TUSAYAN, Ariz. - After upgrading to "Premier" status in 2011, Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn is expanding and revamping to accommodate its visitors.
The first phase of the project includes adding 54 new rooms, a new lobby, fitness center, pool building and laundry room. The hotel also plans on expanding its Navajo Room and Coronado Dining Room and the main building's exterior facade will get a facelift.
"We've been working on it for quite a while," General Manager Greg Bryan said.
Bryan estimates the first phase will cost between eight and nine million dollars.
"We've already torn out our pool and the tennis courts that were there before," Bryan said. "We're putting in a new indoor pool and a fitness center and some restrooms and then an outdoor pool, kids play area, deck area and probably a functionary where we could have a cocktail party or something along those lines."
Bryan said the first phase will require eight to 10 more employees, who will live in Best Western housing in Valle.
By the time the entire project is complete, in around 10 or 15 years' time, the Best Western hopes to add about 425 rooms.
"That's up to the economy and if the demand is there," Bryan said. "We're turning business away, so we know we have a market for it."
Best Western has 39 housing units in Tusayan, but the majority of its employee housing is in Valle.
"As this project moves forward, and is my personal goal, is that Kotzin will be developed and have housing opportunities for people to either buy or rent out there," Bryan said. "We'll always have to have housing, at some level, but not to the extent we do now.
Best Western will submit the master plan to the town as soon as the civil engineering, drainage and elevation studies are done.