New Hopi hotel one step closer to opening

KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. - The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority has been given permission to survey trust lands within the Upper Village of Moenkopi for a lateral natural gas line to serve the new Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites.

The Hopi Tribal Council approved the survey application earlier this month, which is a required step before construction of the gas line from the main utility line in Tuba City at the edge of the Hopi Reservation boundary to the hotel. The line must be completed before the hotel can open.

The $13 million hotel and conference center is the first to be built on Hopi tribal land in 50 years, and is scheduled to open in February or March. It is being billed as the gateway to the Hopi Reservation, with the goal of providing information and insight into the Hopi culture to tourists and conference attendees, as well as jobs for tribal members.

A Denny's restaurant will be located next to the hotel, and is planned for a summer opening. The only other hotel on the 1.6-million acre reservation is at the Hopi Cultural Center on Second Mesa.

The new 100-room hotel was the inspiration of the elders of the Upper Village of Moenkopi as "a place of welcome and gathering for visitors to the land of the Hopi."

"It's one project that should be developed," said Council member Wayne Kuwanhyoima, who represents the Upper Village of Moenkopi. "All the villages can look at this and see that we can do it..."

Added fellow Council member and village Representative Leroy Sumatzkuku: "This could be a blueprint for others. This is a step toward progress. The time is right to work with the Navajo" to get the natural gas line in operation so the hotel can open.

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