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Tramway proposed for the Grand Canyon

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Tramway proposed for the Grand Canyon

Postby jspeigl » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:33 pm

No kidding. The Navajo Tribe is trying to outdo the Hualapai Tribe, the builders of the skywalk, with a tramway from the rim to the river.

Navajo President Ben Shelly recently signed a nonbinding agreement that lists the gondola, a restaurant, a half-mile river walk, a resort hotel and spa and RV park among the attractions of a proposed development that he says will bring up to $70 million a year in revenue to the tribe and 2,000 jobs to the impoverished reservation.


http://news.yahoo.com/navajo-nation-eyes-grand-canyon-development-170019476.html
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Re: Tramway proposed for the Grand Canyon

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:59 pm

I think they should put a via ferrata on Shiprock next.
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Re: Tramway proposed for the Grand Canyon

Postby Clark_Griswold » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:35 am

If they succeed in building this monstrosity, it won't access the best parts of the canyon, have the best views, or impinge upon the views most people have from the south rim, but it will affect the east rim views a little. I can't see it really producing that many jobs, and I question the economics of the venture since the area is outside the main tourist routes, but close enough that some make make the detour. It seems to me that people could just charter mules or a chopper ride to the bottom and spend as much or get more, but that is me.
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Re: Tramway proposed for the Grand Canyon

Postby jdzaharia » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:18 pm

I am reminded of this quote by Theodore Roosevelt:

"In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. I want to ask you to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is. I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it."
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Re: Tramway proposed for the Grand Canyon

Postby TyeDyeTwins » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:49 pm

jdzaharia wrote:I am reminded of this quote by Theodore Roosevelt:

"In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. I want to ask you to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is. I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it."


+1 those are some great words...too bad a developer ginds his teeth, and screams in agony when they hear things like that. Amazing how developers are always looking to destroy nature in order to sequre a profit. Tramways, homes, chairlifts, ect....they do the same to the Wasatch Range here in Utah...every year there is some new proposed project....developers will not be happy until all of nature is destroyed.
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Re: Tramway proposed for the Grand Canyon

Postby MoapaPk » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:14 pm

Don't the Navajos have control only on the eastern GC by Marble Canyon, and there just to the river? I don't think that would really attract many people to a tramway. I'm guessing that this is really a political bargaining chip. Though that is a really poor area, and they are probably grasping for any economic good news. I would think the squabbles over the skywalk (Hualapais and developers) would give them pause.
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Re: Tramway proposed for the Grand Canyon

Postby Alex Wood » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:20 pm

It is unbelievable that they would think about this. The LCR is a sacred place in
Navajo Culture and the Sipapu Spring (located more upstream of the confluence) is even more sacred. Yet, while they propose this idea, they are still battling Snowbowl on expansion and snowmaking on a sacred mountain. I guess they only respect their land when when there is no personal financial gain. Sure they need the money, but this is a little crazy.
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Re: Tramway proposed for the Grand Canyon

Postby surgent » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:58 pm

My money says it'll never happen. The vast vast vast vast vast majority of people to the GC go to the South Rim because it's relatively close to Flagstaff. The Skywalk on the Hualapai Nation has the advantage of being "kind of" close to Las Vegas. They gear their advertising to Las Vegas nearly 100%. There are no large cities nearby where the Navajo Nation intends to build this tramway, except Flagstaff.

The Navajo Nation itself has an amazing array of canyons and mesas, some that compare to the GC in overall beauty. But much of the nation is hard to reach or closed outright. If the Navajo Nation people were to spend the money on paving 300 miles of roads up there to reach these spots, tourism would skyrocket. But then all those tourists would be in their backyard, not on some far-off corner of their lands. Maybe they want the tourism dollars, just not the tourists.

(I am being cynical. Actually, the Navajo Nation is more tourist-friendly than most reservations in the state, most of which rather you not be there at all. But this plan has "bad idea" written all over it.)
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Re: Tramway proposed for the Grand Canyon

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:57 pm

I read a few comments on the news article left by individuals identifying themselves as Native Americans. Seems that many Native Americans feel fleeced by the the large resort/casinos that have been built on their reservations. One recurrent argument is most of the money is never seen by the tribal members and ends up in the hands of developers and/or unscrupulous tribal leaders. Of the 2000 jobs created, you can bet these will all be service industry jobs, not high wage jobs.

In Seattle, the owners of the Seahawks and Mariners football and baseball teams twisted the arms of politicians to have two new stadiums built for a cost of 1 billion dollars to the tax payers (even though the project was rejected by voters TWICE). They cited the many jobs that would be created. Turns out the average wage of these jobs was something like $7.50 an hour in a city where a studio apartment costs around $1,500 a month.

Seems like the development on the res would be the same thing. Non tribal construction/architecture/consulting/engineering firms would reap the vast benefit of the project while the long term jobs would be low paying. As the song says, "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

A digression, but I wonder if Native Tribes have looked into renewable energy projects to produce long term income: wind/solar farms, alage farms for bio fuel, etc. Seems they have an abundance of the land/wind/sun for these types of projects.
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Re: Tramway proposed for the Grand Canyon

Postby Scott » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:07 pm

Don't the Navajos have control only on the eastern GC by Marble Canyon, and there just to the river? I don't think that would really attract many people to a tramway.


The Navajo Nation claims (and apparently has) ownership of the east side of Marble Canyon all the way from Lees Ferry to the Little Colorado. Even the NPS says that you must have a Navajo permit to hike anything within the park over in that section.

Other areas of the Navajo Nation do contain NPS lands as well (Canyon de Chelly, Navajo National Monument, etc.) and the Navajo do have much control over those areas and are allowed to develop them, graze them, live in them, etc., especially Canyon de Chelly.
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