"Looking eastward from the canyon's popular South Rim, visitors could soon see a hive of construction as workers build restaurants, hotels and shops on a distant mesa on the Navajo Indian reservation," reports Julie Cart.
"The developers also plan a gondola ride from those attractions to whisk tourists to the canyon floor, where they would stroll along an elevated riverside walkway to a restaurant at the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers."
"That project and a second, unrelated development proposed for just south of the canyon have set off alarms at the National Park Service, which sees them as the most serious threat the park has faced in its 95-year history."
The first, tourist-oriented project is in the planning process and will require approval of the Navajo tribal government. The second development, called Tusayan, is the work of Tom De Paolo and the Stilo Development Group, who have been pushing the project for 20 years. Tusayan would be built just outside the boundaries of the park near the South Rim, adding 2,200 homes and 3,000 square feet of commercial space.