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TRUSTED NEWS LEADER FOR COTTONWOOD, CAMP VERDE & THE VERDE VALLEY
Tue, Dec. 07

Local businesses support Red Rock Trail Fund with ‘Trail Bucks’ program

Trish Wood of Red Agave Resort explains the Trail Buck program to a guest, soon to be a donor. (SRRTF/Courtesy)

Trish Wood of Red Agave Resort explains the Trail Buck program to a guest, soon to be a donor. (SRRTF/Courtesy)

The Trail Bucks Program is an important component of the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund. Trail Bucks is an effective alliance with local businesses providing a convenient way for visitors to contribute to trail maintenance and enhancement, according to a news release.

The Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund partners with businesses in our area to collect donations from visitors enjoying the beauty of the Red Rock Trails. Donating via the Trail Bucks program is a convenient way for visitors to help enhance and maintain the Red Rock Trails that they enjoy during their stay in our community.

Businesses participating in the Trail Bucks program simply ask their customers or guests to contribute to the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund. With over three million visitors coming to Sedona annually, it is vital that they play a role in supporting the Trail System so that everyone can enjoy hiking, biking, and riding our Trails.

Since 2019, participating businesses have been gently encouraging their guests to make donations. Getting visitors to donate begins with a simple request at check-in or check-out to donate to the SRRTF.

If the visitor wishes to donate, the amount they offer is added to their bill or invoice. The business tracks donations in a separate non-taxable record. At regular intervals, the system adds up the donations and a check is sent to the SRRTF. Donations are used to hire trail maintenance crews each year.

PARTICIPANTS

Red Agave Resort, in the Village of Oak Creek, knows they have a special location.

Their hotel has the Coconino National Forest in their backyard and is the only hotel with trail access directly from their back patio.

“The trails are free to walk on but it takes a team to keep them in great hiking/biking condition,” General Manager Trish Wood said. “Our guests have the privilege of using the trail right off the property instead of buying a Red Rock pass and that helps with their decision to donate.”

Rob Holeman of Sedona Real Inn and Suites was the first to pioneer the Trail Bucks program. Sedona Real Inn and Suites recently changed hands and the new owner kept the program going.

“This is a way for our visitors to connect with Sedona in a unique way. There is no cost to the business, but the benefits are tremendous,” General Manager Stephanie Orbe said. “When we invite people into our community, we share in the responsibility to ensure that we all leave a positive footprint for others to enjoy.”

Martin Ebel, General Manager of Sedona Springs Resort, Villas of Sedona & Villas at Poco Diablo clearly understands the importance of sustainability. To him, Trail Bucks is all about maintaining the trails for guests and residents.

Trail Bucks isn’t just for hotels. Guidance Air, a helicopter tour company at the Sedona Airport, is a founding member of Trail Bucks. Their air tours offer a unique bird’s eye view of the spectacular landscape.

Jamaica Bergstrom, base manager, was born and raised in the valley and loves to hike. When she heard of the program, she knew she had to be a part of it. Her love of the community is evident by her support of Trail Bucks. More than half of her guests donate.

Interestingly, an initial stumbling block to becoming a Trail Bucks Program participant was the accounting system. When asked about this, current participants said that it was a fairly easy step within their current accounting system.

Most use either a guest check-in form or a stamp, that simply asks if the guest would like to donate to the SRRTF. If the answer is yes, the amount is entered into the computer in the guest record, much like a purchase from a mini bar. Amounts can easily be tracked.

Red Agave has been surprised with multiple guests donating large amounts to help out.

“The obvious benefits of being in Trail Bucks far outweighs the minor inconvenience of accounting for the donations,” Martin Ebel said.

SRRTF is looking to expand opportunities for local businesses to support trail maintenance.

To make it easy for retail establishments to join in the effort, SRRTF has produced beautiful logo stickers that can be purchased for a $5 donation. Hike House, Thunder Mountain Bikes, and Cheers have all successfully participated in this aspect of the program.

As a resident of the area, you can encourage visiting friends and family to favor businesses that participate in the Trail Bucks Program. Helping them helps sustain our essential and incomparable trail system.

If you are a local business that cares about the local trails, please contact the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund to ask about how you can become a Trail Bucks hero.

For more information, please email redrocktrailfund@gmail.com.

Information provided by the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund.

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