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Businesses in Sedona are hoping the Super Bowl pigskin will fill piggy banks in the red rocks.

To that end, Sedona’s Chamber of Commerce has big banners hanging in Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport that tout hiking, American Indian culture, geological history, natural beauty, art and spas in Sedona.

By Susan Johnson
Larson Newspapers

Businesses in Sedona are hoping the Super Bowl pigskin will fill piggy banks in the red rocks.

To that end, Sedona’s Chamber of Commerce has big banners hanging in Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport that tout hiking, American Indian culture, geological history, natural beauty, art and spas in Sedona.

The chamber is also advertising in the official program that’s being sent to all ticket holders for the upcoming 42nd gridiron battle

The game will be played Sunday, Feb. 3, at the University of Phoenix Stadium, in Glendale.

After hearing the slogan, “Come for the game, stay for the week,” there’s a good chance that fans will set aside more than enough time to make an end run from Phoenix to Sedona and beyond.

“The chamber is being proactive in their advertising for this event and we’ve jumped on their coattails,” said Mike Hermen, director of marketing for Pink Jeep Tours. “We’re also advertising in special sections of [Phoenix] Valley publications that are focussed on the event.”

Although Hermen hasn’t seen a spike in bookings yet, there’s still time left on the clock.

More immediate is the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, a national collegiate game played in Phoenix, scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 2.

“The Fiesta Bowl is very good business for us,” said Ed Conway, general manager of the Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed for the Super Bowl.”

With Phoenix Valley hotels requiring a four to five night minimum stay, many of them are not yet sold out, according to Conway, who thinks those hotels will have to fill up before Sedona begins getting the overflow.

Dan Bramwell, former co-owner of the Wild Toucan restaurant, in the Village of Oak Creek, reports that the Fiesta Bowl has a big impact on the food and beverage business.

Hermen agrees.

“Fiesta Bowl is always good,” Hermen said. “Bookings at the tour company jump 30 to 40 percent and folks show up in their team’s colors looking for a good time.”

This year, West Virginia University and the University of Oklahoma are going head to head for the championship.

Both teams have huge followings who like to travel, according to Hermen, and are from relatively colder climates, making a week-long stay in Arizona even more inviting.

Teams for the Super Bowl won’t be decided until two weeks before the big game.

If Brian Bergner Jr., the Sedona Red Rock News sportswriter, is reading his crystal ball right, the Indianapolis Colts will defend their 2007 title against the Seattle Seahawks, a team that has won its last five games in a row.

Challenging his prediction is Michele Bradley, the Sedona Red Rock News photojournalist, who’s betting it will be the New England Patriots against the Green Bay Packers.

All four picks are from climates where winter is making its presence known with ice storms and temperatures well below freezing — a situation that bodes well for attracting tailgate parties to warm Sedona.

The Super Bowl Host Committee estimates that fans and their friends drop $300 to $400 million in the communities surrounding the Super Bowl stadium.

Jennifer Wesselhoff, president and CEO of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, is cheerleading for the city and hopes to help members score an economic touchdown.

“We think concierge is going to be a key target market for us to capture visitation,” Wesselhoff said.


Susan Johnson can be reached at 282-7795, Ext. 129 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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