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2/26/2013 6:00:00 AM
Hualapai tribe appealing $28.5M Skywalk verdict
Legal wrangling to continue

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Sa' Nyu Wa, the tourism branch of Hualapai Tribe, is appealing a U.S. District Court ruling that upheld a $28.5 million arbitration judgment in favor of Grand Canyon Skywalk Development to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"We hope the 9th Circuit will recognize what we've known for years - that David Jin failed to abide by the terms of the contract he signed," said Dave Cieslak, a spokesman for the Hualapai Tribe.

"We are disappointed that Mr. Jin still refuses to accept fair-market value for the Skywalk management agreement and end this unfortunate dispute."

Grand Canyon Skywalk Development and Sa Nyu Wa have been arguing since 2009 over the proceeds from Skywalk ticket sales and who is responsible for finishing the visitor's center. The Skywalk is a horseshoe-shaped bridge with a glass floor that juts out from the rim of the Grand Canyon on the Hualapai reservation.

In February 2012, the Hualapai Tribal Council seized control of the tourist attraction's contract and handed it over to Sa Nyu Wa.

In August, an arbiter awarded GCSD $28.5 million in unpaid fees and damages.

GCSD filed a request to enforce the award in Arizona's U.S. District Court in September.

U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell upheld the award on Feb. 12.

Grand Canyon Skywalk Development has another case pending in the Hualapai Tribal Court and the U.S. 9th Circuit challenging the Hualapai Court's ruling that the tribal council could take over the Skywalk contract by eminent domain.

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Related Stories:
• Judge: Hualapai must disclose Skywalk financial records
• $28.5 million Skywalk verdict stands

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Article comment by: Eddie Outrider

This guy Jin can say he has no animosity for the tribe and people can say pay up you make lots of money. But the money made by this venture doesnt get distributed to the pockets of the tribal members it goes to provide for the tribe. The tribe doesnt run a casino it runs this attraction and the money suppliments or provides entire budgets for the things the tribe needs to function, like day care, roads departments, fire protection etc. Those saying you make lots of money dont know how much, or how this would effect the tribe.

Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Article comment by: concerned hualapai

Just a statement to advise the public that all of us Hualapai Tribal members are not siding with the Attorneys, and the two council members Vaughn and Hunter!, who are now hopefully going to be recalled!, this is in the hands of attorneys and our tribal leaders, non of this has ever gone to the vote of our people so our own leaders took it among themselves to create this mess. We as individual tribal members are not to blame!And to assume that our elder is accepting under the table, because that person has her own personal point of view is disgusting, someone needs to learn respect for your elders!

Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Article comment by: I am Hualapai

Would you pay 28 million for a house if it was only worth 11 million? I think not, ask yourself that. When we buy houses, we get it appraised, the market value of the house is researched and then you make an offer.

Jin walked away with MILLIONS of $$$ for years from the Hualapai people. Sadly, even SOME tribal members support that. Elder Char Hard is one. Makes the rest of us wonder "what are they accepting under the table?"

Things that make you go hhhhhmmmm.

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: Observing Kingman

@ Hualapai Tribe..... PAY!!!!!! This "Attraction" makes your tribe millions of dollars each year. "Fair Market Value"? Seems you are getting off easy. It is built, you are utilizing it. You profit from it. The Development deserves to be paid.

What would a world famous Attraction go for these days?


Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: Char Hard

The tribe is so divided now. This David Ciestak was hired to speak for the council and to coach them to make it sound like everything is acceptable to them and the tribe. But, there is a petition to fire the Hualapai attorneys who do not seem to be giving good advice in the best interest of the tribe. The tribe has paid beyond a reasonable amount of dollars without the consent of the people to pay for appeals, arbitration, etc. We have a former Chairman who is ready to stand up for the cause of the Hualapai people. I for one despise these attorneys who put us in this ugly mess and despise their followers. So, sign that petition to fire those attorneys. Elder.

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: Cloyd Moody

How many times do you have to lose before having to pay up?

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: desert dweller

One of the biggest black mark of shame on this country, the way it has mistreated, lied to, cheated, stolen from and murdered the Native they want to do the same to the rest of us....wake up! "When they came for the Jews, I was silent, when they came for the protestants, I was silent, when they came for me, there was no one to speak for me!"

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