Business | Law

Blog: Hualapai Tribe locked in Grand Canyon business feud





A recap of the legal and business drama facing the Hualapai Tribe of Arizona and the Grand Canyon Skywalk:
At the Grand Canyon Skywalk, tourists can pay about $90 to shuffle along a horseshoe of glass that extends over the rim’s edge, wearing special booties to avoid scratching the surface as they peer 4,000 vertical feet down at the Colorado River. For such a snazzy feat of engineering, you would expect an equally fancy visitor’s center: maybe a gift shop with overpriced calendars or a kitschy photo booth, but at least restrooms with running water and electricity.

But no! Four years after the Hualapai Tribe opened the Skywalk, the visitor’s center remains a construction zone as legal wrangling with the attraction’s developer, David Jin, continues. In early March, the tribal corporation that runs the Skywalk declared bankruptcy to avoid paying Jin millions of dollars. And days earlier, the tribe seized another major tourism project from its non-native owners. The backhanded business maneuvers have tribal and outside observers worrying that future investors will be discouraged from doing business with not just the Hualapai, but tribes around the country.

Get the Story:
Emily Guerin: Sovereignty and the Skywalk (High Country News 3/25)

Related Stories:
Law Article: Hualapai tribal bankruptcy case raises new issues (03/14)
Hualapai Tribe recalls leaders from office in business dispute (3/8)
Hualapai Tribe seeks bankruptcy protection in business dispute (3/6)
Hualapai Tribe takes control of another business on reservation (3/4)
Hualapai Tribe to appeal decision in $28.5M business dispute (2/27)
Sherry Counts: Hualapai Tribe remains open for all business (2/25)