Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development
Executive Director JT Willie, Crownpoint community members, Crownpoint Chapter officials, and 24th Navajo Nation Council members during the Crownpoint Hotel and conference center groundbreaking on Sept. 27, 2019 in Crownpoint, N.M.
Published September 28, 2019
CROWNPOINT, N.M. — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development Executive Director JT Willie joined local Crownpoint community members, Crownpoint Chapter officials, and 24th Navajo Nation Council members to celebrate the start of construction of the new Crownpoint Hotel and conference center, in the community of Crownpoint, N.M. on Friday.
The new hotel was part of the Permanent Trust Fund interest income five-year plan that was developed in collaboration with the Crownpoint Chapter, Division of Economic Development, Office of the President and Vice President, and the previous 23rd Navajo Nation Council. As Vice President of the Navajo Nation under the former Begaye-Nez Administration, they worked closely with Speaker Seth Damon and others to finalize legislation that was then approved by the Council and signed into law.
“The Crownpoint Chapter and its Land Use Planning Committee have worked on this project for several years and I commend them for their hard work and determination. Through our Diné teaching and practice of T’áá hwó’ ajít’éego, or self-reliance and self-determination, the local officials took it upon themselves to package this proposal and bring it forth to leaders at the central level. Once constructed, it will be a wonderful addition to the community and I am pleased to see this economic opportunity develop to create jobs, and strengthening the foundation for the community of Crownpoint to continue its growth,” said President Nez.
In 2013, John Daugomah and Jackie Curley of CSB Enterprizes, a majority Navajo-owned business, approached the Navajo Nation Eastern Regional Business Development Office and Crownpoint Chapter to inquire about developing a hotel project within the community. With a supporting resolution from the Crownpoint Chapter, the Division of Economic Development finalized a the business site lease in 2016 for CSB Enterprizes.
Additional funding sources were identified, through the Native American Bank, Navajo Sales Tax fund, Navajo Community Development Financial Institution, and the Office of the President and Vice President, for the $12.5 million project.
When JT Willie was appointed Executive Director of the Division of Economic Development I’m January, he allocated additional funds for the project as well. During the ceremony, JT Willie urged everyone to support the “Buy Navajo, Buy Local” initiative by using the new convention center for meetings and events rather than other hotels and centers off the Navajo Nation. He also recognized and thanked each staff member from the Division’s Eastern RBDO Office for their contributions and hard work.
“Today’s groundbreaking is the result of years of the hard work and persistence of local leadership working in partnership with Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development. This symbolizes what can be accomplished when we work together with our communities at the local level,” added President Nez.
“The community of Crownpoint has a vision for their community members and that encompasses economic opportunities and growth. The new hotel and conference center will open new doors of opportunity, new amenities, jobs, out-of-town visitors, and businesses. Also, the hotel’s full service will provide guests with convenient and comfortable stay while on the road,” added Vice President Lizer.
Crownpoint Chapter President Rita Capitan also offered her appreciation to everyone involved in the development of the long-awaited project. She also spoke about the benefits that the new hotel will provide for local residents and businesses, tourism, and more.
Also in attendance at the event was 24th Navajo Nation Council Delegates Mark Freeland, Wilson Stewart, Jr., Edmund Yazzie, Raymond Smith, Jr. and former Council Delegates Tom Chee and Jonathan Perry, who represented the Crownpoint community as a member of the 23rd Navajo Nation Council.
According to the Division of Economic Development’s Eastern RBDO official John Largo, the Crownpoint Hotel and conference center is expected to be completed in late 2020.