August 27, 2005
Grand Canyon to Get Glass-Bottomed Walk
PHOENIX -- Great views "” and plenty of goosebumps for those afraid of heights.
An American Indian tribe with land along the Grand Canyon is planning to build a glass-bottomed walkway that will jut out 70 feet from the canyon's edge.
The horseshoe-shaped skywalk, expected to open in January, is part of the Hualapai Tribe's $40 million effort to turn 1,000 acres of reservation land into a tourist destination that will also feature an Indian village and Western-themed town.
The tribe's reservation is some 200 miles by road to the west of the section of the Grand Canyon National Park that most tourists visit.
The walkway, with a glass bottom and sides, will be supported by steel beams and will accommodate 120 people, though it is designed to hold 72 million pounds, said Sheri Yellowhawk, chief executive officer of the Grand Canyon Resort Corp., the tribal-owned company that is overseeing the project.
"You're basically looking 4,000 feet down. It's a whole new way to experience the Grand Canyon," Yellowhawk said.
Admission will be $25.
The project is still seeking an insurer, said architect David Jin, who said he came up with the skywalk idea while visiting the canyon in 1996.