April 28, 2015 / Modified apr 28, 2015 8:58 a.m.

Meetings Set on Development Plan Near Grand Canyon

Builder wants guest ranch, hotels, retail outlets, hundreds of houses near South Rim entrance.

grand-canyon_617x347 Sunset at Yavapai Point, along the Grand Canyon's South Rim.

Forest officials are taking public comment on requests for easements that, if approved, would clear the way for a major development just outside the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

The town of Tusayan filed the requests on behalf of a developer for land surrounded by the Kaibab National Forest. Approval is needed before Stilo Development Group USA can move forward with plans to build a dude ranch, high-end boutiques, five-star hotels and hundreds of homes near the Grand Canyon's South Rim entrance.

Public meetings are scheduled in Williams, Tusayan and Flagstaff next month to provide information about the proposed roadway and utility easements. The public comment period runs through June 2.

Forest officials said it will take at least a year to review any potential impacts to the environment.

Grand Canyon National Park is Arizona's biggest natural tourism draw, with millions visiting each year from around the world.

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