Nez-Lizer Join Local Residents in Celebrating the Grand Opening of the Dennehotso Market

The newly opened Dennehotso Market in Dennehotso, Ariz.

Published February 16, 2019

DENNEHOTSO, Ariz. — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer joined Dennehotso residents on Friday to celebrate the long-awaited completion of the Dennehotso Market during a grand opening ceremony. The new 6,700 square-foot facility houses a convenience store, gas station, deli, and laundromat located on the southeast corner of U.S. Hwy. 160 and Indian Route 6465.

The $4.3 million project created 50 temporary construction jobs and an additional 20 permanent jobs with the opening of the new store, while providing goods and services to thousands of local Navajo residents, and many non-Navajo tourists that travel through the area each year.

“Economic opportunity is a major part of the Nez-Lizer priorities, and that entails everything that this project represents – jobs for our people, generation of revenue, and reinforcing the concept of ‘Buy Navajo, Buy Local’ throughout the Navajo Nation,” said President Nez. “Working together with the Dennehotso Chapter, the Navajo Nation Council, and the state of Arizona, we now have this new establishment that will benefit many of our people.

President Nez is also pleased to see the store offering fresh fruits and vegetables, and other healthy foods and hopes to see the community collaborate by creating more opportunities for Navajo entrepreneurs such as allowing local farmers to sell their goods onsite as well.

“We should never underestimate the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of our Diné people,” said President Nez. “We should always support them and assist them in reaching their full potential because when they succeed, our communities succeed as well.”

President Nez also thanked the stakeholders who contributed to the project, including the Division of Economic Development, Dennehotso Chapter, local land users, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Navajo Nation Division of Transportation, Arizona Department of Transportation, and Indian Health Service.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer with Dennehotso Market employees during the grand opening in Dennehotso, Ariz. on Feb. 15, 2019.

The market was partially funded through the Permanent Trust Fund Income Five-Year Expenditure Plan approved by the 23rdNavajo Nation Council and the Office of the President and Vice President in 2016, which allocated $150 million for economic development and agriculture development projects, and water infrastructure development from the annual interest earned from the principle. The expenditure plan provided $2.8 million.

Additionally, the Division of Economic Development provided approximately $1.5 million from the Sales Tax Fund and Project Development General Fund for the remaining cost of the project.

Vice President Lizer also spoke at the event and emphasized the importance of economic growth and development, job creation, and supporting businesses on the Navajo Nation.

“Economic development and ‘Buy Navajo, Buy Local’ are top priorities for the administration. It’s wonderful to see this project flourish and provide necessary products and services for our people. Working with newly appointed director of the Division of Economic Development JT Willie, I’m sure we will see many more of these types of projects come to fruition,” said Vice President Lizer.

Division of Economic Development Executive Director JT Willie said his team is undertaking the planning and development of more economic opportunity projects in many communities, while working closely with local governments, enterprises, and departments.

Other guests at the event included Speaker Seth Damon, Council Delegates Nathaniel Brown, Amber Kanazbah Crotty, Raymond Smith, Jr., and Dennehotso Chapter officials. The new Dennehotso Market is open to the public.

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