Grand Canyon urbanization will bring more than a grand

A lot of people are feeling déja vu when they hear about a proposed land development in the Grand Canyon. It is similar to the retrospection people delved into when major highways took the place of the good old Route 66.

The Grand Canyon is a well-known American symbol, and people are reluctant to support a development that might break ground as soon as 2017.

This development is a $1 billion project called the Grand Canyon Escalade on land outside of the park boundary. The project would include retail shops, hotels and restaurants. It would also have a gondola that would take people to the bottom of the canyon where there would be a riverwalk and a Native American cultural center.

The land is owned by a Navajo tribe and the Navajo Nation Council has said that they plan to go ahead with the proposal. Since the tribe is basically its own nation-state, there is not much anyone can do about.

Land developers are also ruthless and persistent and will do just about anything to make a few bucks. One group of Italian investors, for example, has been waiting to build on the Grand Canyon since 1991.

The 420 acres of land proposed for development would sit on top of a mesa overlooking the canyon. Some people are worried that the lavish resort-style development would obstruct views of the Grand Canyon, but there are plenty of other unobstructed views of the layered rock for people to look at. It is not called “grand” for nothing.

One of the advantages to Escalade is that it could bring more tourists out to the canyon. People who have never been before may find an excuse to finally visit.

If more tourists are coming anyway, why not let the Native American tribe make a little money off of them as well?

A skywalk near the canyon that was built in 2007 on Hualapai tribe land has already become what many call a success. The tribe offers helicopter tours of the canyon and receives profit. This gives hope to the Navajo tribe to profit off of this development.

President of the Navajo tribe Ben Shelly is in favor of the development because he believes that it will benefit his people. He says many of the people in his tribe are unemployed and this would provide stable employment for many of them. It will also be a source of steady revenue for the tribe.

It would also give people an opportunity to learn more about Native American culture by visiting the land and the Indian cultural center at the bottom of the canyon.

Conservationists are worried about protecting the land and others are worried about sustaining the beauty of the canyon. However, the final decision is up to the Navajo tribe because it is their land.

The most important thing in the argument of whether or not to develop on the Grand Canyon is to respect the Navajo people. This is their land and it is not our role to dictate our concerns and feelings about the project.

If they want to develop their land and make money off of it, more power to them.

It should be an American goal to see the Grand Canyon in all its glory. Eventually though, the Grand Canyon is going to be developed — whether people like it or not.