Paradise Lost. Sedona has long been considered one of America’s most beautiful places. But it is now endangered by short-term rentals, the Arizona legislature and the so-called sharing economy. It’s a phenomenon that is affecting other vacation destinations. But the threat to Sedona is uniquely troubling given AZ SB-1350, a short-sighted law that takes control away from local communities.
To discuss the problem, Democratic Perspective welcomes community activists Ernie Strauch, Sabina Dunton and hotelier Steve Segner. Dunton explains that a an 8 bedroom, 10 bath “single family home” with an additional bunkroom is being built in her neighborhood that will bring unwanted noise and traffic. And others are being planned. She warns, “Any vacant land in residential areas in Sedona, could be used for the same thing. The city cannot stop them.”
Of Sedona’s more than 700 short-term rentals, Segner states. “They haven’t affected hotels business-wise.” But he notes that they affect hotels and the city in other ways. “We have lost housing for employees,” he says. “We have already lost 500-700 people from city as a result of short-term rentals. It’s death by Internet.”