New hotel, convention center coming to Window Rock
Three new office buildings, a new hotel and a convention center will soon be built in the Navajo capital, according to officials for the Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise.
All buildings will be located behind and to the east of the Quality Inn in Window Rock with the office buildings to be located behind the current motel and the new hotel and convention center to be built between the Quality Inn and the Navajo Nation Museum.
The complex is being built in five phases over the next few years. A groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction of the first office building will be held at 10 a.m. on Jan. 17 at the Quality Inn.
According to Maddie Bell, a spokesperson for the hospitality enterprise, the general contractor for the first building is Keyah Construction Inc. and the engineers are Iron Rock Engineering.
Bell said that the hospitality enterprise is now accepting bids for construction of the second building.
All of the office buildings will be three stories tall and will have 14,900 square feet of interior space, of which 12,800 will be devoted to office space.
The Navajo Nation’s Department of Behavioral Health Services has rented out the first building. The second office building will be rented to the Navajo Nation Program for Self-Reliance.
The third office building is still in the planning stage but given the severe office shortage that exists in the nation’s capital, no one expects that the hospitality enterprise will have a problem finding a tenant.
The floor layout will be up to the tenants, said Bell.
Several tribal divisions have been trying for years to get the financing to build their own facilities since they must spread out their offices throughout the Window Rock area because there are not enough buildings large enough to house the entire tribal government.
The Navajo Nation’s Department of Justice, for example, is spread out in two buildings, both of which were constructed more than 50 years ago.
The construction of the new hotel is expected to coincide with the completion of the first two office buildings. The hotel, which will be operated out of the Comfort Inn franchise, will consist of 84 rooms.
Twenty of these rooms have been set aside for extended stay guests and will have features like a full kitchen. The new hotel, the first major facility of its kind built in the Window Rock area in the past 20 years, will also have rooms set aside for meetings and special events.
The last phase consists of the convention center, something that Window Rock has never had. It will include space for large meeting rooms as well as smaller rooms for side meetings.
Bell said the hospitality enterprise’s CEO, Stan Sapp, has been working for the past four years to make this project possible.
No tribal funds are involved in any of the construction. Instead, the complete financing is being done through the Native American Bank.
The new Comfort Inn will be a competitor for the Quality Inn, which is also operated by the hospitality enterprise.
This, however, is not expected to be a problem since most of the guests at the Quality Inn are government officials visiting Window Rock. During the summer, many of the guests are tourists.
Because of the limited number of hotel rooms (many are rented out as office space) at the Quality Inn, many people have had to be turned away.