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Chamber News: Enjoy 1st Friday resurgence, and check the Pulse

Michelle Conway (Submitted photo)

Michelle Conway (Submitted photo)

It’s almost that time of year again – festival and event season. With the end of summer nearing, I am personally getting very excited about the many events that will be taking place in our community. In fact, one of those events is just now experiencing a resurgence since COVID: 1st Friday in the Galleries.

I’d love to see you and your family at 1st Friday in the Galleries on Aug. 5. It’s a wonderful break from the routine and a real stimulation of your creative senses.

Maybe you’ve visited a few local galleries but don’t really feel the Sedona art scene. First Friday is the event for you. In a single magical day, you will experience the breadth of our local talent and our gorgeous display spaces by visiting several galleries, chatting with the artists at on-site receptions and viewing their latest and incredible work.

More than 10 participating galleries are scattered throughout the area at Hozho Plaza, Tlaquepaque, Uptown, Harkins Plaza in West Sedona, Hillside Sedona, and right here in the VOC at the Village Gallery of Local Artists, 6512 SR179.

Generally speaking, the event is from 4 to 7 p.m., but the hours vary by gallery. Check out SedonaFirstFriday.com for all the details. Then get out and satisfy your craving for the beauty of art. I know you will find it exciting, inspiring and thought-provoking. Why not make an evening of it with a fine meal at one of our outstanding restaurants?

Next up is the Sedona Community Pulse, a semi-annual event we are always excited to host. Sponsored by APS, Community Pulse features a roster of Sedona’s leading lights you won’t find anywhere else, all poised to share the latest news on issues affecting our lifestyle, environment and economy. Admission is free, Aug. 10 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Sedona Performing Arts Center on Upper Red Rock Loop Road.

What is the latest on mitigating the impact of Off-Highway Vehicles? What about airport issues? Road construction in Oak Creek Canyon or I-17? Human impacts on our forest land? The future of tourism management in Red Rock Country? On that morning, speakers from the US Forest Service, ADOT, the Sedona Airport, the Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau and the Red Rock OHV Conservation Crew will make presentations and take your questions.

We can only get this impressive lineup together a few times a year, so don’t miss out! Although it is free, we do ask that you register. Just visit SedonaChamber.com today.

The Community Pulse always makes news, and I know you will take away insights that will make you a more engaged resident. As you may know, The Chamber and City Council have agreed on tourism management goals for the new fiscal year. Examples include encouraging positive visitor behavior in our community and natural environment, ensuring future economic health, and deepening engagement with the short-term rental industry to help owners and operators understand the importance of sustainable tourism and visitor education around recreating responsibly.

The news that SB1168 is now law means municipalities have a range of options in regulating STRs, something the City and the Chamber have been advocating for years. We look forward to collaborating with the city as they navigate these newer waters in the short-term rental arena.

In my next column, I will update you on my Community Pulse presentation and review our FY23 tourism management goals in more detail.

Until then – see you on Aug. 5 and Aug. 10.

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