Grand Canyon West, a destination owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe at the Grand Canyon’s western rim, announces March 28, 2007 as the official public opening date of The Skywalk. The Skywalk will be the first-ever cantilever shaped glass walkway to suspend more than 4,000 feet above the canyon’s floor and extend 70 feet from the canyon’s rim.
Access to The Skywalk will run from dawn to dusk and will cost $25 per person in addition to the cost of a Grand Canyon West entrance package. One hundred and twenty people will be allowed on the bridge at a time. Admittance is first come, first serve for walk up visitors; however, reservations can be made. Guests will enter and exit the walkway via temporary buildings while the adjacent visitor’s center is being completed. Grand Canyon West plans to issue numbered shoe covers - in order to avoid scratches and slipping - to each visitor that enters the open-air walkway.
Prior to the public opening in March, Grand Canyon West will host a “First Walk” event for media and VIPs. The name of the first public figure to step on The Skywalk will be announced closer to the opening.
The historical rollout of The Skywalk structure, with the glass in place, is scheduled for February 27 to March 2. The initial part of the rollout process involves jacking the structure up off of the supports and then subjecting the structure to several days of thorough tests that replicate the conditions of final placement. After the final testing is complete, the multi-million pound steel enforced structure will be rolled out across the canyon’s edge, which takes multiple days. Immediately after the structure is in position, it will be seated and attached to the foundation. Details for a media event during the rollout will be revealed closer to the event.
Located at Grand Canyon West’s Eagle Point, The Skywalk facility will also include a 6,000 square-foot visitor’s center on three levels - underground, first story and second story - which will contain a museum, movie theater, VIP lounge, gift shop, and several restaurants and bars, including a high-end restaurant called The Skywalk Café that will offer outdoor patio and rooftop seating on the edge of the canyon. The second story will be where visitors can access The Skywalk glass walkway. The visitor’s center will also offer private indoor and outdoor facilities for meetings, special events and weddings.
Envisioned by Las Vegas-based entrepreneur David Jin, The Skywalk was designed by MRJ Architects and is being structurally engineered by Lochsa Engineering, LLC. The glass is being manufactured in Germany by Saint Gobain, a European company that specializes in designing structural glass for unique building projects worldwide.