Native News Network Staff in Native Currents. Discussion »
KAYENTA, ARIZONA The Kayenta Township now has a visitor's center called the Kayenta Town Center that accommodates the more than 500,000 annual visitors to the Kayenta and Monument Valley areas.
Kayenta Area Petrified Tree Roots
The Center opened in March 2012 and is housed at the old Kayenta Post Office, which underwent some major renovations.
The Township hosts a majority of the 500,000 visitors to the Monument Valley Tribal Park and other scenic attractions in the area every year, so they recognized a need for a place that would disseminate information on local attractions, eateries, hotels and services offered in the Kayenta area.
The Center has been popular.
“It's been very successful, because we're having more visitors come into the town center and getting to know Kayenta,”
said Andre Cordero, Kayenta Township Manager.
“At the same time, the visitors are able to help the local businesses by telling other people what it is that we have here. Come tourist season next year, the town center is sure to be utilized a lot more.”
Marty Bailey, secretary at the Kayenta Town Center, says the town center has been averaging 40 to 50 people a day, many asking questions about local attractions and most of them signing a guest log book in her office.
“We have a guest log book that visitors from England, India, Australia and other places throughout the US have signed. It's interesting to meet people from around the world,”
The Center staff is anticipating a busy season next year and they are preparing to offer the general public and visitors a glimpse at Navajo cultural perspectives by offering weaving, pottery and basket-making demonstrations several days out of the week.
Cordero explained the demonstrations will offer a positive view of what Kayenta is all about, but even more so, what Navajo is all about.
“It is real important we continue to hold on to our cultural perspectives, but even more so, to share its true meaning with everybody else.”
“The cultural demonstrations at the Center will be imbedded in the minds of these individuals, and they'll walk away thinking how beautiful we are and how rich we are - culturally and traditionally,”
The Center is a product of the Kayenta Township's Capital Improvement Projects, which promotes a vision to achieve community development and to progressively implement economic growth. Renovations for the Center were done by local laborers and funded by Kayenta Township dollars.
The Center is perhaps one of a kind on the Navajo Nation.
“We don't really see this type of facility anywhere on Navajo. This is the first time I've seen us using the town center concept for the benefit of the community and it's all done by taxpayer's dollars,”
The Center also provides community information about types of schools and hospitals accessible within the area and it also offers a computer lab for the public to check email and access local information.
The Center is located on Arizona Highway 163 North, en route to Monument Valley. For more information, contact the Kayenta Township at 928.697.8451.
posted December 3, 2012 9:55 am est