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FLAGSTAFF-The developer of a $330-million mixed-use development near the southern edge of the Grand Canyon is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in a bid to keep the development alive. Voters in Coconino County, a vast county in northern Arizona that includes the rural town of Flagstaff, will vote on Nov. 7 on whether the controversial project moves forward.

Developers of the Canyon Forest Village have spent an unprecedented $680,000 on the campaign to date, and opponents say that the partnership plans to spend as much as $2 million to win support for Proposition 400. If that much is spent, that would mean about $45 for each of the estimated 45,000 voters expected to cast ballots on the issue.

“We are in the process of getting information to the people,” says Athia Hardt, a Phoenix public relations consultant working for Canyon Forest Village. “That can be an expensive process.”

The developers, Grand Canyon Exchange LP, have already spent nearly $20 million and eight years to bring the project to this point. Last March, the Coconino County Board of Supervisors approved the proposal, but a referendum drive, led by merchants in nearby communities of Flagstaff, Williams and Tusayan, forced the proposition onto the ballot.

If the measure passes, Canyon Forest Village could begin building a 900-room hotel, 240,000-sf of commercial space, a 20,000-sf Native American marketplace and up to 2,500 homes and apartments on a 272-acre parcel about five miles south from the Grand Canyon’s south rim.

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