The Hualapai Tribe's Skywalk overlooks Grand Canyon West.

Arizona Rancher Who Charged Tourists to Access Grand Canyon Skywalk Jailed Over Altercation

June 05, 2013

Nigel Turner owns a swath of land that tourists legally pass through to access the Hualapai Tribe’s Skywalk Grand Canyon, the horseshoe-shaped, glass overhang offering unrivaled views of the canyon’s west side. Diamond Bar road off U.S. 93 cuts through Turner’s property; it is the primary gateway to the attraction.

In 2007 he won a lawsuit for a new road to be built, scheduled for completion last year. Angered that construction is still underway, he has started charging visitors to use Diamond Bar road to cross his ranch. Turner hired a security team, demanding $500 per tour bus, or $20 per adult and $10 per child, over Memorial Holiday weekend.

This week, Hualapai Tribal members took to protesting Turner’s “unethical” fee, calling it “highway robbery” of tourists who do not anticipate such a cost.

Turner claims the federal easement allowing access to his property has expired, reported the Santa Fe New Mexican. Federal officials contend otherwise. The parties will meet in mediation tomorrow.

Recently, Turner reportedly got in a dispute with one of the construction workers on the new road. Last night, Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan arrested him for allegedly threatening, intimidating and harassing a construction worker, reported the Las-Vegas Review Journal.

When the worker told Turner that he did not have legal authority to give orders on the construction site, Turner allegedly answered, "I don’t need a Court order, I’ve got a gun."



Carina's picture
Submitted by Carina on

"In 2007 he won a lawsuit for a new road to be built" is an error in this story. Mr Turner did NOT want the road to be paved. He settled out of court and was paid $750,000 for the piece of land he is now charging a "toll" to pass through. He made an agreement to allow the tribe to use federal funds to improve the road as long as he was allowed 2 entrances to his land from the new road. Mr. Turner has continued to make demands that were not in the agreement. The road construction has been held up by many issues on both sides. Now that Mr. turner's ranch has seen reduced traffic and many mismanagement issues, he is using this "toll" fee for financial gain. He has no real concern for the safety of others or his staff. He has a long history of using intimidation and scare tactics with tourists and his staff for his own financial gain. When I worked for him we were told to use the rough road conditions to "scare" shaken tourists that stopped at the gift shop into staying there and seeing the canyon via his helicopter rather than continue on to the Skywalk. If the road is paved he will not be able to do that any longer.

kola's picture
Submitted by kola on

I think this is stupid for this man to charge tourist to drive over his property. all he want is money and power ....@ the comment that Carina stated i do not believe. because i just went on line to get prices to visit the grand canyon and my aunties tribe , it stated it cost 500. to walk on the skylight or skywalk. that is fucked up. why would someone one pay 500 bucks? does that sound a money hogger or what?

Farley Horsechief's picture
Farley Horsechief
Submitted by Farley Horsechief on

History repeating it self, this comes down to one word GREED!

Sydney Wiltshire's picture
Sydney Wiltshire
Submitted by Sydney Wiltshire on

I think Mr. Turner might be in for a surprise. He just might have to face assault with a deadly weapon charges; and, with the current state of affairs, the result might not be to his liking. He might be thinking that he's the law, there. The judge just might be thinking that Mr. Turner needs a lesson on who is what. He could, also, be charged with robbery. If he had his gun present at the time, the charge could be "Armed Robbery." This will be one to watch.

samthor's picture
Submitted by samthor on

$20 per adult? and i see that if he doesn't get his own way.... he resorts to a gun. sounds like a wonderful human being deserving of our sympathy in this situation.....not.

Andre Leonard's picture
Andre Leonard
Submitted by Andre Leonard on

Mr. Turner has some real issues. The most pressing is being mean spirited. The new access road is in progress. Sounds like a real bully who needs to be reined in.

Billy Wescogame Sr.'s picture
Billy Wescogame Sr.
Submitted by Billy Wescogame Sr. on

This is a fine example of how any person/company,rancher,BLM.state,county,and even tribes could legally close off roads,trails etc. through lands belonging to them without good reason!,I also see that the constitution states we the people are free to go about our business without being held against our rights to be free,the civil rights have been violated for each and everyone going and coming! this should also be an issue to consider!

annonymous's picture
Submitted by annonymous on

Nigel Turner is an absolute disgrace to the human race. He doesnt care about his employees or anyone other than himself. He deserves nothing in this world other than to get what he deserves coming right back at him.

ChanaB's picture
Submitted by ChanaB on

I think he may want to see the damage done to ABC bakery in Scottsdale with the social media outrage. I have started it now for him and his little business. Anyone that wants to rip folks off like this needs to be exposed. Niguel go back to England, your kind is not wanted here!!