Grand Canyon could get $1bn entertainment complex with hotel and conference rooms

A $1bn (£672m) entertainment complex comprising a hotel, meeting rooms, shopping mall, restaurants and IMAX cinema is being mooted for Arizona's famous Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon, Arizona (©iStockphotos)
Grand Canyon, Arizona (©iStockphotos)

The complex would form part of a 420-acre attraction known as the Grand Canyon Escalade on the edge of the Navajo Nation reservation where the Colorado River meets the Little Colorado River.

Developers Confluence Partners have also drawn up plans for a gondola tram that would take visitors 1.6 miles to the canyon floor in ten minutes, a cultural centre, and an elevated riverwalk with a food pavilion, tramway station and terraced seating area.

It is anticipated the attraction would welcome between two and three million visitors a year and generate up to $450m (£303m) annually for the local economy.

The proposal has some support from members of the Navajo tribe, but has also been met with opposition.

A recent report from environmentalist group American Rivers listed the Grand Canyon's segment of the Colorado River "at threat of environmental degradation" as a result of the plans. "The massive amount of construction, noise and pollution would irreversibly harm the fragile heart of the canyon," it said.

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