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More Californians making Arizona their quick getaway destination amid strict lockdown orders

Posted at 4:22 AM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 07:22:58-04

SEDONA, AZ — With California under much stricter lockdown orders, many Californians are coming to Arizona to get out of the house and enjoy our beautiful state.

A Sedona business owner, Carl Johnson, tells ABC15 the influx of tourists from California has jumped amid the pandemic. Normally 15-20% of his business is from California. On Memorial Day weekend and in weekends prior, those numbers are more like 60-70%, he says.

The Morin family says it’s been hard to stay at home, not able to do anything. It’s the sentiment shared by many Californians who are still under stay-at-home orders. Seeing Arizona being “open” made them want to get away.

"I think our whole frame of mind has changed...being outdoors and seeing somewhere we've never seen before," says Morin.

The influx of visitors from our neighbor state also had a good impact on some businesses, including those owned by Johnson in Sedona.

He says his holiday-weekend sales were almost 30% higher than the previous one. It’s a welcome sign, especially when Sedona depends on international tourists, not necessarily Californians.

“That whole market is gone,” Johnson says.