Sedona is a hot spot for tourism, and many small business owners are saying the short-term rental industry is crushing the hospitality industry right now. Governor Ducey signed a law saying that prevents a city or county from regulating short-term rentals like Air BnB.
Realtors sold a lot of homes in Sedona to people who were not quite ready to retire and live there, and the Realtors told the new owners to use their homes as Air BnB rentals, and the realtors would help them with that.
As a result, hospitality and minimum-wage workers have been priced out of finding a place to live. Many restaurants, hotels, and other small businesses are struggling to find workers. By one estimation, they are thousands short. One restaurant owner has two restaurants, he closes one down twice a week to transfer that staff to the other restaurant to keep it open.
A local doctor may have to shut down his practice because he can’t find anyone to work in front of his office. Steve Segner is the owner of El Portal and has been working on this issue from the beginning, including trying to get the legislation changed. Susan Lisovicz talked with him about all this.
There are tourist destinations all over the US that are complaining about the same thing. Segner said Sedona is worse because of some legislation. He said in about the past year, home prices in Sedona have gone up 40%. He said people are being driven away from buying homes in Arizona because there is no affordable housing.
He said there have been many people that have lost their homes in the area because they can’t afford it. They have to move outside of town, or some families are even living in trailers. The local citizens have complained about this and the traffic that has come from the visitors.
Segner said he is not against Air BnB. He even said he owns a couple himself. We also talked about why it is not a problem in other tourist areas in Arizona.