WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — On March 7, the Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) received a report from LeChee Chapter officials regarding proposed business plans to develop a Lower Antelope Canyon Visitor Center and campground near Page, Arizona.
According to LeChee Chapter officials, the chapter is currently in the process of establishing its limited liability corporation status, has completed a feasibility and archaeological study of the proposed site, iand plans to partner with the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation to manage the visitor center and camping site.
BFC member Council Delegate Tuchoney Slim, Jr. (Bodaway/Gap, Coppermine, K’ai’Bii’To, LeChee, Tonalea/Red Lake), who represents the LeChee Chapter on the Navajo Nation Council, said one of the main concerns regarding the project is tapping into water resources.
Slim commended the chapter for taking the initiative to create the business site plan and said it has been “a long time coming,” and believes it will generate a significant amount of revenue for the Navajo Nation.
BFC vice chair Council Delegate Tom Chee (Shiprock) expressed his support of the business initiative, and provided recommendations to the chapter to aid in ensuring the proposed project is successful and will draw national and world attention.
Chee added that many of the tourists who visit the Navajo Nation are from foreign countries, and the visitor center would provide an opportunity to educate those people on the Navajo people and culture.
BFC chair Council Delegate Seth Damon (Bááháálí, Chichiltah, Manuelito, Tsé Lichíí’, Rock Springs, Tsayatoh) said the chapter’s proposed project is a great idea, but it would be good to look into a larger venture that could capitalize on the tourism in the area.
He added that the chapter should reach out to the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise and start researching what gaming ventures could be developed in the LeChee Chapter area. Damon said the visitor center and campground is a good idea, but they should begin to think of the bigger picture that can create more jobs in the area and increase economic development.
BFC members voted 3-0 to accept the report.