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United We Stand, Divided We Fall (or Fail)

The three blocks of Allen Street are critically vital to the life of Tombstone.   The reality is if there aren’t any businesses on Allen Street there will not be any Guests or Visitors.  Success and growth for Tombstone will not happen if businesses are closed, or new businesses don’t open to fill vacant spaces, or if the business isn’t relevant to the Historical aspect of the community or the business owners don’t feel that the events and activities of Tombstone support their efforts.

 As a community, whether that is us at the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce or the volunteer’s coordinating and conducting events – we all must be aware and sensitive to the business owner.      

To digress just a tad – The National Rotary Organization has a Four Way test that is really applicable to every situation in life, including conducting business and events in our community.

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Our many community activities must be beneficial for our EXTERNAL CUSTOMERS (our guests and visitors) and they also must be beneficial for our INTERNAL CUSTOMERS (our business owners, and community members).

And if what we are doing isn’t building goodwill and fellowship for ALL concerned – why are we doing it?

One of the basic “DNA elements” common to every successful businesses is MAINTAINING A STRONG CUSTOMER FOCUS.

  • Delivery of high-quality products, services and Guest/Visitor experience
  • Create a strong customer-centric culture
  • Focus the organization’s process and products on customer needs

How do we ensure that our efforts – events and activities are beneficial to our business owners (Internal Customers) and our Guest/Visitors (External Customers)?

Very simple – We ask?   We Evaluate?  We ensure that this is a practice after each event and activity.

The fact is that every event and activity has a lifespan.

Things to consider and evaluate:

  • Does the event encompass Tombstone’s Historical Registry period of 1878-1931?
  • Did the business community benefit? Were business owners surveyed?
  • Were guests/visitors randomly surveyed?
  • Were the objectives of the event met?
  • What went well during the event?
  • What can be improved upon?
  • What ideas/suggestions do you have for future events?
  • Should the event be repeated in the future?


Tombstone PASTPORT Program

The Tombstone Chamber is preparing to launch a PASTPORT Program that will encourage our Guest/Visitors to interact and visit various Chamber businesses.   We regularly reach out and interact with other like Chamber’s of Commerce Organizations.  One of our regular contacts is the Chamber of Commerce in Deadwood South Dakota who has successfully run a PASTPORT program for a couple of years.   Here is a link to there program:

Stay tuned for more details.   This will be fun!


Branding a Community – Maintaining a Vision – Working Together

We’ve all heard the saying “United We Stand, Divided We Fall.”   There is unknown amount of communities, governments, and organizations that have fallen (or failed) because they worked against each other.   Here in Tombstone our guidepost must be to create an authentic historically accurate experience for our Guests/Visitor.

“Imagine an entire city on the National Historic Register.  What you’ll see in Tombstone Arizona today is a careful, accurate and authentic restoration of a historically significant Town in Southern Arizona.  Much of Tombstone’s architecture is unique to the West.  While the mining boom of 1877 brought the likes of Tombstone’s founder, Edward Schieffelin, it also provided the back drop for the “shots heard around the world” at the Gunfight at the OK Corral.  Tombstone Arizona is a living showcase of American history.”


The “Tombstone Arizona” brand is known worldwide.   We’ve all heard the following negative statements:

  • Tombstone is a tourist trap;
  • If I wanted to see commercialized stuff I could’ve gone to Old Tucson;
  • Sales people are pushy;
  • I don’t like being hollered at (hawking) to go on tours;
  • There aren’t enough trashcans;
  • There should be food vendors on the street;
  • There aren’t enough bathrooms;
  • It’s the same stuff over and over.
  • I overheard towns people airing dirty laundry in public about each other or other organizations.

And we’ve also on the other hand heard the good stuff:

  • Great food;
  • Wow, lots of history;
  • Love seeing the people dressed up;
  • Love the feel of a real western town.


It has to be a collective effort from EVERYONE to focus on the solutions and flipping the negative statements to positive statements.

  • Tombstone Arizona is an authentic western town in Southern Arizona with a real history.  It is not a movie set, it is not an amusement park.   Tombstone has business owners that rely on that next Guest/Visitor purchase to help make payroll, rent, insurance, etc.    The staff working in the shops at Old Tucson couldn’t care less if a guest/visitor stops in their shop to make a purchase or moves on to the next shop.
  • Business owners and event promoters/coordinators must continually train their staff on Guest Relations and Customer Service.   Our guests/visitors should always feel welcomed, and never pressured. 
  • Trashcans – Is it possible for the organization’s putting on the event to coordinate with the City to supply a few more 55 gallon drums with liners.  This should be part of the preplanning check lists.
  • Food or retail vendors on the street during an event – this is a touchy subject, as it could possibly hurt our local businesses.  Our local businesses represent not only our Major Employers in Tombstone, they also represent Tombstone’s main tax paying base.  Another element that could possibly be hurt by bringing in Food or Retail Vendors are our local residents (employees) who depend on Guest/Visitor purchases to fund their pay checks.  Also consideration and a full understanding of what it takes to vend something like food is needed.    Vendors must take any and all means to protect food and food contact surfaces from contamination. This requires a canopy and may include up to enclosing a booth with screening and tarps on the ground. This is dependent on your operation, menu, food preparation and handling, and natural circumstances (insects and dust).
  • There aren’t enough bathrooms – As part of the preplanning checklist for an event, the event coordinators should coordinate with the City for cleanliness and their possible assistance with a local porta-potty company to have ample facilities available throughout the event area. Also event coordinators should coordinate with ALL the businesses on Allen Street for public use of their restrooms, if possible.
  • Its’s the same stuff over and over – This is easy to maintain a fall, spring, summer and winter event schedule.  Different activities for each season.   Also ensuring that Tombstone is maintaining its history for the Historical Registry period – 1878-1931 must always be considered.   The span of 1878-1931 encompasses more than cowboys and gunfights.
  • Airing Dirty Laundry – Recently I went into Wal-Mart and overheard a few employees talking about the company and management.   What a turn-off!   The same holds true in our town.  We are a small community that deserves to be successful.  That success comes from working together, not alienating community members, and certainly not airing any issues on a street corner within an ear shot of a Guest/Visitor or other community members.


Changes in Tombstone Chamber of Commerce Membership Dues – Effective July 1, 2015

$30    Associate Member (this is an individual non-business membership)

$75    Nonprofit/Church Organizations

$125 Local Business Membership

$150 Outside of Tombstone Business Membership

Your dues can be paid on line via PayPal.   To accomplish this you must login to your Chamber account.


Upcoming Events

Tombstone at Twilight – Saturday, June 27.   Reminder to all businesses to if possible LEAVE YOUR LIGHTS ON even if you’re not going to remain open!