24 Feb 2007

Grand Canyon, USA: Skywalk for Those Unafraid of Heights

On the 28th of March 2007, visitors can step out onto the glass Skywalk at Grand Canyon West for the very first time. Work on the project began back in March 2004 already. The Skywalk will be the highest free-floating observation deck in the world: at 1,200 metres up in the air over the abyss of the Grand Canyon, the steel and glass construction will protrude 21 metres over the canyon’s edge. The observation deck is set to be “rolled out” over the canyon’s edge from 27 February to 2 March. Up to 120 people may walk out onto the platform at once. Until the visitor centre is finished, access to the Skywalk will be provided by a temporary tunnel. Upon three storeys with a total of 560 square metres, the visitor centre itself will likely be furnished with a museum, cinema, VIP lounge, shops, conference rooms, and numerous restaurants and bars. The particularly transparent, colour-neutral glass guarantees a breathtaking view of the Colorado River running 1,200 metres below the Skywalk. Among the other attractions at Grand Canyon West are an Indian village, the Hualapai Market and the Hualapai Ranch, a western town from which visitors can set off on horseback rides. Compared to the well-known Grand Canyon National Park which attracts roughly four million people each year, only a mere 125,000 guests p.a. have made their way to Grand Canyon West. The residents of the western part of the canyon, the Hualapai Indians, own the property here and, understandably, have high expectations of the project. (eap)