Visitation surges at Grand Canyon Skywalk

Visitors to the Skywalk at Grand Canyon West stand – and lay – on the glass-bottomed bridge that juts out from a cliff 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. The tourist attraction is poised to break its attendance record today with its millionth visitor.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->(JC AMBERLYN/Miner)

Visitors to the Skywalk at Grand Canyon West stand – and lay – on the glass-bottomed bridge that juts out from a cliff 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. The tourist attraction is poised to break its attendance record today with its millionth visitor.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->(JC AMBERLYN/Miner)

KINGMAN - Grand Canyon West witnessed a huge jump in tourists in 2015, so much so that the Hualapai Tribe is gearing up to greet the destination's 1 millionth visitor, possibly today.

2015 marks the first time the home to the Grand Canyon Skywalk has reached the seven-figure mark.

"This is a big jump in attendance for the Grand Canyon Resort Corporation," said spokesman David Leibowitz. That's somewhat of an understatement. Nearly 120,000 more tourists visited so far in 2015 compared to the whole of last year, and 173,000 more than in 2013. The Hualapai Tribe's Grand Canyon Resort Association oversees the tourist destination and its attractions.

"This has been a great year in terms of business for Grand Canyon West, for the Hualapai Tribe, for tribe members and for the region," said CEO Mark Mortenson, whom the association hired earlier this year.

"The tribe and its members' commitment to economic development and to the attractions and experiences that comprise GCW remains strong. One million visitors to Grand Canyon West in the past year means more revenue for the region, more jobs and better quality of life for so many residents. We look forward to performing even better in 2016 and continuing to drive the tourism industry across the region."

Home to the Grand Canyon Skywalk - a glass-bottomed horseshoe bridge that extends from a cliff over open air at an elevation of 4,000 feet above the Colorado River - and other attractions, such as whitewater rafting, Grand Canyon West can be accessed via Pierce Ferry Road through Dolan Springs and is about 70 miles from Kingman.

Leibowitz said the resort corporation has plans to make the attractions better in 2016, including the construction of a new visitor center, restaurant and the creation of new attractions.

This work, he said, "means more reasons for people to visit in 2016. And the millionth visitor this week is going to have such a great time, from free gifts to pictures and a celebration. We want every day and every visitor to be memorable for one and all."