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Mon, April 06

Commentary: Be clear on this - Chamber not promoting travel to Sedona

Jennifer Wesselhoff

Jennifer Wesselhoff

Open Letter to Sedona:

A story on Saturday, March 21, in the Arizona Republic and azcentral.com featured a picture of Sedona with a large “OPEN” sign superimposed. The graphic was created by the Arizona Republic. It was NOT an advertisement by the Chamber or anyone else.

For the next 24 hours, people who saw the graphic have been contacting the Chamber, demanding we STOP promoting travel to Sedona.

To repeat, what they saw was a newspaper article -- it was not an ad. The Chamber has no control over content in newspapers.

Let me say this clearly: we are NOT actively promoting travel to Sedona and we have not done so since February.

Period.

I serve on the Board of Northern Arizona Healthcare. As Chamber President and CEO, I fully understand the urgency of the public health crisis. Our first goal is to do our part to keep Sedona healthy and safe.

Again, we are not promoting travel to Sedona and we have not done so since February.

We are communicating straight information to the traveling public on our Travel Advisory page: https://visitsedona.com/trip-planning/travel-advisory/.

The page lists the many closures ordered by the state and links to CDC guidelines. We are promoting safety and asking people to follow official guidance. Please see for yourself.

Some people are asking that the Chamber “shut down Sedona,” banning travel, or closing roads, or shuttering all businesses and surrounding trails.

The Chamber is a 501 (c) 6 nonprofit. We are not a government agency. We don’t have the authority to order any such action.

Such restrictions on public travel and commercial activity are within the emergency powers of government, not Chambers of Commerce.

We are Sedonans, too. We face the same risk and share the same concerns. Misunderstandings can happen in times like these and information can be twisted, often unintentionally.

Please let me know if you have any questions or hear anything that doesn’t sound quite right so we can respond. Our web pages will have the most recent and most accurate account of what the Chamber is doing to help.

Thank you for your patience. Thank you for listening. Thank you for caring about Sedona as much as we do.

Jennifer Wesselhoff is the president/CEO of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau.

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