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Tribe mulling reaction to Skywalk ruling

Feb. 19, 2013 at 11:02 AM   |   Comments

PHOENIX, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Leaders of an Arizona Indian tribe say they are reviewing a judge's ruling favoring a developer who built the Grand Canyon Skywalk tourist attraction.

U.S. District Judge David Campbell said the Hualapai tribe owes $28.6 million for breaching a contract with David Jin, The Arizona Republic in Phoenix reported Tuesday.

Tribal Chairwoman Sherry Counts said in a letter to tribal members last week that the tribe was considering "an array of possibilities to bring this painful and unavoidable matter to a resolution."

The tribe signed a contract with Jin in 2003 in which the developer agreed to build the transparent-bottomed, horseshoe-shaped, cantilever structure jutting out over the Grand Canyon on Indian land for $30 million in return for half the revenue. Tribal leaders later charged that Jin hadn't completed the project and stopped making payments to Jin after the first year. Jin said the visitor center at the attraction wasn't completed because the tribe failed to bring in power, water and sewage treatment as required under the contract.

While the dispute was in arbitration last year, the tribe seized Skywalk through eminent domain.

In his ruling, Campbell called the tribe's legal arguments "nonsensical" and "wholly unconvincing."

Tribal leaders haven't said whether they will appeal Campbell's decision.

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