Gas Pains

Today I saw the film Revenge of the Electric Car. While it’s not a super action thriller or romantic comedy, it held my interest because it focused on several things that do captivate me:

  • successful, driven people
  • business and
  • innovation

If you like any of those constructs, or you like the idea of electric cars, make sure you see Chris Paine’s film.

From different perspectives, the real people playing themselves in the film all express that the electric car is inevitable.

I want to talk about the economic need–not just to families trying to scrape by on fewer dollars that are worth even less and gas prices destined to go up-up-up–but to the fabric of our economy as a whole. To do that, I’ll focus on a microcosm and let you extrapolate to the macrocosm.

Here in Northern Arizona, in Sedona and the Verde River Valley, we are largely a tourist-based economy. A little over half of Sedona’s revenue comes from sales tax. Since there is no grocery tax in Sedona, a great deal of that sales tax is presumed to be collected from tourists buying art, souvenirs and restaurant meals. Another 12 percent or so comes from bed tax, together with sales tax, comprising about two-thirds of the city’s income.

Gasoline prices spur ecotourismBut Sedona isn’t like Disney World or the Vegas Strip. Most people don’t fly here.  Sedona is, by and large, a driving destination. When gasoline prices jump, tourism slumps. So the higher automobile fuel is, the lower city revenues are.

Since there is no city property tax here, streets, parks and the swimming pool are supported mostly by sales tax collections…which brings us back to tourists. Sure, there is some county and state shared revenue, even some gasoline tax money. But close to two-thirds we generally attribute to travelers.

Electric Cars

This is where electric cars might save the world. You may not be ready to pop $100,000 for a Tesla, but you might spend $25,000 for something not quite as sexy if that choice helps not only the environment but also your gas pains.

If you spend $60 a week to commute to work, and a long weekend costs you $300 in gas, the notion of going electric becomes…well, electrifying…you might convert.

I’m personally fascinated by the quiet. I could, while driving, ask my smartphone assistant to send an email without her ordering me a plate of gray snails.

Isn’t quiet one of the reasons you’re drawn to ecotourism? Don’t you feel anchored in the silence of nature? Even the roar of the sea and the winds sweeping through the mountains are quiet in their own way…less cacophony, perhaps. Suddenly, saving the environment is like saving yourself.

If you’re on our Verde Guide portal looking for an eco-friendly hotel and a green restaurant, wouldn’t you want to drive here, or drive around when you get here, in a vehicle that’s so quiet your lover beside you can hear your thoughts?

Maybe it’s time to ‘pass gas’ and go all Ed Begley Jr. with a really green vehicle. And you can get that in any color you want!


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3 Responses to “Gas Pains”

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