First the Skywalk commercialized the Grand Canyon's West Rim (and caused conflict between developers and the Hualapai Indian Nation). Now a proposed resort hotel, spa, RV park, restaurant, and even an aerial tram might draw the masses to the East Rim, an area that has been a haven for backcountry adventurers.
The Navajo nation owns a 27,000-square-mile expanse abutting the Grand Canyon's eastern side, and it wants to draw tourists and their checkbooks to the area. The multi-faceted development is projected to bring in $70 million per year in revenue, as well as provide roughly 2,000 jobs.
"We want people from all over the world to visit Navajo land and the Grand Canyon," Navajo President Ben Shelly told the Associated Press (via Boston.com). "We have many of the world's wonders in our midst."
But the National Park Service, environmental groups, and some Navajo citizens decry the building project and its potential $1 billion expense.
"This is just one more thing that is going to chip away at the solitude of the area, and it's really not the appropriate type of development for that area," Alicyn Gitlin of the Sierra Club said in the Associated Press article.