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Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Lake Havasu City, Arizona
London Bridge
London Bridge
Location in Mohave County and the state of Arizona
Location in Mohave County and the state of Arizona
Country United States
State Arizona
County Mohave
Incorporated 1978
 • Mayor Mark S Nexsen
 • City 43.1 sq mi (111.6 km2)
 • Land 43.0 sq mi (111.5 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 735 ft (224 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • City 52,527
 • Estimate (2013[2]) 52,844
 • Density 974.4/sq mi (376.2/km2)
 • Metro 203,030 (US: 212th)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 86403-86406
Area code(s) 928
FIPS code 04-39370

Lake Havasu City is a city in Mohave County, Arizona, United States. According to 2010 census, the population of the town is 52,527.[1] It is served by Lake Havasu City Airport. Lake Havasu City is geographically isolated from the other cities in Mohave County.[3]


  • History 1
    • London Bridge 1.1
    • Events 1.2
  • Geography and transport 2
  • Climate 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Education 5
  • Government 6
  • Notable residents 7
  • Popular culture 8
  • Attractions 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


The community first started as an Army Air Corps rest camp during World War II on the shores of Lake Havasu. In 1958, Robert P. McCulloch purchased 3,353 acres (13.57 km2) of property on the east side of Lake Havasu along Pittsburgh Point, the peninsula that eventually would be transformed into "the Island". After four years of planning, McCulloch Properties acquired another 13,000 acres of federal land in the surrounding area. Lake Havasu City was established on September 30, 1963 by a resolution of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors as the Lake Havasu Irrigation and Drainage District, making it a legal entity. (The act is referenced in resolution #63-12-1.) The city was incorporated in 1978.

London Bridge

A tourist attraction in Lake Havasu City is the London Bridge, which crosses a narrow channel that leads from Lake Havasu (a segment of the Colorado River) to Thompson Bay (also on the Colorado River). It was bought for US $2.5 million from the City of London when the bridge was replaced in 1968. The bridge was disassembled, and the marked stones were shipped to Lake Havasu City and reassembled for another US $7 million. It opened on October 5, 1971.


Lake Havasu City is an active destination for a wide range of people. During the spring months, the community is joined by university students during Spring Break. With its reputation as a party community, Lake Havasu has twice been featured during MTV's Spring Break coverage.[4] For boaters, March to September are the prime months on Lake Havasu. The city is also home to the International World Jet Ski Final Races, multiple professional fishing tournaments, custom boat regattas, the Western Winter Blast pyrotechnics convention, Havasu 95 Speedway, the Chilln-n-Swilln Beer Festival annual charity event, the Havasu Triathlon,[5] the Havasu Half Marathon[6] and the Havasu Island Hot Air Balloon Fest & Fair.[7]

During the winter months, the community is joined by retirees from colder regions of the country and Canada. During this period, multiple events are held on McCulloch Boulevard

Geography and transport

McCulloch Properties Lockheed Constellation used to transport prospective purchasers to Lake Havasu City in the early 1970s and wearing the city's name.

Lake Havasu City is located at .[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 43.1 square miles (112 km2), of which, 43.0 square miles (111 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.07%) is water.

The only surface access to Lake Havasu City is by road via Arizona State Route 95, which meets Interstate 40 to the north of the city and Interstate 10 to the south. C.V. Wood, who designed Disneyland, was hired by Robert McCulloch to lay out Lake Havasu's unique road system.[9]

In the early stages of development of the city, McCulloch Properties operated a fleet of secondhand airliners to fly prospective property purchasers to the area from California and elsewhere in the USA.


Lake Havasu City has an arid desert climate. In the winter months, daytime highs usually range from 63 °F (17 °C) to 82 °F (28 °C). Lows in winter average between 42 °F to 60 °F (6 °C-16 °C); temperatures do occasionally dip below 40 °F (4 °C), but frost is virtually unknown in the area. The city has extremely hot summers, with highs remaining between 109 °F and 125 °F (43 °C - 50 °C). Highs are known to exceed 125 °F (52 °C) during the summer months. Overnight low temperatures stay between 80 °F to 96 °F (27 °C - 34 °C) for the months of July and August, and range from 72 °F to 82 °F (22 °C-28 °C) in September.

The highest overnight low-temperature (record high minimum) ever recorded in Lake Havasu City was 98 °F (37 °C) on July 22, 2003.[10]

Mean annual precipitation is 4.29 inches. The annual mean temperature is 75.6 °F (24.2 °C).[10]

Climate data for Lake Havasu City Arizona
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 86
Average high °F (°C) 63.6
Average low °F (°C) 43.6
Record low °F (°C) 29
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.98

Lake Havasu City holds the all time record high temperature in Arizona history with 128°F recorded on June 29, 1994 and again on July 5, 2007.


As of the census of 2000, there were 41,938 people, 17,911 households, and 12,716 families residing in the city. The population density was 974.4 people per square mile (376.2/km²). There were 23,018 housing units at an average density of 534.8 per square mile (206.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.35% White, 0.31% Black or African American, 0.69% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 2.51% from other races, and 1.46% from two or more races. 7.86% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 17,911 households out of which 22.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.4% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 22.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.69.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.4% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 21.6% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 25.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females there were 96.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,499, and the median income for a family was $41,393. Males had a median income of $31,594 versus $21,576 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,403. About 6.6% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.8% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.

In 2007, Lake Havasu was named one of the Top 100 places to live in America by RelocateAmerica.[13] CNN has also listed the community among their top retirement cities in the country.


Lake Havasu City is served by the Lake Havasu Unified School District.[14] There are currently six elementary schools (Jamaica Elementary, Oro Grande Elementary, Starline Elementary, Smoketree Elementary, Nautilus Elementary, and Havasupai Elementary), one middle school (Thunderbolt Middle School), one high school (Lake Havasu High School), and several alternative schools in the city. The district is undergoing strict budget cuts, which removed Daytona Middle School, and distributed the 6th grade throughout the elementaries and 7th and 8th grade to Thunderbolt Middle School. In a 2008 nationwide survey, Forbes magazine ranked Lake Havasu City "The Least Educated City in America", coming up last in the number of college graduates living in the city.[15]

A campus of Mohave Community College is located in Lake Havasu City. Arizona State University opened a new lower-tuition 4-year college campus at the previous Daytona Middle School campus in Lake Havasu City in August 2012.[16]


The City operates under a council-manager form of government. The Mayor and six Councilmembers are elected to staggered four-year terms. The City Council sets the City's policy and direction, and appoints the City Manager who is tasked with the responsibility for carrying out Council policies and administering the day-to-day operations. Per the City Code, the Department Directors are appointed by the City Manager.[17]

As of November, 2008, 64 percent of registered voters in Lake Havasu City are Republican, 35 percent Democrat, and the remaining 1 percent Independent.[18]

Lake Havasu City hosted the final appreciation dinner for retiring United States Senator Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican Party presidential nominee, at the Nautical Inn Convention Center on October 21, 1986.

Notable residents

Popular culture

Day of the Wolves is a 1971 heist movie starring Richard Egan. It was directed, written and produced by Ferde Grofe Jr.. It was the first movie to be made on location in the new town of Lake Havasu City, Arizona.[19]

The London Bridge's relocation to Arizona was the basis of a 1985 made for TV movie Bridge Across Time (also known as Arizona Ripper or Terror at London Bridge), directed by E.W. Swackhamer and starring David Hasselhoff and Stepfanie Kramer. In the film, a series of murders in Lake Havasu is attributed to the spirit of Jack the Ripper, whose soul is transported to America in one of the bricks of the London Bridge.[20]

Savage Beach, a soft core adult movie, was filmed in Lake Havasu in 1989. Directed by Andy Sidaris, the movie featured Playboy magazine centerfold models Dona Speir and Hope Marie Carlton.[21]

Guns, another soft core adult movie, was filmed in Lake Havasu in 1990. Directed by Andy Sidaris, the movie plot involved a South American gunrunner, and a squad of beautiful government agents sent to put him out of business.[22]

In the film Falling Down (1993), Robert Duvall's character Sergeant Prendergast speaks about how he plans to retire in Lake Havasu City.

Hard Hunted, a third soft core adult movie directed by Andy Sidaris was filmed in Lake Havasu in 1992. The plot involved a nuclear trigger being smuggled to the Mid East, putting the global balance of power in jeopardy. The movie featured Playboy magazine centerfold Dona Speir.[23]

MTV featured Lake Havasu during their Spring Break coverage in 1995 and 2004.[4]

The comedy-adventure Border to Border was filmed in Lake Havasu in 1998. Actor Curtis Armstrong and Lisa Arturo were the leads, with a cameo by porn star Ron Jeremy.[24]

Piranha 3-D was filmed in Lake Havasu in 2009. The city was called Lake Victoria in the film. It was directed by Alexandre Aja and starred Elisabeth Shue, Kelly Brook, Richard Dreyfuss, Jerry O'Connell, and Christopher Lloyd. The film is a remake of the 1978 film Piranha. It debuted in Lake Havasu on Thursday, August 19, 2010, and was released nationally on August 20, 2010.[25]

In 2009 Travis Pastrana and the rest of the Nitro Circus crew filmed an entire episode of their TV show in Lake Havasu that aired during Season 2.


  • London Bridge
  • London Bridge Resort
  • Islander RV Resort
  • The Nautical Beachfront Resort
  • Lake Havasu and Colorado River
  • Wheeler Park
  • Lake Havasu Historical Society
  • Havasu 95 Speedway
  • The Aquatic Center
  • Havasu Skateboard and BMX Park
  • Rotary Park
  • The Famous Turtle Beach Bar
  • The Shops at Lake Havasu
  • Lake Havasu Art Collective
  • Lake Havasu City Airport (KHII)
  • Minor league baseball: the Blythe Heat of the Arizona Winter League and the Lake Havasu Heat of the Pacific Southwest Baseball League play regular season games.
  • Sandpoint Marina RV Resort
  • Lighthouses on the Colorado River[26]
London Bridge
Lake Havasu City from the west


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  2. ^ a b "Population Estimates".  
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b [1]
  5. ^ Tucson Racing Inc., retrieved 2010-06-18.
  6. ^ retrieved 2010-06-18.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^ WRCC. "Western U.S. Climate Historical Summaries Weather". Desert Research Institute. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  12. ^  
  13. ^ "Four Arizona cities make list of best places to live". April 19, 2007. 
  14. ^ LHUSD Website
  15. ^ Zumbrun, Joshua. "In Pictures: America's Best- And Worst-Educated Cities". Forbes. 
  16. ^ "Havasu ASU". ASU. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  17. ^ [3]
  18. ^ [4]
  19. ^ Day of the Wolves
  20. ^ [5]
  21. ^ [6]
  22. ^ [7]
  23. ^ [8]
  24. ^ [9]
  25. ^ [10]
  26. ^

External links

  • Lake Havasu City Guide
  • Mohave County Library
  • Lake Havasu City Visitors Bureau
  • Lake Havasu City, official city website
  • Lake Havasu City Chamber of Commerce
  • Today's News-Herald
  • Lake Havasu Business Directory & Phone Book
  • Lake Havasu City Coupons
  • Lake Havasu Living Magazine
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