Tag Archives: Hualapai Tribe

CORRECTION Grand Canyon Skywalk Road

Road creates easier trip to Skywalk at Grand Canyon

Officials from the Hualapai Tribe held a ceremonial grand opening of a road that had been a major headache for tourists headed to the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

Crews recently paved the final 9-mile stretch of dirt and gravel road that had tour operators complaining of broken windows, flat tires, missing hubcaps and dust. Motorists now have a smooth drive to the tribe’s premier tourist destination, a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge that gives visitors a view of the canyon floor 4,000 feet below.

The Hualapai Tribe had planned to have Diamond Bar Road completely paved when it opened the Grand Canyon Skywalk in 2007. But a legal challenge from a local dude rancher and a lack of funding postponed it.

The tribe paid Nigel Turner $750,000 to settle the lawsuit. Turner later reopened the case, alleging that his guests were being harmed by construction and that amenities included in the settlement were being left out.

The paving project briefly was delayed when Turner began charging tourists to cross a portion of the road on his property and when human remains were found nearby. The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs ultimately approved a temporary road to bypass Turner’s property, and he reached an agreement with the government in the federal case.

Tourism is key source of revenue for the tribe that once had a casino near the west rim but discovered gamblers largely were unwilling to travel 21 miles over a then-unpaved road to get to it.

Tourist ventures now include helicopter tours, horseback rides, a dude ranch and a one-day whitewater rafting trip on the Colorado River. The tribe also has hosted stuntmen including Robbie Knievel, who jumped a 200-foot-wide chasm of the Grand Canyon in 1999. Illusionist Criss Angel was shackled and locked inside a crate that was suspended over the edge of the Grand Canyon in 2010. Swiss adventurer Yves Rossy flew his jet-propelled wingsuit 200 feet above the canyon’s rim in 2011.

At over 1 million pounds, the Skywalk is about as heavy as four Boeing 757 jets stacked on top of each other. It was perched at the canyon’s edge using an elaborate system of pulleys connected to four tractor-trailers.

Getting to the Skywalk took 2 ½ hours from Las Vegas, four hours from Flagstaff and five hours from Phoenix, though the newly paved road is expected to reduce driving time.

Some 700,000 people each year visit Grand Canyon West, where the main attraction is the Skywalk. All tourists must buy a permit for tribal land, which costs about $42. The minimum cost of a package that includes a stroll on the Skywalk is nearly $81. The tribe doesn’t publicly release revenue from the Skywalk but said it has supported tribal programs and employees.

The Skywalk is about 90 miles east of Grand Canyon National Park, which attracts some 4.5 million people each year.

AIGA's Spicer Was Featured Speaker in London

Valerie Spicer, Executive Director Arizona Indian Gaming Association (AIGA), was a featured panelist at ICE Totally Gaming seminar, “Opportunities in Indian Country” on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, in London, UK.  The seminar is co-produced by ICE Totally Gaming and Victor Rocha of PECHANGA.net in cooperation with Clarion Gaming’s Ewa Bakun.  Spicer is featured on the panel “Tribal Perspectives on internet gaming and overview of the tribal iGaming ventures.”

“I’m very fortunate that Valerie is able to join me at the ICE Totally Gaming conference in London as a panelist for the Opportunities in Indian Country:  Tribal Gaming Seminars,” said Victor Rocha.  “Val brings an extraordinary background in tribal gaming having worked in both the public and private sectors.  She not only has the respect of our industry, she was recently recognized as a Great Woman of Gaming, Proven Leader by Casino Enterprise Management.  I couldn’t ask for a better person to represent Indian Country in Europe.”

ICE Totally Gaming is the biggest gaming exhibition in the world. ICE 8 Conferences provide in-depth opportunities to learn through case studies, interactive discussions and focused networking about the most exciting areas in gaming. The seminars on Opportunities in Indian Country are free to participants at ICE Totally Gaming and designed to educate the European gaming industry about tribal gaming, the opportunities and impacts.

“The European market has conducted internet gaming for many years.  This program is a timely opportunity for us to engage with this market.  We anticipate an excellent exchange of information,” said Valerie Spicer, Executive Director AIGA. “Tribes will get qualified information on internet and social gaming and the potential business opportunities that can result, more importantly we can tell our story to the European market.  Personally I’m looking forward to explaining the difference between commercial and tribal gaming and how the economic impact from tribal gaming ripples through our communities and also positively affects our neighboring communities.”

The Arizona Indian Gaming Association has a membership of 17 tribes representing more than 90% of the Indian people living on reservations in Arizona. AIGA was established November 21, 1994 by Arizona tribal leaders.  The Association is committed to advancing the lives of Indian peoples – economically, socially and politically – so that Indian tribes in Arizona can achieve their goal of self-reliance.  Current membership includes:  Ak-Chin Indian Community, Cocopah Tribe, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Fort Mojave, Fort Yuma-Quechan Tribe, Gila River Indian Community, Havasupai  Tribe, Hualapai Tribe, Kaibab-Paiute Tribe, Navajo Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe,  Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, San Carlos Apache Tribe, Tohono O’odham Nation,  White Mountain Apache Tribe, and the Zuni Tribe.

For more information about ICE, visit http://www.icetotallygaming.com/opportunities-indian-country or ICE Totally Gaming: http://www.icetotallygaming.com/.