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.
The London Bridge 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. Since its inauguration on October 5, 1971, it has attracted thousands of visitors each year.
McCulloch gave an acre of land to London. When Lake Havasu City wanted to use this land for a visitors' center, it leased it back for a quit rent of a Hopi Kachina figure.
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. 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, the Havasu Half Marathon and the Havasu Island Hot Air Balloon Fest & Fair.
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. Typically during the second weekend of February, McCulloch Boulevard is home to Winterfest, an annual event which draws thousands of visitors and residents for two days of food, activities, entertainment, and products from over 200 vendors from across the United States.
Lake Havasu City is located at 34°29′24″N 114°18′32″W.
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.
In the early stages of development of the city, McCulloch Properties operated a fleet of secondhand airliners such as the Lockheed Constellation and the Lockheed L-188 Electra fly prospective property purchasers to the area from California and elsewhere in the USA.
Lake Havasu City does not have a public transit system. Private shuttles provide transportation to Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada. Havasu Landing Resort and Casino provides a ferry to Havasu Lake, California.
Lake Havasu City has a hot desert climate. In the winter months, daytime highs usually range from 60 °F (16 °C) to 70 °F (21 °C). Lows in winter average between 40 °F to 50 °F (4 °C-10 °C); temperatures do occasionally dip below 40 °F (4 °C). The city has extremely hot summers, with highs normally remaining between 100 °F and 115 °F (38 °C - 46 °C). Highs are known to exceed 125 °F (52 °C) during the summer months. Overnight low temperatures stay between 80 °F to 90 °F (27 °C - 32 °C) for the months of July and August.
The highest overnight low temperature (record high minimum) ever recorded in Lake Havasu City was 98 °F (37 °C) on July 22, 2003.
Mean annual precipitation is 3.84 inches. The annual mean temperature is 74.6 °F (23.7 °C).
Lake Havasu City holds the all-time record high temperature in Arizona history with 128 °F recorded on June 29, 1994. This temperature is also the highest for a town or city in the Western Hemisphere. On December 31, 2014, snow fell on Lake Havasu City.
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. 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. 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", using information from statistics on the Lake Havasu - Kingman Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses Mohave County Arizona coming up last in the number of college graduates living in the city.
A campus of Mohave Community College is located in Lake Havasu City. MCC also is home of one of the Northern Arizona University extended campuses. Arizona State University opened a new lower-tuition 4-year college campus, the ASU Colleges at Lake Havasu City, in August 2012.
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.
As of November, 2008, 64 percent of registered voters in Lake Havasu City are Republican, 35 percent Democrat, and the remaining 1 percent Independent.
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.Michael Biehn, motion picture actor
Mike Corkins, former major league baseball pitcher
Reginald Denny, 1992 Los Angeles Riots victim
Crystal Harris, Playboy Miss December 2009, current wife of Hugh Hefner
Jim Heath, broadcaster, Ohio News Network
Kurt Krakowian, television actor
Eddie Lawson, motorcycle racer
Robert P. McCulloch, CEO of McCulloch chainsaws and purchaser of the London Bridge tourist attraction
Bob Milacki, former Major League baseball pitcher
Ryan Reynolds, former college football player
Jerry Scott, cartoonist
Rod Underhill, cofounder of MP3.com
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.
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.
The director Andy Sidaris has directed three soft-core adult films in Lake Havasu: 1989's Savage Beach, 1990's Guns, and 1992's Hard Hunted.
In the film Falling Down (1993), Robert Duvall's character Sergeant Prendergast speaks about how he plans to retire in Lake Havasu City.
MTV featured Lake Havasu during their Spring Break coverage in 1995 and 2004.
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.
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 Adam Scott, Elisabeth Shue, Kelly Brook, Richard Dreyfuss, Jerry O'Connell, Ving Rhames 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.
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.
The city was featured in the season 6 premiere of The Great Food Truck Race.London Bridge
London Bridge Resort
Islander RV Resort
The Nautical Beachfront Resort
Lake Havasu and Colorado River
Lake Havasu Historical Society
Havasu 95 Speedway
The Aquatic Center
Patrick Tinell Memorial Skatepark
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