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CHAMBER NEWS: Business down in Sedona in competitive travel market

Michelle Conway (Submitted photo)

Michelle Conway (Submitted photo)

Currently, our local economy is one of our most significant challenges. Small businesses, from restaurants to tour companies, tell us that sales and foot traffic are down, for some, the worst in years. The latest Smith Travel Research Report for the first week of January shows traditional lodging occupancy was up compared to last year. Still, average daily room rates were down more than 9%, indicating hotels had to reduce rates to maintain or slightly boost occupancy. 

Supporting that idea, a stat called RevPAR, which measures overall profitably on a room-by-room basis, was down 2.5% in early January compared to last year. Meanwhile, 44% of surveyed Chamber members believe a lack of destination marketing is hurting their business in an increasingly competitive travel marketplace.

The Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau is focused on assisting our community and have actively implemented various programs and events to support our businesses. We’re adding new Chamber partners all the time and continue to provide numerous opportunities for you to connect and network with others.

On Feb. 7, expert Ben Shor will lead a workshop on QuickBooks Online, a practical business management tool that needs a great advisor to walk you through its many advantages. Ben will show you how to set it up, run reports, download transactions and add customers and vendors. He will take questions as he explores what makes this versatile software so valuable.

Don’t miss the ‘Community Pulse’ on Feb. 9 from 4-6 p.m. at the Sedona Performing Arts Center on the Red Rock High School campus. This always-free public forum features community leaders giving you in-person updates on timely topics and taking your questions. RSVP at

If you can’t be there to share an idea or ask me Chamber-related questions, my next Coffee Chat is on Feb. 16 at 8:30 a.m. at our Administrative offices at 45 Sunset Drive. I love these unstructured conversations over coffee and hope to see you then. Space is limited, though, so RSVP at

On Feb. 22 at 9 a.m., Partners Service Director Erin Bruce hosts a Benefit Review. As a Sedona Chamber partner, are you taking advantage of all the services your membership offers? Did you know you can share social media content on Chamber platforms?

On Feb. 28 at 8:30 a.m., experts from the Yavapai College, Pinnacle Bank and the Verde Valley Regional Economic Organization will present effortless ways to obtain financial assistance for your business.

Peeking ahead to March, our second annual International Women’s Day luncheon on March 8 is filling up fast. Individual tickets are already gone, though table sales are still available. This event at the Poco Diablo Resort features inspiring keynotes, leadership awards and an excellent meal. This year, proceeds benefit the Helen Wolfe Scholarship for local women whose education has been interrupted.

All these events require RSVPs at We are excited to connect with you at some or all of these events.

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