Job—rich but housing—poor: The dilemma of a Western Amenity Town

Patricia Gober, Kevin McHugh, D. Leclerc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Arizona State University Sedona, Arizona, an amenity town that trades on intangible quality-of-life attributes like spectacular scenery, the arts, and its nonmetropolitan location, has a conflict between low-wage employment catering to its tourist sector and expensive housing for its affluent residents. Many of those who work in Sedona do not live in the community. This study, based on a survey of 286 employees, shows that workers who live in Sedona do not have incomes that are significantly higher than commuters from the outside, but they live in housing that is almost twice as expensive. Employees who live in Sedona pay dearly for housing in order to be near jobs, natural beauty, and the cultural ambience of an amenity town. Commuters, on the other hand, incur high travel costs but enjoy cheaper housing and the lifestyle of small towns and rural areas. The emergence of amenity environments and long-distance commuting in Sedona is symbolic of the increased differentiation of nonmetropolitan landscapes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-20
Number of pages9
JournalProfessional Geographer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1993


  • Amenity towns
  • Jobshousing imbalance
  • Nonmetropolitan commuting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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