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Utah Travel Headlines

Monday, July 27, 2009

Change Slowly Comes To Beautiful, Remote Monument Valley

Monument Valley, located on the Utah/Arizona border, seems to be little touched by the passage of time. It has taken thousands of years for wind and water to carve the valley's iconic rock formations. The sand dunes are alive and moving, but shifting very slowly with the prevailing winds.

Many of the people here choose traditional ways that have endured for centuries.

Monument Valley is a stark, beautiful, fascinating place.

But change is coming. This USA Today article describes a new lodge being built right in the valley. Below are excerpts.

Change comes slowly to this rugged land of pinnacles, mesas and buttes. And that's only fitting, given that it took eons of wind, rain and other forces to carve the magnificent spires, alcoves and monoliths that have come to symbolize the untamed West.

But change has come to Monument Valley. And more is on the way.

Just beyond the hut where Rock and other local Navajos book tours into the heart of the valley, a new $14 million lodging, appropriately dubbed The View Hotel, rises from a sandstone bluff. The hotel is the first ever to be built inside the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, a vast 29,816-acre tract that remains home to a handful of Navajo families who maintain grazing rights here.

Next door to The View, workers are building a new visitors center and museum, set to open in October. It will provide much-needed interpretive information (a scant commodity at present for those who opt not to hire a guide), and a museum honoring World War II Navajo code talkers.

And a few miles west of the park's boundaries, the sale of the venerable Goulding's Lodge is underway. If the sale goes through, plans call for convention facilities, a spa and an upgrade to four-star accommodations, says longtime manager Ronnie Baird.

Read the entire article.


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