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.
Photo Credit: tripadvisor.com
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.
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.”