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The historic downtown strip is only about 3 blocks long, however since its picturesque quaint old town days, rapid growth has spawned the development of strip malls, upscale restaurants, hotels, motels, jeep rides, gift shops, etc. up and down Highway 89A and 179. The beautiful red rocks are still there in the background, but the overall feeling of nature is being overshadowed by commercialization. If you plan to take a hike back into the canyons, expect to pay to park if you can even find a space. Illegally parked cars will be ticketed. This place is crowded and there are always lots of people on the shorter trails. Traffic tickets are also a significant income source for the city. Sedona does not collect property tax on their many multimillion dollar houses and that revenue loss is offset by income from tickets and fines generated by their 32 member police staff. Merchants are complaining that the strict overzealous police enforcement is hurting their business. I have to agree, sudden speed drops such as 40 to 15, 25 to 5, and some unbelievably low inappropriate speed limits, accompanied by hidden police, all seem like revenue generating speed traps to me. Additionally, there are so many traffic circles one after another with confusing double and single lanes, pedestrian and bicycle right of ways, making driving hazardous for people unfamiliar with them. In summary for those who have never visited Sedona before, it is not like the old western movies, prepare for the commercialization that I have described. Have an expensive meal, get a parking or speeding ticket, get lost or have a wreck in a traffic circle and imagine what it used to be like here. As for myself, I have vacationed in Sedona numerous times since the 70’s and definitely DO NOT plan to return.

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