Local News

By Any Means Necessary: Mayor Greg Bryan’s Efforts To Change Tusayan’s Name To Something More Tourist Friendly

April 25, 2014

For more than a year Mayor Greg Bryan has failed to heed the warnings of the Grand Canyon National Park as he approved of the controversial Stilo development over the objection of the Park Superintendent. So it does seem to be a bit ironic that he is leading the charge to co-opt the good name of the Grand Canyon.

Bryan wants to change the name of the town from Tusayan to something like “The Town of Grand Canyon” or “South Grand Canyon.” No one has formally asked for this change. There was no request from the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, but conventional wisdom tells us that Tusayan’s absentee business owner and Stilo partner Elling Halvorson has long wanted the name change. Now that he employs the Mayor and three council members he has the means to do so.

There will be a public hearing on the matter May 14th.

The only councilman not employed by Stilo or Halvorson is Bill Fitzgerald and he questioned the process of changing the name and asked if it would be subject to referendum.

Mayor Bryan had a quick answer. After talking to the Town Attorney, Bryan said the name change can be accomplished by taking out a petition and getting the signatures of the majority of registered voters in town. And because someone does that as a private citizen and it was not done as an action of the council, there is no ballot box.

Bryan said the name change is not a political decision it is a business decision.

It’s worth noting that petitions can be viewed by the public. So Mayor Bryan and Elling Halvorson can look at them and know which residents supported the name change and which opposed it by signing or not signing. It’s not a very secret ballot and not very comforting for Halvorson or Stilo employees who think Tusayan should remain Tusayan.