Hopi Tribe Economic Development Corporation hotel construction underway in Clarkdale
CLARKDALE — Construction is well underway for a new hotel near Tuzigoot National Monument that is funded by the Hopi Tribe Economic Development Corporation.
The new hotel is planned for the corner of South Broadway and Sycamore Canyon Road. It will be a 44-room, two-story lodge with the intention of immersing travelers in the world of the Hopi culture.
HTEDC said they are hoping to have the hotel up and running by late 2023 or early 2024.
The organization said they chose the location because they were looking for a piece of property that embodied their intention of highlighting the culture and history of the Hopi Tribe.
“Tuzigoot is right across from the property, which has a historical connection to the Hopi,” said Lucinda Smiley, Hopi Tribe Economic Development Corporation CEO said at the groundbreaking.
The hotel will sit on a bluff and have a view of Tuzigoot and the community of Jerome.
The hotel will boast a conference room, exercise room, small restaurant and an art gallery with authentic Hopi artwork. The building will have a light white-washed look like a Hopi house, and have a large stained glass window of the sun. Hopi music will be piped into the public areas and musicians will be invited to perform.
HTEDC said one of the focuses of the group is creating a space for Hopi artisans to sell their artwork.
The group hopes Taawaki Inn will create jobs for the Hopi community.
Smiley said the hotel is designed to share the Hopi culture and help people learn about the tribe’s history. The corporation plans to host Hopi lectures by artists and offer social dances on the back patio for the guests to enjoy.
In addition to the Taawaki Inn, HTEDC also owns the Muyawki Inn in the Village of Oak Creek, the Hopi Cultural Center Motel at Second Mesa, shopping centers in Flagstaff and a medical building in Payson, according to Smiley.
The Clarkdale location was chosen because of the large influx of tourists in the Verde Valley and Sedona areas.
The corporation hopes that with success at the Clarkdale location, visitors might then become interested in exploring other opportunities on the Hopi reservation.
HTEDC’s mission is to create and harness an economic environment that will blossom, by securing resources and providing the guidance and training that allows Hopi Tribe members to prosper and preserve their homeland and culture.
The federal government allows Native Tribes to set up corporations that can create commercial economic development both on and off the reservation, Smiley said.
The Hopi tribe is the sole shareholder, but they act independently of the tribe. The assets and liabilities are their own, Smiley said.
For this project, the corporation purchased the land and is paying for the hotel, but the revenue made from the hotel will be combined with the other revenues of HTEDC properties.
The tribe also owns the Hopi Cultural Center Motel at Second Mesa and the Muyawki Inn in the Village of Oak Creek. This is the first new construction of a hotel off the Hopi.