerns regarding water quality and water quantity.

Is there a better time for proving the seriousness, or lack thereof, of the current alleged quest for sustainability? Will approval of high density projects serve only to belie such nonsense and continue to accommodate opportunists and their controlling forces that benefit financially? Or how about using “sustainability” as a smoke screen for misappropriation of millions of municipal dollars? ENOUGH.

sus·tain·a·ble de·vel·op·ment
1. economic development that is conducted without depletion of natural resources.
“international policies should support sustainable development”

In short, sustainability looks to protect our natural environment, human and ecological health, while driving innovation .. and not compromising our way of life.


  1. Don & Lois says:

    We’re all for the idea of sustainability. However what we don’t understand is how transferring the money the city gives to a chamber from destination marketing (which clearly failed) can now justify such a campaign. Every time we hear that chamber commercial on a Cottonwood radio station telling us not to use plastic straws we have a very bad and resentful reaction. We are NOT chamber members. Why should they be receiving public revenue for such nonsense? They do NOT represent or speak for us! If that’s the case then slice the pie and share with ALL non profits whether tax deductible or not which the C of C isn’t. Bad bad example. $2.5 million in one year for such BS. OMG look in the mirror City of Sedona.

  2. Bill, Sedona says:

    Q when did water become less important than straws
    A when Sedona city council got elected & money went to “clubs”

  3. End the "City " Scam says:

    Here is how the scam works, the city gives taxpayer funds to various clubs, the clubs campaign for candidates to keep the city funds flowing.

    A permanent solution, shut the city down.

  4. @End the "City" Scam says:

    Isn’t it those same “clubs” that finance “their” candidates for mayor and city council?
    Isn’t that more commonly called “dark money?” Just asking. As for shutting down the city, good luck with that one. It’s Sedona voters who keep this scummy ball rolling. THEY are the ones who allow it and then complain. Brilliant? NOT!

  5. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    @ @End The City Scam

    It doesn’t matter what fake name you use, you seem to be the same minority person who is jealous that the city and so many businesses are successful in spite of the fact that so many Air BnB’s are displacing employees Verde valley-wide.

  6. Lyndsey Cotter says:

    “If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.” —George Washington (1793)

  7. Heads Up - Red Alert says:

    The Yavapai County Supervisor’s meeting has been changed from January 14th to:

    Wednesday, March 18 at 9:00 AM
    10 South 6th Street
    Cottonwood, AZ

  8. You have to VOTE to change things says:

    The members of the Sedona City Council are asleep at the wheel, continuing to spend our tax dollars to support a chamber of commerce that works for the Lodging Council without asking hard questions about where the money goes and what the goals are. Talk about sustainable tourism is a smoke screen (nothing’s changed) and touting a straw-free campaign as somehow addressing Sedona’s over-tourism problem – and yes, it is a problem – is ridiculous. I’m all for fewer straws but, give me a break, withholding straws from tourists doesn’t do a d*mn thing to reduce over-tourism.

    One of the city’s excuses for not issuing an RFP for tourism management is that there isn’t anyone better qualified than what we’ve already got. I will support any city council candidate who supports issuing an invitation to bidders to get rid of the chamber’s free-money and free-meal contract, and find people to competently manage tourism with less arrogance. If there are any city council candidates reading this, and you win, just be sure that you are actively involved in planning and carrying out the bidding process, give plenty of time and spend some money making sure the invitation is publicized throughout the country. There may not be any qualified management companies in northern Arizona but there are MANY around the country who would love a chance to run tourism operations here. And can either do it at less cost, or at the same cost while providing better, more competent management.

    But – another smoke screen from the chamber – the problem isn’t that we need to attract the “right” kind of tourists, it’s that the city needs to stop continually pushing for growth, growth, growth and lodging revenues.

    The city keeps blowing smoke about worker housing but guess what, folks, those workers are low-pay lodging industry workers. At the same time they continue to push through rule and zoning changes and area “plans” that are clearly designed to give a leg-up to developers and hoteliers.

    I will vote for any city council candidate who wants and has the courage to CHANGE to the long-time culture of constantly putting a priority on the needs and revenues of the lodging council and starts honestly listening to what the residents want. And it is NOT more tourists, higher profit margins for the lodging owners to attract the “right” tourists, and “plans” that make it easier for developers to build more buildings, parking spaces and parking garages, condos and “live work” spaces. All of this is driven by a city manager and staff members who are cozy with the lodging council and the chamber of commerce leadership, and tell the city council members that the sky will fall if anything changes.

  9. The Sedona Method says:

    What you have accurately identified @You have to VOTE to change things is spot on.

    All anyone who doesn’t believe it needs to do is read any issue of a local Sedona paper and try to find a city article where the President/CEO of the Chamber or Commerce isn’t either a headline or lavishly quoted. Today’s issue (1/8/2020) isn’t any different.

    “They” (at city hall) would have us believe “she” knows all there is to know about making affordable housing possible as they continue to ram “the chamber” into our daily existence.

    Don’t subscribe to the local rag? Drop in at the Sedona public library (also not owned or operated by City of Sedona) and read it for free then you won’t weep over having wasted money on the rag.

    Oh BTW – although speaking only for myself it’s true my opinion is shared by more people than “they” will admit.

    But back to voting. It’s your only chance to make a difference and cowards who reject that option add to the problem and not a solution

  10. @ The Sedona Method says:

    You are right the city of Sedona owns the public, County Sedona Library which is funded to the tune of $2 million a year from both counties. IMO A form of vote buying as they get their members to vote city agenda. Take a look at their tax returns here. This is from 2016-2017. 6 Million in stock and assets through the roof. This is not a city library. IMO the city of sedona gifts them half a million to buy their votes. {external link}

  11. @ John Daniels (Karen) says:

    I agree the city, chamber are very successful at ripping the public’s money off. However there will be a price to pay. Th AG did find that the laws were being broken, and the chamber had to pay hundreds of thousands back. The writing is on the wall. Pickles leaving and Gromeric has flown the coup. The chamber had to change the way they did business. No more taking from the bed tax. Otherwise it was a violation of the gift clause. The day to celebrate will be when (deleted by editor) either is the next one to leave, or get locked up. Then maybe sedona wil be able to move forward.

  12. Kent & JoAnn A. says:

    Excuse us but @@The Sedona Method but can’t you read? The City of Sedona does NOT own the Sedona Library. That library originated years and years ago – long before incorporation – as a volunteer endeavor and remains so to this day. The city does NOT own the facility and as you pointed out is funded primarily by private donations but does benefit from financial assistance from both counties. Drop the misrepresentation (blatant lie) the library does NOT belong to the city. BS. NOT TRUE.

  13. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    Wow are the lies flying (deleted by editor):

    You sure know how to spew lies, the AG did NOT find that the laws were being broken – I had to dig a bit on the RRN website but HERE’S THE FACTS:

    (Hyperlink edited – find RRN online)

    Are you sure that you don’t work at the White House???

  14. Wayne says:

    Who voted in favor of the new development at YC Planning and Zoning ? We want names to circulate.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I read the entire report the the AG directed the city to change the contract with chamber. The city didn’t want to do it. Nor did the chamber.

    We all know the red rock snoozes. Don’t read it.

    Go read it for yourself. AG website.

  16. @John Daniels says:

    You have to be kidding to quote the red rock snews. Anyone can go onto the AG website and read for themselves. The proof is that the city had to change the contract with the chamber and the chamber had to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars. Talk about lies flying. That is all this city does.

  17. Mike H says:

    You have to have opposition candidates running for council, good luck with that.

    If you have Mayor Sandy, Vice Mayor Martinez or Kurt Gehlbach, pick one, nothing will change in the mayors seat.

    Last mayoral election someone ran a third candidate, to make sure Mayor Sandy got re elected. As soon as he entered at the last minute you knew the outcome.

    Who will you get to run for council? The last election I understand the guy running for mayor that opposed the chamber was begging people to run.

    Step up, start running now, post your name in the Sedona Eye.

    If we get no one, then start a movement to shut down the city. That would be the way I would recommend.

  18. Kurt Gehlbach says:

    I’m recruiting all of you! I need your Vote! I also need your voices for all to hear. I do not have money backing me, I do not have bias relationships with clubs. I do not have a relationship with the Chamber and no one can buy me. I will bring us into a very prosperous future with community involvement. We as a community must be fully involved for the prosperity of our City. I can create outstanding business models, one I’ve posted on my facebook page so please go there and take look. Friend me if needed. Yet remember the business model is designed for community involvement as we elaborate and create together taking it much further. These models are also created to bring our young families back into the city while creating community hands-on involvement. We have brilliant minds in Sedona and I wish not to waste them.
    Take the Red Rocks away and what do we have! A city decomposing over time! I’m a Native of Arizona who’s spent most of my 58 years coming to and living in Sedona. Change must happen Now and I can promise you when I’m Mayor – We Together will move our city forward.
    I look at all the time and emotions all of you and many more have wasted through your frustrations and anger for our city government. Imagine what it would be like to now be involve knowing that all your time forward will never be wasted but heard and through consensus acted upon. Change Is Now! People who know me know I can be trusted to keep my word and keep everyone safe!

  19. Norm, Sedona says:

    Speaking of the AG and Sedona issues, how about the joint Sedona City Council and Chamber of Commerce meeting held on January 8th? Where was the public notice about this latest perceived travesty? Since when and why should the C of C be allowed to participate in Sedona City budgeting processing? To assure the Chamber CEO will continue to receive almost $12,000 monthly salary?

    Open Meeting Law requiring Public Notice of Public Meetings be damned? Does that not apply when a member-driven club is allowed to participate in such a decision making process?

    Arizona State Attorney General; State Representatives. WAKE UP!

  20. Len says:

    You lost my note with the Change will happen mantra that is the pacifier of pro growth high density people in office. You aren’t different and will join their ranks and Sedona will be lesser than rather than greater.

  21. Actions Louder Than Words says:

    Apparently the only thing city staff and council care about sustaining is the regional and misnamed Sedona Chamber of Commerce.

    What more proof is needed? They no longer could “sustain” the questionable contract for destination marketing so instead provide the legal percentage of the increased bed tax for trumped up excuses like sustainable-tourism or purchasing expensive property uptown – and how many employees now work for the C of C courtesy of funding from the City of Sedona?

    This ongoing slap in the face to other service groups who are far more deserving is disgraceful. The outer scenery of Sedona may be beautiful but the truth surfaces in the ongoing giveaway to this regional membership club to promote competing businesses outside city limits who don’t even collect city sales taxes. It’s true. The stench is more putrid on a daily basis.

    C of C does NOT represent the general population – PERIOD! Why do you think they collect membership dues from those stupid enough to jump on their band wagon?

    Sustainability Be Damned – Why should C of C be enforcers?

  22. Kurt Gehlbach says:

    Len – I look forward to you eating those words and you will apologize to me in the near future.

  23. @Kurt says:

    I voted for Tony because he spoke the truth. Unfortunately the system of vote buying has been in place for a long time. The system loves to keep the people poor. Only then they can control the vote by gifting the people’s money to groups that vote city agenda. I believe the time is right to effect change. The problem has always been to attack those that do not support the chamber who has been receiving the payoffs in the millions. Just ask Cliff Hamilton and Tony Tonsich. The gifts under the radar and the ego pumping has always worked in order to get city agenda through the sedona system. Telling John Martinez, Bill Chisholm, and Jessica Williamson how brilliant they are has always been so effective. Are you going to be one of those that submits to the will of the cronies once you are in office? I SURE HOPE NOT.. So sick of business as usual being the rule of the day. The people really need a champion for the people. The time is right. Show who you really are and if it supports all the sedona citizens, they will get behind you. It is time for the people to rise up. Some 25 million dollars has been gifted to the regional private membership group chamber of commerce. Only 25% of their members are located within the city limits. Think about what that ammount of money could have meant to the local infrastructure. Best of luck.

  24. Village Folks says:

    We live, work, and play in the VOC and wish to express our appreciation that we are NOT incorporated but instead enjoy the benefits of flying under the “Sedona” flag. (different zip code but still Sedona is our address).

    We therefore have many advantages, especially businesses that are members of your Chamber of Commerce and constantly have referrals, many of whom are grateful to learn we don’t charge city sales tax. Very beneficial to our VOC lodging industry not to mention eating out and other retail purchases.

    Thanks, incorporated, Sedona. We remain ever grateful our area wasn’t included the confines of your dirty politics. We reap only the benefits.

  25. Combative Kurt says:

    “I look forward to you eating those words and you will apologize to me in the near future.”

    “You need to show respect and learn how to spell my name”

    Can you imagine, if this is how he acts when asking for the job, how insufferable he will be with any power?

    Sorry dude, we are not looking for a dictator, or someone to worship.

  26. Kurt Gehlbach Talk is Cheap says:

    “I will bring us into a very prosperous future with community involvement”

    Please explain how you would do that.

    I’d rather not go to your Facebook page please elaborate here.

  27. Sean T says:

    What’s going on with people who purchase property (land) knowing exactly the restrictions and yet as soon as they become the owners they promptly attempt to get the zoning changed. The gall is disgusting. But sadly this is what’s been going on for many, many years and has become and remains the trend.

    To hell with existing property owners and residents who have already devoted their life savings to acquire their own little corner of the world. Too bad. WE want what WE want and WE are the exception(s) to any and all consideration for sustainability or anything else except lining our own pockets and trashing what’s worked for many, many years.

    Change isn’t always good. Maybe it’s time to give more thought to the premise of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. That’s how many things “got broke” in Sedona in the first place. They didn’t need fixing.

    Lisa and Eric Borowsky should be denied their request for a zone change. Period.

  28. Morris T. says:

    Unfortunately, Kurt Gehlbach, for many of the reasons included in comments on this page, is not a likely contender for mayor. A facebook page, rude comments in this forum to people who comment, and vague promises to make things better show he is not someone who is going to make a difference. I say “unfortunately” because the current mayor, Sandy Moriarity, like most of the city council, is led by the nose by the city staff and does not question the status quo. We need a mayor and council members who are going to do more than just show up at meetings and accept the words of staff members without questioning and doing their homework.

    We need a mayor and council who need to do more than ask questions about what the staff puts in front of them. They need to lead with ideas and then let the staff figure out a way to make these ideas happen. Instead of the city serving the Lodging Council, it needs to serve the residents. Stop reacting, start leading! Ask different questions!

    How can we make Sedona less about tourism, NOT about “sustainable” tourism? What’s so bad if Cottonwood has more lower income housing than Sedona and Sedona home prices stay high? How can we manage existing tourism without giving two million dollars to the chamber of commerce, why can’t we actively explore other companies to manage tourism?

    As long as the current city council acts like sheep and simply takes the word of the city manager, it will continue to be more of the same. The problem is that we keep asking the same questions and then haggling over details in the “solutions” that are offered by an inexperienced staff that responds only to the Lodging Council and not the desires of the residents.

  29. John Wilson says:

    Good suggestions @Morris T. Problem appears to be city council members don’t seem to fully understand why they are elected which is to represent the residents of Sedona who voted for them and NOT the chamber of commerce.

    City Staff is out of control but it’s the city council that allows it. Clearly certain staff members have even been linked personally with those heading up the chamber of commerce, even on social web sites. Very conflicting and not a good thing.

    The chamber of commerce for some unknown reason has been allowed to become an over-controlling membership organization and that should cease and desist immediately. As should the outrageous amount of money they receive from the City of Sedona. This is shameful, disgusting, and legitimate aspects remain questionable.

    Try and find one other city/town anywhere that allows this control by a private, member-driven club. Betcha it ain’t been born and it’s mother’s dead.

    Who are the biggest fools? Voters or their elected officials allowing this? For sure, though, it isn’t the C of C leadership who deposit or cash their overpaid wages every pay day with huge smiles on their faces. Such a deal! RIGHT! But for whom? Residents of Sedona whether or not they were dumb enough to vote for incorporation? N O T!!

  30. Charley M. says:

    It just gets more special by the day as we now learn the regional chamber of commerce officials and city council met together for a retreat on Jan. 8th.
    Ain’t that special? Yep, it was decided (big surprise) that the city council (DRUM ROLL) wants for the chamber to maintain their services whatever that means. So, Folks, gripe all you want. Nothing will change until the voters make it happen.

  31. steve Segner says:

    Your presence, voice and input are important. We hope you can attend. There will be time for networking before and after the agenda. Coffee and pastries will be available. Please RSVP to attend.
    Great meeting today city and chamber working together. The city shared that over 20 projects are underway on budget and on time. The City had the best first quarter EVER, tax income up and over budget, even more of our taxes paid by visitors. Seems not everyone is anti city or anti chamber and not one person from the Sedona Eye stood up to complain…… All you chamber haters ,Way to go Donna, Just stay home and put pins in you Jennifer dolls as Sedona prospers.
    Tomorrow I will have the first fundraiser for people running for local and county office….. Come and meet the people you will hate after they are elected ,you seem to hate every city council and city employee you have never met.
    I found this the other day ,
    The Irvine, Calif.-based Mexican fast-food Taco Bell chain is testing $100,000 salaries for managers in select markets in the Midwest, the company said Thursday. Great employees cost….. this is more the most city employees….. perhaps we need to look at what we are paying.

  32. Cam Pauling says:

    Taco Bell? Irvine CA based but the salaries are MIDWEST. Taco Bell managers do more and work longer hours than Sedona city employees and likely more than steve & your store and Sedona employees. Check out the job requirements. No Sedona employee would qualify or be able to handle it. Benefits as good.

  33. Spence & Evelyn says:

    It may be a new year but it’s the same old story. Council celebrates at a retreat with the chamber? Where was the official public notice about this special event? The chamber just happens to be located in Sedona seems to be the exception to all rules. Maybe the C of C paid for the coffee and pastries from that last $2.5 mil tax rebate from the city? This is beyond sickening.

    Residents of Sedona @Segner’s correct about one thing. Sitting in silence or maybe just complaining to one another isn’t going to change anything. Get some backbone. Check out those names Segner says he’s ready to promote for mayor and city council seats.

    Of course it’s dodos like those who threw in the third candidate for mayor two years ago that assured the reelection of Sandy. Brilliant! Seems obvious they were working on behalf of chamber & lodging council. Maybe it’s true no one living here cares any more??What happened to the spirit that surfaced & overturned city owned West 89A not that many years ago? Is it that everyone is now in the vacation rental business? Can’t really say it wouldn’t serve them right. If you can’t beat ’em join ’em one way or another.

  34. Steve segner says:

    It’s not that people don’t care anymore as you say it’s because they’re happy. the city is well run ,we have no city property tax the majority of our expenses are paid by visitors the city is fixing our roads, building parks , and putting money in the bank. Sales and local businesses are at the highest level they’ve ever been so all the doom and gloom you guys talk about is just BS, The Airbnb is a state issue it can only be solved by the state

  35. @Steve Segner says:

    Ha, Ha — very funny! “because they’re happy?” You must be smoking good stuff. “Sales and local businesses are at the highest level they’ve ever been?” Fantasy wishful thinking doesn’t make it so!

  36. Facts are facts says:

    Lots of vacant retail storefronts, declining population, and bumper to bumper tourist traffic. When by the city’s’s own study half of the cars don’t even stop in Sedona, something is very wrong.

  37. steve Segner says:

    Facts are facts says: You say, declining population just, how do you know this ? No count has been take in 9 years. And lets remember Air b@b took the homes of over 1000 people. From County number.
    All Sedona homes are full or being used as air b@b’s .Fact good luck finding a home for rent under 2,000 a month on Sedona.
    Five large hotels and even the new Marriott in the village have sold for record setting amounts some of the highest numbers in the nation for hotels sales.
    Vacant retail storefronts, that is a sign that landlords are holding out for rent, or rents are too high for retailers market place working. Sedona is not as dependent on retail as in the past….the Amusement tax is way up that is ATV and jeep adventures…. Our new 30 smoothing customers from Phoenix are not buying “STUFF” they are eating out and renting ATV and staying in high end hotels…… You say 50% of the cars do not stop in Sedona ,yes 89a is a state hwy. And people use it to get to the Grand Canyon and flagstaff and to 40 east…… ….. 99% of people on 17 north do not get off to see Sedona eather. . It must kill you to all the doom and gloom you predict not happening. Tax figures don’t lie… Hope that helps I can get you the numbers if you like.

  38. Quoting segner says:

    “Tax figures don’t lie.” Ya know, if you taxed people at 110 percent, don’t laugh, England tried it, your tax revenue will be sky high for a couple of years. People can’t move in a day.

    Vacant retail and schools closing down tell a story. Facts don’t lie.

    As a resident, ask yourself, how is your quality of life? Has it gotten better over the last 10 years?

  39. Oh Brother says:

    This becomes funnier by the minute. At least @steve Segner admits tourists no longer shop for high-end merchandise. Could it be because it’s no longer available in Sedona?

    And, of course, there was once a time when many local stores sold stuff residents actually bought! (clothes, shoes, appliances, and variety store merchandise). Naturally with Walmart and Home Depot conveniently available via two two routes (W89A & Beaver Head Flat Rd.) we flatlanders are probably better off.

    As for vacant store fronts, look for them to become even more evident when a mass exodus of the few remaining businesses shutter up when those “slip-lanes” are installed! Oh Sister Suzy, the “Y” might become a good place for a tourist photo shoot – a diversion from the red rocks.

    Karma lives. Wait and see.
    Happy New Year.

  40. @steve Segner says:

    How do you know “Air b@b took the homes of over 1000 people.” ? What PROOF do you have?

    Did you count YOUR “Air b@b” ? AKA “overflow rooms” How many vacation rentals does the chamber market?

  41. @Steve Segner says:

    I know you know what happened to Robert Pickels. Make yourself useful and tell us. Do something for the people for once instead of just padding your pocket. Maybe people won’t hate you quite so much.

  42. Karma Lives says:

    Can it be true? That the big companies buying up private homes for vacation rentals are members of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce? If so that tells volumes about the type of people running city government. The dogs biting the hands that feed them? Vipers with forked tongues?

  43. @Karma Lives says:

    YES it is true!

    A bold FACT. The chambers members INCLUDE those using PRIVATE homes for short term rentals.

    Another BOLD Fact is that the city so called STR map included TIMESHARES. BNBs, HOTELS that were ALREADY in inventory and LEGAL short term rentals.

    The city also included rooms for rent leading people to think the whole house was being rented.

    The city, chamber and hotel industry are using fake facts to provoke emotion to get all the flatlanders to do their dirty work at the state level.

    When you ask why the answer is clear. They are BLAMING short term rentals for all the ISSUES they created by over selling and giving taxpayers money to a third party private group throwing the legitimate businesses that are imposed taxes under the bus.

    All the while they are fully aware that it is their actions that have increased traffic, sold vacation rentals of homes around the world and hurt the in-city. Taxpayers money is paying for a private entity PROMOTING Short term vacation rentals of HOMES!!!!!!!

    This is the truth and this is why NO city funds a members only group taxes imposed on in-city. Sedona has done a fabulous job of taking the exclusivity of a small town and exploded it.

  44. Dina Mite says:

    @@Karma Lives. Thank you for confirming what some of us had already figured out. It’s nothing but one smoke screen after another. Between that and the good old shell game they keep people confused. However it really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out their conniving antics.

    Just be patient. Wait and watch. The balloon will pop. The well will run dry. Then listen to the cry babies wail ‘Poor me’. It’s “too difficult to count the number of members outside city limits” = $12,000/MO? OMG

  45. steve Segner says:

    I had a nice meeting this morning with Arizona state Secretary Katie Hobbs.
    We talked about local issues like work force housing Air B&B’s and voter registration.
    I know many people on the Sedona eye have brought up my voter registration and even turned me in to the states AG’s office, I use 95 portal lane as my address of residence for voting purposes.
    I asked Katie, so I have 3 homes and a business that I spend time at each ,just how do I pick the one I use for voter registration?
    She said the state will use the one I list on my driver license, nothing to do with where you sleep.
    She went on to say “Now when you renew or get a new drivers license you will automatically re registered to vote at the address on the license unless you opt OUT.
    She said it make no difference where you spend the most time or where you sleep.
    Hope that helps
    @@Karma Lives if the city is gifting money as you say, please call the stste AG to investigate….you did . oh ya… State signed off on the chamber city contract. hope that helps

  46. Obvious says:

    It’s obvious Segner didn’t write the above post about his meeting with Hobbs. There’s only one grammatical error and no misspellings.

  47. John Daniels says:

    @steve Segner, NO the state did not sign off on the chamber contract. That is why the clowns in city hall gave the chamber a contract to educate citizens on sustainability. The state should have insisted the chamber return the money to the city.

    The con continues.

  48. steve Segner says:

    John Daniels The state should have insisted the chamber return the money to the city.
    Oh John but they didn’t did they , the city is wrong the chamber is wrong the state in wrong and you John Daniels are correct.

  49. Just Asking says:

    Did the city attorney Robert Pickel leave? If so how come? Did they hire a replacement. They were advertising for one.

  50. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    When the haters start posting under my name to make people think that my opinions changed to the Dark Side of haters I guess I made the big time!

    I’ve been accused of being a city employee, a fire department employee, a politician but you bunch of bananas can’t seem to get it that I’m just a homeowner who hates to see the posters on this blog disparage others.

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