Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Grand Canyon West a.k.a. Huge Scam

Google "grand canyon" and tell me what you come up with.  Go ahead.  I will wait...

Don't want to? Here I did it for you....


Take a good look...  See there, near the bottom where it says National Park?  Yeah, that's what I thought. 

So, one of the scheduled stops on the BFFRT2 was SUPPOSED to be the Grand Canyon.  I drove over 3000 miles in the last week and I didn't get to see it.  "Why?", you ask.  Three words - Grand Canyon West.

It turns out that not all Grand Canyon sites are a part of the National Park Service.  Who knew?  "Why does that matter?", you ask.  Well, lemme tell ya...

To visit the Grand Canyon via the National Park Service, there is a $25 fee per private vehicle.  If I want a pass for my car for the whole year, it is $50.  Even better yet, if I want to be able to access any national park for the entire year, it is $85.  Amazing, right?  Well, that's what I budgeted for....

So when we packed up the car on Friday morning, leaving Las Vegas, we were all stoked and ready to hit the Grand Canyon.  We put Grand Canyon into points of interest on the GPS and headed on our merry way.  It was a gorgeous drive, most of the way, very rural and desert-y...  As we got closer to our destination, we stopped following the GPS and followed the brown road signs.

I remember commenting to The Man about the dilapidated dirt roads along the way.  Specifically I remember saying, "It surprises me that the roads to a national park would be in such rough shape."  To which The Man replied, "I'm sure they don't want to disturb the enviornment surrounding it too much."  Yeah....  

It turns out, we weren't on a road leading to a national park.  We were on a road leading to the Hualapai Nation, a private reservation.  The Hualapai offer Grand Canyon sight seeing packages on their land.  The lowest cost package is $29.95 + $8 impact fee (wth is that?) + $3 fuel surcharge + 7% Hualapai Nation tax...  That is right my friends, $43.82. Per person. That's $175.40 for a family of four (for those of you that are mathematically challenged - like me).  Now, that fee gets each of us a Hualapai Visitation Certificate, Photo Opportunities with Hualapai members, and a hop-on hop-off shuttle to 3 view points!  (Ring-a-ding-ding!)  The three stops include:
 Eagle Point, a Native American village with stores and an amphitheatre.
Guano Point (Honestly, I can't even think the word guano without visions and soundbytes from Ace Ventura 2 in my head.) which is the ONLY stop that has views of the Grand Canyon and more shops.
Hualapai Ranch, which is just a glorified western town set up with shows, demonstrations, and more shops.

I. Just. Want. To. See. The. Grand. Canyon. 

Their "Best Value" was a mere $70.95 + $8 impact fee + $3 fuel surcharge + 7% Hualapai Nation tax...  That's right, for only $87.69 PER PERSON ($350.76 for the fam) we could have experienced all 3 stops, a meal, and the skywalk....  Ummmm, can you say highway robbery?!?!?!?

Needless to say, I didn't see the Grand Canyon.  I was VERY disappointed.  My disappointment lead to a very unhappy car ride from the Hualapai Nation all the way to Las Vegas, New Mexico.  I did stop to see the origin of Route 66.  I also threatened the lives of the people I love muliple times.  I've also re-added the Grand Canyon to the list of places I'd like to see...  Next time, I will be better educated and fully prepared to give my money to the National Park Service.....

18 comments:

The Blue Zoo said...

What a bummer!! How rude of them to try and rip people off like that. Sheesh.

Does it make me a gigantic dork that I have never heard of Las Vegas, New Mexico??

June said...

That would totally suck. Sorry you didn't get to see the Grand Canyon.
You are not alone in threatening the lives of family members....just sayin'

Ian said...

That is some serious bullshit. With those prices you may as well rent a helicopter.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

Oh man. I am so sorry for you, but that was really funny! It makes for a great story and some fun memories I bet!

Erin said...

I guess I shouldn't tell you I have been to the Grand Canyon and it really is glorious. I hope someday you can try again. I am so sorry about this whole mix-up. It's not fair!

Alicia said...

ohhh bummer lady!! that really does suck!! and DUDE that really is an insane amount of money!!

Jen said...

That just sucks! I haven't seen it but have always wanted to, especially after the Brady Bunch episode. If I had driven that far I would have been rather upset to to have not seen it. Next Time!

Mike said...

Happy to hear you are back. Well that royally sucks, but like most things they know how to suck you dry.

Danielle said...

That sucks! So sorry! Can you complain to the National Park Service. I would think they would be upset by the revenue they loose.

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

That blows!! What a ripoff.

Millennium Housewife said...

If I ever get a chance to visit, I swear I'll take that post with me! Over from SITS, and you never know, you could have saved me a lot of trouble one day - cheers! x

Mariah said...

Oh man, that happened to us too first time we went. Total bogus

Tracie said...

That really sucks! Don't feel bad about the life threatening though. I did the same with less disappointment to blame it on, :)

adrienzgirl said...

I might have scalped me a Hulawhateverthehell.

Just sayin'.

Candice said...

Yeah, I would have totally ended up on the evening news after that bullshit!

That sucks!

Supermanslady said...

Stopping by from SITS. Sorry! That completely sucks!

SingleDatingMommy said...

And just to rub it in...can you see the same google ads that I can??? Going to Grand Canyon...get the scoop from travelers who know...sure...where was that ad a week ago, hmmmm????

Daffy said...

Deserves some ass kickin....just saying....

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