The Alliance Bank of Arizona recently donated $50,000 to Northern Arizona University’s Economic Policy Institute (EPI) to continue their seven-year relationship and the institute intends to use part of that money for research on the economic effect the North Rim of the Grand Canyon has on northern Arizona’s rural and tribal business communities.
Wade Rousse, the institute’s interim director and associate dean, said the relationship with the bank helps EPI conduct research and gather data to give to tribes so they can make good economic decisions.
“In the past, we’ve estimated demand curves for tribal communities, gathered information and brought it back to perform analyses to estimate certain tourist activities that would support those communities in certain areas of the state,” Rousse said.
He added the institute has also done economic impact analyses for coal communities and looked at Bill Williams Mountain to determine the economic impact a catastrophic fire could have.
“We might have to start lobbying for funds before a catastrophic fire does occur,” he said.
The EPI’s next investigation has to do with extending the North Rim’s visiting season for a little longer than usual. The North Rim currently offers visitors lodging and restaurants from May 15 to Oct. 15 and later closes due to snow.
According to Grand Canyon National Park’s superintendent, Chris Lehnertz, the North Rim is only visited by about 10 percent of visitors mostly due to its isolation from the rest of the park.
This section of the park is located in Coconino County, which is a five-hour drive from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Don Garner, the Alliance Bank of Arizona’s chief executive officer, said by measuring economic impacts, helping rural and northern tribes understand gain a better understanding of finance and much more, EPI’s work benefits the entire state of Arizona, not just the northern region
Don Garner – [email protected]