Grand Canyon Skywalk revisited
The whole experience was quite disappointing. While the views were spectacular, the cost was just far too high, especially because they were not clearly advertised anywhere. $25 might have been worth it, $75 was far too high. Additionally, none of the infrastructure was able to support the number of visitors and all of the buildings in the advertisements are not built yet. We spent most of our time waiting in line, a lot of it out in the cold, even avoiding the one really long line. My suggestion is to wait until they at least have the buildings built and hopefully have realized that most people do not want to pay that much for that little.
That's right, $75 dollars to go out on the Skywalk, no discounts for children, and they won't even let you take your camera.
A commenter on the blog goes into greater detail:
- The 2 roads in (1 40 miles unpaved, the other 21 miles unpaved) are in very bad condition. We almost needed a 4 wheel drive. Had it started raining, (and it almost did) we would have definitely needed 4 wheel drive to negotiate it.
- The outhouses were deplorable. They had never been pumped. "Material" was piled up ABOVE THE RIM of the seat. I can not imagine what it would be like in warm weather. FILTHY.
- The tribe member who gave me my tickets (I had ordered ahead online, and went to will-call) was very rude. She rolled her eyes, and acted as though I was a bother to her. (I encounter this often at tribe-run facilities. I have been told by many, they do not like non-native Americans, which is their right. But if they feel this way, they should get out of the tourist business!!)
- If you did not get your ticket online, the wait was very long; in some cases, over an hour.
- After getting on the bus, and getting to the Skywalk, there was another long line to check in your bags, and ANOTHER long line to get your wristband, and get through the metal scanner.
- On the side of the Skywalk bridge was a huge white banner that said "grandcanyonskywalk.com" with big blue letters. Really ugly. It not only took away from the beauty of the bridge and the canyon, but made it all look that much more commercial.
- Once on the bridge, you could have your picture taken for $14.95. I did, but the quality of the picture was terrible; very dark and blurry. It also took an hour to get that picture... yes ANOTHER long line.
- The Indian Village part of the tour that you paid the $50.00 for was an almost non-existent, newly built hogan, and another small "tepee-like" structure. No one was there to explain anything. Basically, there was nothing there to see.
- For the included lunch at the ranch, you had to ride the bus back to the gift shop, and catch another shuttle. The Ranch itself was a facade in the middle of the desert; very un-authentic, and sort of "hokey". The "cowboys" referred to themselves as actors. It may be an ok show for very small children. Lunch was OK, but again, another long line.
The term "Indian giver" has strong racial overtones, but it seems quite appropriate in this context.
[via Joel Spolsky]