Tucked in the back of a building in the middle of West Sedona is one of the city’s most outgoing entrepreneurs, not to mention the best place to grab a hot dog.
It can be difficult to spot for some, placed behind a timeshare company’s visitor center.
Once you enter, however, the rustic charm and sense of community abound. Newspaper clippings and photos fill some walls, while a line of every possible condiment adorn others.
Senor Bob’s Hot Dogs is home to burgers and dogs that are fast, cheap and, best of all, good. The same love and dedication for good food has also been owner Craig Nimtz’s focus on the community.
Nimtz started the business in 2002 as an addition to his Mexican-style furniture store, the Crooked Chair. It was open four hours a day and made enough money to pay the bills and labor.
Along the way and through several locations, he said his vision has been encouraged by the faith of other residents. He received several gifts to help get started, many without the expectation of reimbursement. Nevertheless, Nimtz has repaid those who believed in him and now looks to pay it forward to other members of the community.
One of his original investors is where he got his restaurant’s name. Robert S. Larson Sr. took a chance on him, he said. Once his landlord, Larson was also the cofounder of the Sedona Red Rock News along with his wife, Loretta.
Nimtz has hosted hot dog-eating contests, car shows and more, both in conjunction with other events as well as right out the back of his lot, including a street fair.
“I’m enjoying the community,” he said, while contemplating coordinating future events both established and new.
The business is looking to expand as well. Nimtz said he hopes to have a food truck soon, which will feature such new additions as pulled pork. As far as new food goes, Nimtz seemed focused on a sweet tooth, bringing in frozen yogurt as well as beignets, or small, donut-like pastries. Of course, there will be coffee to round it out. Finally, he hopes to have a liquor license in a couple months, a process he said was fairly smooth.
The same community he gives so much to is the reason for his continued success, he said. The restaurant is rated No. 1 on Yelp and No. 2 on TripAdvisor, accomplishments he said were the direct result of locals and visitors appreciating the outgoing charm of the establishment.
One of the more difficult things to maintain as a business owner was talented employee retention, Nimtz said. Throughout Sedona’s history, bringing in young, working adults has been a challenge. Affordable housing is often to blame, but with high average home prices and limited space, both upward and out, the city is left with little to do. In addition, the sea of restaurants in the area creates an incredibly competitive market to hire in.
Even so, one never notices when placing an order, with fast service coordinated by Nimtz and his genuine smile and humor. Senor Bob’s may be just one small restaurant in a city of many, but its activism in the town is a great example of how many longtime residents have found a way to give back through their business.
How to Start a Business in Sedona
Starting a business is an exciting proposition, but it’s also an incredibly challenging undertaking. The city of sedona has a business license requirement to conduct business within city limits. If you are located outside the city limits and have a city of Sedona tax liability you are also required to obtain a business license.
To apply for a license, contact the Sedona Community Development Department, 102 Roadrunner Drive, or download the two-page application from sedonaaz.Gov. If you are constructing a new business building, the city has zoning laws, building and tenant occupancy permits, and sales tax regulations. For questions regarding allowed uses and other requirements, contact the Community Development department at (928) 282-1154.
Arizona Commerce Authority’s Small Business Services Division offers a step-by-step checklist to start, operate, and grow a business in Arizona in a downloadable document.
10 Steps to Success
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers these “10 Steps to Starting a Business,” which are explained in more detail on SBA.gov
Write a business plan: Most successful businesses map out how the business will operate, products and services that will be offered, how the business will be managed and a loose examination of the local and regional market. Use tools and resources to create a business plan available on the Arizona Commerce Authority and U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.
Get business assistance and training: Take advantage of free training and counseling services, from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to expanding or relocating a business.
Choose a business location: Get advice from the Sedona Community Development department or the Sedona Chamber of Commerce on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.
Finance your business: Find government-backed loans, venture capital and research grants on the SBA website to help you get started.
Determine the legal structure of your business: Decide which form of ownership is best for you, whether a sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company, corporation, S corporation, 501(c) nonprofit or cooperative.
Register a business name, aka a “doing business as” name, then register your business name with the Arizona Corporation Commission. Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service and your Arizona Department of Revenue The state also requires businesses notify the public about the new business or nonprofit with a legal notice, pirnted three times in a newspaper of record.
The Sedona Red Rock News and The Camp Verde Journal are both newspapers of record and can print these legally required notices for a nominal fee. Call (928) 282-7795 when you are ready to publish your legal notice.
Register for state and local taxes: Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.
Obtain busines licenses and permits: Get a list of federal, Arizona, Coconino County or Yavapai County and Sedona licenses and permits required for your business.
Understand employer responsibiliTtes: Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.
Find local assistance: Contact your local SBA office, the city of Sedona and the Sedona Chamber of Commerce to learn how to maintain and grow your business.