Hualapai Antics at the Grand Canyon.

I read this article about the Skywalk created at the Grand Canyon by the Hualapai Tribe. This Skywalk was created to allow visitors to have something new and exciting to see at the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon. The main reason the Hualapai Tribe decided to do this was to help boost their struggling economy. The Hualapai hope that this new attraction will cause more people to want to come and take part in the Grand Canyon experience on the Southern Rim. Though this seems beneficial for the Hualapai, environmentalists have expressed their dislike for the Skywalk. They say that it tarnishes the beauty and natural look of the Grand Canyon.

I think that the Skywalk is a great idea. It does change the look of the Canyon where it stands, but allows many people to see a part of the Grand Canyon that was almost impossible to see before. I think that this is a wonderful thing! It should, in my opinion, increase the demand of that tourist site. I think that providing something like this increase the demand by providing better sight-seeing possibilities is a very smart economic move. Also, I think that no matter what venture one chooses to take, there will always be people who will want to take issue with what is being done. Often times environmentalists are more concerned about providing negative externalities than with trying to see the benefits of what is being done. I feel that this is the case with the Skywalk. It will only enhance peoples experience at the Grand Canyon--and that is a great thing.

Click HERE to learn more about the Hualapai and the Skywalk.


Jackson said...

I'm with the environmentalists until they can come up with another color for the skywalk. Pink is not complimentary to the Grand Canyon. Once they remedy the color, I agree that it is a positive more for the Hualapai economy.
The problem that is occurring with the skywalk is no different than the "Green" movement that we see sweeping our country. Green and productivity do not go hand in hand. I am not completely for or against either side of the issue. Like almost every other conflict, a happy medium must be found.
The skywalk appears to have found that middle ground. Its invasiveness to the environment is minimal and it creates wealth for a struggling economy.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Hunter for grammatical errors.

Personally, I think this is a cool thing that I will go and see.

Economically, I think it is also a decent idea. Although, I wonder if they have some sort of barrier to entry to keep someone else from doing the same thing. To the extent that the environmentalists provide the barrier to entry, the tribe can expect this to be very profitable.

As to the environmentalists, I think this is another example of an inflexible, all-or-nothing attitude. I agree, that in principle, this is a horrible idea. But, I also recognize that my visceral reaction is really infantile - the Grand Canyon is simply too big for this to make any marginal difference to just about anyone experiencing it in other ways.

mason said...

I too agree that this is a neat idea. I personally have not been to the Grand Canyon. Never really had the desire to go. But adding something like this, will make it more interesting. My point is that building this skywalk will bring people like me, who before had no desire, to visit and feel the full effect of the Grand Canyon. This has caught my attention and I am sure there are many others who feel the same way.
The tribe has discovered a way to help many people appreciate our natural wonders, while making it economically profitable for them. Good for them!
Environmentally, there will always be some who is not satisfied. Environmentalists have done a lot of good, but sometimes their intentions are not very clear. I see the skywalk as something that will help everyone enjoy the beauty and natural look of the Grand Canyon, not take it away. Dr. Tufte is right when he said, "the Grand Canyon is too big for the skywalk to make any difference".

Eric said...

Well aren’t we a bunch of hard nosed conservative business students? If this were more of a public forum I think the comments would be somewhat different. But seeing this is an MBA class, I do agree with my classmates. Adding one building along a 270 mile canyon stretch really is not going to affect the landscape.

Jessica said...

I think that the Skywalk is a wonderful idea. I have visited the Grand Canyon several times and each time it has been the same hole in the earth. It is beautiful and amazing, but it has not changed much. The new addition should be a great attraction to this site in the middle of the desert. What good is the beauty of the Grand Canyon if we cannot experience it? I have noticed that the tribes are some of the most environmentally conscientious groups of people in this country; and if they feel it is okay, then they have my vote. Perhaps we should just not allow anyone to look at the canyon with sunglasses because the reflection kills the greenery at the bottom. Where will the environmentalists stop?

bend said...

I also believe this will be a great idea. What the environmentalist need to realize is the size of the grand canyon and the size of the skywalk. It may tarnish the view a little bit, but the advantages in my opinion outweigh the costs on this one.

William said...

Dr. Tufte,
I too think that this is a great idea. I think that if anything it helps people appreciate the beauty of the Grand Canyon and have respect for the environment. Also I think that this was a creative way for the tribe to bring in extra money. Many tribes suffer from lack of money and education. I think this can help out. Overall I think that this is a good thing!

Dr. Tufte said...

It's a year down the road, and I've heard nothing bad about this.