Feb. 12, 2013
/PRNewswire/ -- In a stunning blow to the Hualapai Nation, U.S. District Court Judge,
has confirmed the
arbitration award entered against the Tribe's wholly-owned corporation 'Sa' Nyu Wa, Inc. (SNW) in favor of Grand Canyon Skywalk Development (GCSD), builders of the Grand Canyon Skywalk. The judgment relates to unpaid management fees of the Skywalk from 2008-2011.
According to the court's
, "SNW shall remit damages in the amount of
to Grand Canyon Skywalk Development, LLC, as set forth in the
Aug. 16, 2012
." GCSD now plans to go after more than
sitting in a trust account held by SNW to partially satisfy the federal court judgment. GCSD will seek 100 percent of ongoing Skywalk ticket sales to satisfy the balance of the
Calling SNW's arguments "nonsensical," Judge Campbell roundly rejected SNW's position that the
Dec. 31, 2003
Agreement between the parties permits an award of money damages against SNW in arbitration yet prohibits enforcement of that award in any court at any time. "Such a reading does not comport with SNW's clear waiver of sovereign immunity with respect to money damages and cannot be squared with the provisions discussed above," explained Judge Campbell in his Order.
The U.S. District Court's decision comes as GCSD launches a website,
that is dedicated to accurate reporting of facts regarding the dispute between GCSD and the Tribe. The site presents the developer's perspective and includes links to court decisions, sworn testimony and statements from tribal leaders, key legal documents and links to recent news.
, attorney for GCSD, a related action filed in Tribal Court will determine the legality of the Tribe's condemnation claim or taking back of the Skywalk and GCSD's contractual rights. If the Tribal court says that the Tribe's forcible taking of the Skywalk on
Feb. 9, 2012
was appropriate, then it will assess a value to be paid GCSD for the rights it will lose over 35 years – estimated to be
. GCSD believes the condemnation action was unlawful and, by virtue of the Tribe filing that action, it has itself become subject to ongoing damages suffered by GCSD along with responsibility to share profits with GCSD going forward.
Tratos explains that his client and SNW had a written agreement to operate the Skywalk together that extends for 20 years and requires that they split profits from the Skywalk. GCSD also receives a discount on tickets to the Skywalk and the right to purchase up to 50 percent of the available tickets during the 20 years. Thereafter, GCSD continues to receive its discounted ticket price and the right to purchase up to 50 percent of the tickets for another 15 years.