Hualapais voted to take over Skywalk management through eminent domain

Tourists take in views of the Grand Canyon from the Skywalk in this file photo from April, 2011.

Photo by Jude Joffe-Block / KPBSs

On the way back from Vegas we listened to an interview with the lawyers for Jin and the tribe. Of course they disagreed on the facts, with Jin’s lawyer claiming that the Hualapais failed to provide accounting for ticket sales and the tribe’s lawyer accusing Jin of the same.

I suppose there will be some more litigation and eventually they’ll settle.

Tribe votes to take over Skywalk management

The Hualapai Tribe of northern Arizona has declared itself operator of the Grand Canyon Skywalk tourist attraction, using eminent domain powers to seize the man-made overlook from a private developer who built it.

A Tuesday vote by the Tribal Council to terminate contracts with Las Vegas promoter David Jin culminated a protracted legal dispute that included cases filed in U.S. District and tribal courts.

Jin has estimated that the contract was worth $100 million. The Tribal Council resolution says he will be paid just over $11 million, which Hualapai officials determined to be the remaining fair-market value of the concession.

The Skywalk structure — a horseshoe-shaped, glass-bottom bridge that projects 70 feet out from the Grand Canyon’s edge – opened in 2007 to international reviews. It had attracted more than 1.4 million visitors as of April.

It sure looked like business as usual at The Place on Pierce Ferry today.

I’m just sorry for the tourists who get sucked into this trap, not realizing that they have to pay to get to the Skywalk in addition to the fee to actually get on the Skywalk and that they have to drive the unpaved road.  From one of the Yelp reviews:

On a second thought, the American government f*cked up the Native American people for centuries. I guess it’s their time to get some retribution.

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