Developer Eyes Navajo Land for RV /Golf Resort
Jeanne Rizzotto has heard all about fast-talking “bilagaanas” coming to Navajoland, using Navajo startup money to create businesses and then skipping out, leaving the Nation holding the bag. It’s a handicap, but one she hopes to overcome.
Rizzotto, owner of Century 21 in Red Lodge, Mont., received permission last week from Teec Nos Pos Chapter grazing permit holders and families to use 401 acres along the San Juan River in northwest New Mexico for development of the “Hole in Juan” RV Resort, a Robert Trent Jones II 18-hole championship golf course and upscale recreational vehicle park, according to the Gallup (N.M.) Independent.
Teec Nos Pos Delegate Francis Redhouse said Rizzotto and staff met with the families of Dick and Ella Shorthair and walked the designated areas.
“She has committed to use her own money in the development, will provide training for personnel and even assist in the development of the Five Management Plan System for Teec Nos Pos Chapter for certification,” Redhouse said. “The community has been inspired and energized that finally economic development will happen in Teec Nos Pos. The projected revenue when the operation becomes a reality would be near $90 million and 10% shared revenue would be to Teec Nos Pos community,” said Redhouse.
Rizzotto said she studied 30 RV resorts in Florida, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California before putting together her concept. She has been working with several chapters and plans to do at least a half-dozen RV resorts on the Navajo Nation.
“My goal is not only to implement the first RV resort in the United States with a Robert Trent Jones II golf course, but to also give back to the Nation and the community — something long overdue,” Rizzotto said.
Her company, Of Course RV Resort LLC, is expected to break ground April 1 on a nine-hole golf course and resort in Red Lodge for owners of high-end recreational vehicles.
“I have 522 lots proposed. We already have 203 buyers right now, pending their review and approval of the lease,” she said of the Red Lodge resort. “Of Course lots are 50 feet by 60 feet for the park models or RV, and then Port Homes — that have a park model and an RV on it — are 60 by 75,” she said. The park models resemble log cabins and the lots range from $129,900 to $399,900. This includes a 99-year lease.
“At Hole in Juan, the park models will look like hogans. And we’re putting up a 50,000-square-foot building for Teec Nos Pos to build them. They don’t have to just sell them to us, they can sell them to anyone in any other state.”
Because there is more space at Hole in Juan than at the Montana resort, the lots will range from 50 feet by 75 feet to 75 by 75.
Rizzotto has made a presentation to Cameron Chapter for a second site, Canyon ParForFore, to be located about 15 miles from the entrance to the Grand Canyon.