Local News

Stilo’s Plans Have Dried Up

June 8, 2013

By Mike Scerbo

They promised Tusayan affordable housing and a water supply. That was then.

The deadline has come and gone for Tusayan Ventures LLC, a subsidiary of Italian developer Stilo, to come up with a water supply in order to form a water company. That’s how Stilo planned to provide water for its massive development plan in Tusayan, which would add three million square feet of commercial space and thousands of new homes. The reality is without the water, you can’t develop the project.

Stilo was also hoping the Town might help by forming a municipal water company. That plan has apparently dried up as well. New budgets drawn up for Tusayan provide no short term or long term funding for a municipal water company.

Additionally, Stilo has also failed to give the Town 40 acres of land for affordable housing as promised. That was supposed to be the Town’s reward for rezoning hundreds of acres of land, vastly increasing the value of the Stilo-owned acreage.

Stilo continues to be in default of its development agreement with the town. The only thing Tusayan has to show for its relationship with Stilo are some unattractive mobile homes at Camper Village (pictured here).  Four of the five members of the Town Council who cheered for Stilo have been silent on Stilo’s ‘contribution’ to Camper Village. Councilman Bill Fitzgerald opposed Stilo’s plans. As a result his employer received frivolous complaints.  Not once has Fitzgerald uttered the words ‘I told you so’ from the podium.

Opposition to Stilo’s pipe-dream of a water company was massive. The Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Grand Canyon Trust, the Havasupai Tribe, and the Superintendent of the Grand Canyon National Park all opposed the idea.  Through it all Stilo’s public relations machine took shots at anyone who opposed their plans.

Sandy Bahr, Director of the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon Chapter said, "Tusayan Ventures’ development near Grand Canyon National Park will have a negative impact on the park. If they pump groundwater, it will affect seeps and springs in Grand Canyon and on Havasupai lands. These waters are biologically and culturally significant and support the riparian vegetation around them as well as a diversity of species. Pumping groundwater in this area could reduce water to these springs or cause them to dry up. A CC&N for this project based on groundwater pumping would be irresponsible, at best." 

By failing to meet a June first deadline on a water supply, Stilo proved their detractors correct. Here is a link to a January Corporation Commission letter telling Stilo to get its act together by June 1st.