Local News

Housing, not Pizza Parties

April 6, 2011

Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel owner Ann Wren is doing what many say is impossible in Tusayan. She's building new housing. Two weeks ago she broke ground on a new apartment complex. Seven studio apartments and two, two-bedroom units should be finished in a couple of months.


Wren says she'll have no problem finding renters, "People are already coming up to me wanting to know how we're doing."

Wren currently rents out 12 apartments and has a dormitory that accommodates 36 people. She recently built a playground and park at the existing apartment complex.

Whether or not incorporation happened was not an issue for Wren. Her previous projects happened before incorporation. Meanwhile Stilo is holding pizza parties telling residents it will take two years before housing can happen on its properties.

That's because Stilo wants to rezone the residentially zoned Camper Village site and work with the town to provide housing elsewhere. That's a lengthy process.

Wren's plan is to simply find properly zoned land and build. She's doing it without pizza parties and she's doing it without spending more than $600,000 on a publicity campaign to sway voters.

The construction going on at RP Road doesn't fit the narrative that Stilo puts out. Wren's efforts are proof positive that housing can happen without complicated schemes to rezone.

The current Town Council was elected on a promise to provide housing. Wren, a former Council Member, is delivering on that promise.