Grand Canyon Skywalk
Scheduled to open in the fourth quarter 2006
Hualapai Indian Reservation
* Juts out about 70 feet into the canyon,
* Will accommodate 120 people comfortably
* Built with more than a million pounds of steel beams and includes dampeners that minimize the
* Designed to hold 72 million pounds, withstand an
withstand winds in excess of
* Has a glass bottom and sides...four inches thick
As the Arizona Republic noted, the Skywalk is part of an effort by the Hualapai tribe to create a multi-faceted tourist resort and revenue stream not dependent upon casino gaming:
Levi Esquerra, program director for Northern Arizona
University's Center for American Indian Economic Development, said the
Hualapais are one of the few tribes to have a bustling economy without casino
gaming as a linchpin.
"They've been able to exploit their natural beauty and become a tourist destination," Esquerra said. "What we've normally seen in the past between the tribes and national Park Service is like the Blackfeet in Montana appealing to get free access to Glacier National Park. But the Hualapais have a new and aggressive attitude to develop markets on their own land."
The Hualapai's Grand Canyon Resort Corp. already has completed the first phase of an adjoining Indian village, where Navajo, Hopi, Hualapai and Havasupai craftsmen constructed traditional dwellings surrounding an amphitheater that hosts daily Native American dances.
The first phase of a nearby Old West village also has been completed, and plans are on the drawing board to construct a tram from the canyon rim to the floor. Ditto for an anticipated high-end resort and a campground, which will house about
The parts for the Skywalk project were fabricated
in other locations and are being brought to the Grand Canyon site as it is
readied for their installation. Although the last published update on the project (from
The glass bridge preparation process is now available for viewing by appointment only to the media. The visitor's center will be accessible and open to the public beginning first quarter 2007. It is anticipated The Skywalk will open to the public during fourth quarter 2006, with access through a temporary tunnel while the visitor's center is being completed.
Additional photographs of the work in progress can be viewed at the Grand Canyon Skywalk web site: