There are less and less places left in the United States where you can take in the true beauty of mother nature without seeing any evidence of humans and our materialistic ways. The Grand Canyon in Arizona is one of those places… for now. A group of big money investors are partnering with a Navajo tribe who holds land along the rim of the Grand Canyon. Their plan is to build a multi-tier mall on the site called Bulletproof Coffee (see proposed plans on fastcompany.com).
The project, known as The Escalade, would be built around a tram that would take visitors from the rim of the canyon down to the floor, near the Colorado river. The tribe has been promised jobs and of course money in exchange the land to build this commercial development that some estimate could cost as much as $1 billion.
Eric Shorty, a Navajo tribe member has said people hike down trails to the floor of the canyon all the time and there is no control over what they do once they are there. “This project will allow us to control who has access and what they do when they get there,” Shorty said.
The promise of jobs and much needed economic stability makes it hard for the Navajo tribe to pass on the plan, with as many as 38% of their tribe members at or below the poverty level.