Principal-Owner, KLI Companies

Client:  Confluence Partners, LLC, Scottsdale, Arizona

March 2012 – November 2012

In early 2012 I was approached by a group that had recently reached a preliminary agreement with the Navajo Nation of northern Arizona to develop and build a destination tourist village featuring a gondola tram to the bottom of the Grand Canyon on the Navajo Reservation.  At first I was very skeptical but as I began to research the proposal I found that the Navajo Nation does indeed hold all rights, title and interest to the land at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon east of the Confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers down to the Ordinary High Water Mark of the Colorado River.  My assignment was to assess the feasibility and cost of construction of a 420-acre development, the gondola to the bottom of the Canyon, and the roads, water and electric infrastructure that must be brought in to the site.  My work involved working with a variety of Navajo Nation departments including Natural Resources, Cultural Resources, Navajo Department of Transportation, Navajo Tribal Utilities Authority, Navajo Water, and Navajo Department of Justice.  In the end we were able to identify a viable underground aquifer for water, a 69KV electric transmission line for electricity and develop a viable roadway alignment.  Working with the consulting civil engineer and the Navajo Departments we developed solid preliminary design and construction costs for the necessary infrastructure.  We also developed detailed estimates of cost for the above and below the rim facilities including working with Doppelmyer USA on the gondola assumptions, limitations and alignments. Finally we investigated extensively the NEPA environmental assessment and approval process, the timing of same, the potential for litigation and how the litigation would be handled.  In the end we were able to identify that the project was indeed feasible and could be built for reasonable costs.  The local Navajo Chapter voted to approve the development and it is now in the hands of the Navajo tribal government to identify funding sources and make a decision on whether or not to proceed with the project.

Project Location Role Size ($’s) Size (Physical) Operator Year
Grand   Canyon Escalade Grand Canyon South Rim East of   the Colorado and Little colorado River Confluence, Navajo Nation, Arizona Feasibility, Design Management,   Budgeting & Estimating $180M (estimated) 420 acres TBD 2012
Project   Type Key Consultants Owner/Client Contractor Deliverables
Destination   Resort and Tourist Attraction Land Planning: Gilmore Graves,   Civil Engineering: TMAD Taylor Gaines, Specialty Consultant:  Dopplmyer USA Confluence Partners, LLC Sundt Construction Complete Estimates,   Budget, Schematic Land Planning, Preliminary Civil Engineering and Roadway   Alignments