Why Are McDonald’s Arches Turquoise In Sedona, Arizona?

Why Are McDonald’s Arches Turquoise In Sedona, Arizona?

If you’re traveling through West Sedona along State Route 98A for the first time, the locals will forgive you for doing a doubletake. In fact, they expect it. Visitors from across the world come to Sedona, AZ, every year to experience and explore mountains, mesas, and valleys that are unlike anything else in the world. Though visitors are happy to leave the road and head off on foot to view some of Arizona’s most spectacular sights up close, one of Red Rock country’s most unusual sights isn’t far off the beaten path at all and can be found in a Safeway shopping center.

Only One McDonald’s Has a Turquoise Color Sign in The World

No matter where you are in the world, you know you’ve arrived at one of the more than 36,000 McDonald’s locations when you catch a glimpse of the famed Golden Arches. That is, of course, unless you’re in West Sedona. Visitors passing through Oak Creek Canyon on Arizona’s first designated scenic highway, Route 89A, are treated to the sight of the only Turquoise Arches found on a McDonald’s restaurant anywhere in the world.

The West Sedona McDonald’s was built in 1993. While there is room for debate over the precise shade of the arches (some say they’re teal, others turquoise), it’s clear to all that they’re certainly not the signature yellow that adorns other franchise locations across the globe. The original Sedona arches were opaque and appeared black at night, so in 2015 they received an upgrade with backlighting to make them more visible after dark. Owner-operator Derik Cook donated the original arches to the Sedona Heritage Museum, where they remain on display.

Why Are McDonald’s Arches a Different Color in Sedona?

When your city is home to the type of breathtaking natural beauty you find in Sedona, you take preserving that beauty seriously. When McDonald’s representatives approached the city of Sedona about opening a location in the shopping center, they engaged in discussions with Sedona’s city council and Planning & Zoning commission. Unlike the typical McDonald’s design with its trademark large arches and red and yellow palette, the West Sedona plans were designed to ensure consistency with the Pueblo-revival style of the shopping center without taking away from the surrounding area’s natural beauty.

Whether they knew it or not, their collaboration would lead to building one more attraction for visitors to Sedona, Arizona. Today, tourists from all over the world stop at roadside restaurant not only to grab a bite to eat but to snap a picture with the only turquoise arches in the world.

Sedona, AZ City Ordinances

Sedona’s city ordinances ensure that the city’s beautiful natural landscape is preserved so residents and visitors alike can enjoy it. Once you’ve seen the wide-open skies and stunning red rock mountains for yourself, you understand why building ordinances in Sedona apply such a careful hand. When McDonald’s sought to open the now-famous West Sedona location, the city planner and staff had design review guidelines in place that served as the lodestar of the design process and ensured the site stayed consistent with the character and environment of the city.

Throughout Sedona, city ordinances ensure that structures don’t intrude upon the natural scenery. The building code also assures that completed structures will harmonize with the natural colors of the landscape. For McDonald’s, this meant their trademark yellow arches wouldn’t work in their new location. And though the turquoise arches represented a significant departure from their standard design, they proved the perfect complement to the natural palette of the stunning Southwest city.

Sedona, AZ Building Codes

Sedona’s turquoise arches are unique and reflect the commitment of the city’s residents to be thoughtful stewards of the land. And while Sedona, Arizona’s building codes were drafted thoughtfully to ensure measured and considerate development, similar ordinances are found across the globe to ensure that modern conveniences, historic landmarks, and natural landscapes can co-exist. In fact, travelers worldwide can expect to see other one-of-a-kind McDonald’s locations in quite a few cities.

In Bergen, Norway, you won’t find any arches at all on the white wood-paneled exterior of one of the city’s oldest timber buildings, which houses a McDonald’s restaurant. And, while the golden arches are on prominent display at a Roswell, New Mexico McDonald’s location, the UFO-shaped restaurant is unlike any other location. And visitors to New Hyde Park, NY, will find all their favorite McDonald’s menu items inside a 1795 farmhouse later converted into a 19th-century Georgian mansion before it became home to this Long Island McDonald’s, which advertises itself with only a modest sign with nary an arch in sight.

As in Sedona, these cities put their job of maintaining the land’s beauty and their city’s character so residents and visitors could enjoy it for generations to come.


As a full-service contractor with an award-winning historic preservation team, Loven Contracting is proud to serve clients in Sedona and across Arizona. For 35 years, we’ve partnered with private, non-profit, and government organizations throughout the Southwest to bring their visions to life while respecting the history and deep traditions that give character and beauty to the land. We’re always happy to build a new relationship and would love to hear from you. Whether you are looking for general information, have a question about your construction project, or are interested in working with us as a vendor, contact us today.

Loven Contracting Sponsors the Flagstaff Running Series

Loven Contracting Sponsors the Flagstaff Running Series

Loven Contracting is proud to be the title sponsor of the entire Flagstaff Summer Series of running events in 2021 through our philanthropic outreach program. This local race program is organized by longtime Flagstaff community booster Neil Weintraub and is a cultural touchstone for our community.

Runners from all over the world come to Flagstaff to train in our perfect conditions and high altitude. If Flagstaff were a country and could lay claim to its athletes the way actual countries do in their tallying of Olympic medal counts, it could boast of being a top 10 nation over the course of the last five Olympic cycles. That’s out of over 200 participating countries!

The Flagstaff Running Series reflects this heritage and benefits various programs, including Northland Hospice and Big Brothers Big Sisters. We are honored to support Flagstaff’s heritage, and we look forward to having an even broader community impact!

Register for the Flagstaff Running Series Today!

The Flagstaff Summer Series of running events will kick off with:

Virtual Northland Hospice Run for Life 5K/10K – June 19 – July 3
Machine Solutions Soldiers Trail Run 5K/10K – August 7
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff Half Marathon/5K – August 14
Gaspin’ in the Aspen 15K/5K – August 28
The Sunnyside 5K – October 3

All participants will get a Sweatvac high-tech race shirt. Learn more about the packages or register here.

20 Under 40: Jon Hansen P.E., Vice President of Loven Contracting

20 Under 40: Jon Hansen P.E., Vice President of Loven Contracting

20 under 40 recognizes local business and professional leaders who have achieved success and excelled in their field before the age of 40. These individuals have demonstrated leadership, initiative, and dedication in pursuing their careers or growth of their business as well as the growth and development of our community. We were honored to nominate Jon Hansen P.E., Loven Contracting Vice President, for the Arizona Daily Sun / Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce 20 Under Forty.

Guiding Innovation in Healthcare Construction

Jon Hansen’s technical innovations are demonstrated on a daily basis through the systems and methodologies he and his team have developed and adapted for project planning and management in the complex world of healthcare construction. From the rapid implementation of COVID-19 construction protocols to delivering seamless projects that enable the daily operation of essential healthcare providers in the most remote places in Arizona, his engineering-minded approach to every aspect of these critical projects ensures success.

Jon’s true innovation, however, is in the identification and development of healthcare division team members, recruiting a diverse and talented group of professionals who all operate with the same guiding principles. “Jon expects accountability from his team, but also gives us the room to suggest solutions to project challenges,” said Project Manager Joe Anderson. “He trusts us to get the job done but is always there to ensure that every project meets Loven Contracting’s standards for quality and client service. Follow-through is the name of the game.” Project Engineer Shane Stahly said, “I have grown professionally through Jon’s leadership. It is great to be a part of a team that is constantly elevating everyone, and pushing each person to excel.”

Entrepreneurship and Professional Accomplishments

As a young leader at our firm, Jon has been integral in Loven Contracting’s growth from a respected local business into one of the largest general contracting firms in Northern Arizona. As a company headquartered in Flagstaff, this growth has enabled our firm to employ a growing number of local skilled workers and to foster relationships with valuable small business trade partners, all of which contribute to the economic health of our region.

Jon’s success is truly a product of Flagstaff. He’s a 2007 graduate of Northern Arizona University’s engineering program and a registered Civil Engineer in the State of Arizona. After beginning his career at local firm Plateau Engineering, he was hired as a project manager for Loven Contracting. In the intervening decade, his commitment to integrity, responsibility, and collaboration with team members and clients has enabled a steady career progression.

Today, Jon is the Vice President of Loven Contracting’s growing Healthcare Construction division. Jon spearheaded the formation and growth of this group, first as a project manager, and now as the division head, where he leads Loven Contracting’s project managers, superintendents, and craft in providing construction services and facilities support to multiple major healthcare systems across Arizona.

Jon’s leadership has directly contributed to the success of hundreds of healthcare projects, including recent local work such as the expansion of the Medical Center Central Plant, the remodel of the Flagstaff Medical Center Women’s Infant’s and Children’s Department, and the construction of the new Northern Arizona Healthcare Children’s Health Center.

No event has tested Jon’s leadership capabilities more than the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Within hours of our clients identifying their needs, Jon led the healthcare team in partnership with facilities across Arizona to immediately organize and construct containments outside of patient treatment areas and patient rooms. These temporary facilities have been essential to providing healthcare personnel space to safely don and doff personal protection equipment. Since the initial emergency push for facility safety, Jon and his team have expanded their COVID response services to include the construction of triage and testing centers for higher education and medical offices.

Community Leadership in Northern Arizona

Jon’s leadership of the Healthcare Division has directly contributed to the economic wellbeing of the community through local partnerships with Northern Arizona trade partners and vendors. “A successfully delivered construction project may employ hundreds of people, and when those resources are sourced locally, the project budget goes right back into our schools, businesses, and local charitable groups,” said Mike Loven, president and founder of the 35-year-old company. “Jon and I agree on most things, including the need to ensure an economic future for our community.”

Civic Leadership Within the Community

Jon Hansen, P.E. is a Flagstaff Boys and Girls Club board member and is currently facilitating an expansion of the local club in partnership with key local trade partners Another Plumbing Company, Bronson Electric, and Highlands Floor Coverings. Through donations of time and materials from these Flagstaff businesses and project management support and labor also coming from Loven Contracting, the Boys and Girls Club will have significantly more room for programs in the coming year.

“This expansion will enable us to provide additional resources for 75% more kids in Flagstaff. Our capacity is currently fairly low because of COVID-19 restrictions, but this project will enable us to serve more kids than we did even prior to the pandemic,” said Flagstaff Boys and Girls Club CEO, Mark Cox. “Jon’s been an amazing board member and has volunteered to chair the safety committee as well. Safety for kids is the number one priority for the Boys and Girls Club, and he stepped up to serve in this complex role. In fact, Jon is always ready to help out in any way – he has a heart dedicated to serving the community.”

A Self-Performing Contractor: Save Time, Save Money, and Control Your Project Quality

A Self-Performing Contractor: Save Time, Save Money, and Control Your Project Quality

When Mike Loven founded Loven Contracting, he was the first person on the job site every morning and the last guy to leave every evening after personally inspecting the day’s work. No task was complete if it didn’t meet his requirements for durability, quality, and craftsmanship.

Mike’s drive to deliver the best possible project for every client is at the core of Loven Contracting’s 35 years of building relationships. Today, it forms the basis for our firm’s construction standards. These standards include the Loven Exclusives, a clearly defined and technologically advanced set of practical and regionally-relevant construction techniques, all of which have their roots in decades of practical job site experience.

Directly related to this are Loven Contracting’s capabilities as a self-performing contractor. Loven Contracting offers in-house resources – including skilled craftsmen and various equipment – to self-perform a wide range of construction activities. When needed, this capability offers the following benefits to our clients: 

1. Greater project efficiency and schedule adherence:

Self-performance offers Loven Contracting teams more control over the preconstruction and construction processes, particularly when numerous complex construction activities must be completed simultaneously or to ensure that activities on the critical path are completed in a timely manner.

2. Budget allocation and cost certainty:

During preconstruction, self-performing contractors work closely with design partners and stakeholders to determine best practices for budget maximization. Once the construction phase begins, self-performance services can be provided to avoid potential delays and cost escalation and ensure client satisfaction through delivering a best-in-class product. 

3. Higher quality:

The Loven Contracting Exclusives are a set of construction processes and methods that result in the highest quality projects. We integrate the Loven Contracting Exclusives wherever possible on every Loven Contracting project. We provide mentorship and training in these techniques to every Loven Contracting employee, subcontractor, and consultant, enabling the successful integration of the Loven Exclusives into every aspect of your project. We stand behind our final product with the Loven Contracting Building Relationships Service Plan and are only satisfied when you are satisfied. 

4. Improved job-site safety:

A safe project is an efficient project. As a self-performing contractor, we know which activities on a job-site have elevated risk factors that, when not mitigated, have the potential to cause lengthy delays. Job-site safety is maintained through defined safety protocols and standards that all staff (Loven Contracting employees and subcontractor teams) are required to follow. As a VPP Star-certified firm, Loven Contracting has developed a company-wide safety culture through hazard prevention and control, Job Hazard Analysis, and training. 

Loven Contracting Offers Transparent Self-Performance Costs:

Any self-performance activity is accompanied by an itemized open book cost analysis – including competitive quotes – with each line item clearly defined. This ensures an apples-to-apples comparison for any proposed self-performance activity. 

Veteran Employment at Loven Contracting: For Our Veteran Staff, Service Hasn’t Stopped

Veteran Employment at Loven Contracting: For Our Veteran Staff, Service Hasn’t Stopped

Loven Contracting’s Veteran Staff Above, From Left: Jed Westover / United States Army, Mark Emmich / United States Marines, David Veschio / United States Navy, Ryan King / United States Marines

Video: Larry Hendricks / Coconino Community College

Jed Westover (United States Army) knows what it means to work hard. While on active duty in Iraq, he worked 14-hour days monitoring the performance of tenant units to ensure overall safety and force protection of the forward operating base. When Jed returned from service overseas, he applied this same ethic to his work as a project manager at Loven Contracting, quickly becoming a valuable resource for planning projects with significant logistical components. Jed is now Loven Contracting’s Operations Manager and a key member of the leadership team.

“I definitely use the same skills we use in the army here at Loven Contracting. One of my favorite examples is a project we executed at the very remote Rainbow Bridge National Monument. The logistics involved moving all staff, equipment, and supplies via barge up 40 miles of river in the middle of winter. To successfully deliver this project within the client’s budget and preserve the natural integrity of the area where we were working, we needed to be incredibly precise with our planning. Even when Mother Nature threw a flash flood at us in the middle of construction, we were able to quickly respond with a contingency plan that actually improved the final project result.”
David Veschio (United States Navy) also brings his military skillset to Loven Contracting’s day-to-day operations. As the firm’s Safety Coordinator, he is responsible for implementing our VPP Star-rated safety program. “Consistency, trackability, and adherence apply equally well in the military and safety program. In both worlds, we require a great deal of awareness of your own actions and the activities of individuals around you to maintain a safe workspace. My job is to ensure that everyone knows the rules and gets home safe at the end of every workday.”

Ryan King (United States Marines) joined Loven Contracting as one of our valued interns. Now a project engineer, he’s utilized his military construction experience to rapidly advance his career. Learn more about Ryan’s journey in the video at the top of this page.

Superintendent Mark Emmich has utilized the skills he developed as a Marine throughout his 30+ year construction career. The clear and consistent approach to communication and the high level of personal integrity required in military service has enabled him to specialize in complex medical construction and energy infrastructure projects across the southwest. His most recent success was as Superintendent on a complete remodel of an active behavioral health facility. This project required significant security, safety, and COVID-19 protocols. “We must ensure safety and a high-quality healing environment for every patient and caregiver. We do this through the methodical implementation of our protocols with every trade partner and staff member, every time.”

Thank You For Your Service

Loven Contracting is proud to support the NAU Dental Hygiene Clinic Veteran Appreciation Day. In honor of each of our Veteran staff members, we are sponsoring dental care for Veterans in need.

We Invest in You

We welcome and encourage Veterans to apply for open positions at Loven Contracting.

Full-Time Professional Positions
Craft Positions

Loven Contracting offers industry-best benefits to all employees, including, but not limited to:


Competitive Salary / Wages


Profit Sharing Plan


Health, Dental, and Vision

Loven Contracting offers Medical, Dental, and Vision plans for the whole family – at NO cost to the employee.

Paid Vacation, Sick Leave, and Holidays


VPP Safety Program


Paid Community Service Hours


Employee-Designated Charitable Contribution Fund


Continuing Education Benefits


Pension Program