4 Ways the Rural Policy Forum is Going Local

We are just a few days away from the 2015 Rural Policy Forum in Historic Clarkdale, Arizona. The Arizona Rural Development Council is excited to bring people from across the state together to learn how we can all collaborate and make the communities we call home the best they can be. The Arizona Rural Development Council is a part of the Local First Arizona Foundation, a non-profit sister organization of Local First Arizona, whose goal is to strengthen communities and local economies through growing, supporting, and celebrating locally owned businesses throughout the state of Arizona. To showcase this belief, here are the four ways the Rural Policy Forum is going local at this years conference.


Local Food: At this years conference guests will get to enjoy meals catered by some of the best local restaurants the Verde Valley has to offer. Get ready to come hungry and leave happy!

  • cremaCrema Cafe-If fresh and simple is what you are looking for then Crema Cafe is the place to try. With a suburb breakfast and lunch menu, the dinning options at this cafe are sure to please your palette. With specialties such as Arizona roasted espresso, homemade gelato, cucumber bacon dill sandwiches and beer marinated bratwurst you are guaranteed to have a tasty time. To learn more about Crema Cafe and how they source their produce locally, please visit their website here.


  • sucasaSu Casa Mexican Cuisine- Su Casa restaurant has been providing authentic Mexican cuisine to the people of Clarkdale for several years. Their freshly made smoked carnitas tacos, steak Cancun, and enchiladas are enough to make any mouth water.  Featuring outdoor dining, a full bar, and large private room for parties and groups, Su Casa is a must try for Mexican cuisine enthusiasts, check out their great menu here.


  • natesNate’s Cowboy Cafe-Nate’s Cowboy Cafe is the place to head for good comfort food, mason jar cocktails, and southern hospitality.  If you are craving a juicy steak, slow smoked ribs, or a classic hand-pressed burger in Clarkdale, then Nate’s Cowboy Cafe is your place. The combination of hearty portions and good food has left Nate’s Cowboy Café with great reviews among locals and visitors alike.


Local Recycling: The Arizona Rural Development encourages sustainable behavior in our communities and recycling is an easy first step. We are excited to take that first step by partnering with local non-profit Sedona Recycles for this years forum.

SRRecycling reduces the amount of waste in landfills, saves energy, reduces pollution, conserves natural resources and helps create new jobs. Sedona Recycles is a nonprofit community recycling center that provides recycling information and services to Sedona and the Verde Valley. They have several drop-off locations that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the region. Our goal for the Rural Policy Forum is to create as little landfill waste as possible and Sedona Recycles is helping us do just that. Check out there webiste here to learn more and take a look at the constantly updating counter that tracks the pounds of recycled material collected for 2015 so far!


Local Accommodations: One of the best parts of visiting a rural community is the opportunity to stay in a one-of-a-kind abode. Local inns, bed & breakfasts and motels give you the chance to see something unique and rest comfortably.

ironhorseLocal accommodations like The Tavern Hotel, The Iron Horse Inn, The Cottonwood Hotel and the Pines Motel all offer something different and something special. At the Tavern Hotel chic elegance merges with historic character to create an unforgettable travel experience. The Cottonwood hotel sits on top of historic bootlegging tunnels, and also has one of the only second floor patio areas where guests can gaze at the sunset and watch the busy main street below. If you enjoy historic properties, with all the modern touches, The Iron Horse Inn is the place for you. tavernThe newly renovated rooms hold on to their unique character but integrate modern conveniences, like large flat screen HD televisions. If “going green” is close to your heart you will want to try the Pines Motel. This motel boasts having an Electric Vehicle and Tesla Charging Station and has also been certified green with in room recycle containers.


Local Conference Space: Conference space does not always have to be a luxurious resort or a billion dollar venue. When you think outside the box, you can find interesting and unique CMCspots to hold your next seminar that will certainly leave a lasting impression. We are proud to be partnering with the Town of Clarkdale and using this truly amazing space, The Clark Memorial Clubhouse, to hold this years forum.

The Clark Memorial Clubhouse was built from $100,000 bequeathed to the town by its founder, Senator William Andrews Clark. Opened in 1927, the Clubhouse served as a center for community and private activities. The complex features a Men’s Lounge complete with pool tables, a bar, and a humidor (where the Town Council now meets); the Reading Room, the first library; the Ladies Lounge with an event kitchen; and the Auditorium which served as the theater, dance hall, symphony hall, and gym and also as the location of many community celebrations. Today, the Clubhouse continues to serve the community as a treasured reminder of the town’s heritage.