Lake Havasu City, Arizona

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Lake Havasu City
London Bridge, Lake Havasu City
London Bridge, Lake Havasu City
Flag of Lake Havasu City
Location in Mohave County, Arizona
Location in Mohave County, Arizona
Lake Havasu City is located in Arizona
Lake Havasu City
Lake Havasu City
Lake Havasu City is located in the United States
Lake Havasu City
Lake Havasu City
Coordinates: 34°29′N 114°19′W / 34.483°N 114.317°W / 34.483; -114.317Coordinates: 34°29′N 114°19′W / 34.483°N 114.317°W / 34.483; -114.317
CountryUnited States
 • MayorCal Sheehy
 • City46.38 sq mi (120.14 km2)
 • Land46.34 sq mi (120.02 km2)
 • Water0.05 sq mi (0.12 km2)
Elevation738 ft (225 m)
 • City57,144
 • Density1,233.17/sq mi (476.13/km2)
 • Metro
203,361 (US: 213th)
Time zoneUTC−7 (MST)
ZIP codes
Area code928
FIPS code04-39370
GNIS feature ID6840[2]

Lake Havasu City (/ˈhɑːvəs/, HAH-və-soo) is a city in Mohave County, Arizona, United States. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 57,144,[3] up from 52,527 in 2010.[4] It is served by Lake Havasu City Airport.


The community first started as an Army Air Corps rest camp, called "Site Six" during World War II, on the shores of Lake Havasu. In 1958, American businessman Robert P. McCulloch purchased 3,353 acres (13.57 km2) of property on the east side of the lake 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 (5,300 ha) 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[edit]

London Bridge crosses a narrow channel that leads from Lake Havasu (a segment of the Colorado River) to Thompson Bay (also on the river).[5][6] Hoping to attract tourists and prospective buyers of residential lots, McCulloch bought it for US$2.5 million from the City of London when the bridge was replaced in 1968. The bridge was disassembled on contract with Sundt Construction of Tucson,[7] and the marked stones were shipped to Lake Havasu City and reassembled by Sundt[7] for another US$7 million. The construction took three years to complete.

McCulloch gave an acre of land in Lake Havasu City to London. When Lake Havasu City wanted to use this land for a visitors' center, London leased it back for a quit rent of a Hopi Kachina figure.[8]

Since its inauguration on October 5, 1971, London Bridge has become the second-largest tourist attraction in Arizona, after the Grand Canyon.[citation needed] In 2017, a panel of experts partnering with USA Today's chose London Bridge as one of 20 initial nominees for Best Arizona Attraction. readers voted London Bridge as a top 5 favorite.[9]


Lake Havasu City is an active event destination for a wide range of people. During spring months, the community is joined by university students for spring break. In 1995, Lake Havasu City was featured during MTV's Spring Break coverage.[10][failed verification] Attendance during Spring Break has taken a downturn in recent years, as the city has declined to issue permits to the large party organizers.

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,[11] and the Havasu Balloon Festival & Fair.[12]

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 in southwestern Mohave County on the east side of Lake Havasu, a reservoir on the Colorado River, at 34°29′N 114°19′W / 34.483°N 114.317°W / 34.483; -114.317.[13] It is 60 miles (97 km) south of Kingman, the Mohave county seat, and 193 miles (311 km) northwest of Phoenix.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 46.4 square miles (120 km2), of which 0.05 square miles (0.13 km2), or 0.10%, are water.[1]


The only surface access to Lake Havasu City is by road via Arizona State Route 95, which meets Interstate 40 19 miles (31 km) to the north of the city and Interstate 10 74 miles (119 km) to the south. C. V. Wood, who designed Disneyland, was hired by Robert McCulloch to lay out Lake Havasu's unique road system.[14]

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 to fly prospective property purchasers to the area from California and elsewhere in the United States.

The city operates Lake Havasu City Transit.[15] Vegas Airporter provides service from Lake Havasu City to Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas.[16] Havasu Landing Resort and Casino provides a ferry to Havasu Lake, California.[17]

Lake Havasu City Airport, also known as Lake Havasu City Municipal Airport, is a general aviation airport owned by the city and located 6 miles north of the central business district of Lake Havasu City.


Lake Havasu City has a hot desert climate (BWh), with extremely hot summers, mild winters, and very little rainfall. The hottest temperature in Arizona was recorded in Havasu City. Lake Havasu City is a very hot city, even by Arizona standards; here, the highest temperature ever recorded in the state, 128 °F (53 °C), was set on June 29, 1994.[18] Temperatures may exceed 100 °F (38 °C) as early as April or as late as October, and in the summer months, it routinely reaches 110 °F (43 °C), and can even get up to 120 °F (49 °C) or higher during the worst heat waves. Overnight low temperatures generally stay between 80 °F to 90 °F (27–32 °C) for the months of July and August, but the highest overnight low temperature (record high minimum) ever recorded was 98 °F (37 °C) on July 22, 2003.[19]

The winters, on the other hand, are very pleasant, with typical daily highs in the 60s and 70s Fahrenheit (16–26 °C), and infrequent night frosts. Mean annual rainfall is only 4.16 inches (106 millimeters); winter is the wettest season, but even then, rain occurs on an average of only 2–3 days per month.

Climate data for Lake Havasu City, Arizona (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1967–2016)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 86
Mean maximum °F (°C) 75.0
Average high °F (°C) 65.2
Daily mean °F (°C) 53.9
Average low °F (°C) 42.7
Mean minimum °F (°C) 35.6
Record low °F (°C) 24
Average rainfall inches (mm) 0.75
Average rainy days (≥ 0.01 in) 2.9 2.8 2.2 0.9 0.3 0.2 1.5 2.1 1.5 1.1 1.1 2.3 18.9
Mean monthly sunshine hours 248.0 254.3 310.0 360.0 403.0 390.0 372.0 372.0 330.0 310.0 240.0 248.0 3,837.3
Mean daily sunshine hours 8.0 9.0 10.0 12.0 13.0 13.0 12.0 12.0 11.0 10.0 8.0 8.0 10.5
Percent possible sunshine 80 82 83 92 93 93 86 92 92 91 80 80 87
Average ultraviolet index 3 4 6 8 9 10 11 10 8 5 4 2 7
Source 1: National Weather Service[20][21] / Western Regional Climate Center [22][23]
Source 2: Weather Atlas [24]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[25]

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 inhabitants 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 94.4% White, 0.3% Black or African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.5% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. 7.9% 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.[26] 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.[27] There are currently six elementary schools (Jamaica Elementary, Oro Grande Classical Academy, 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. Lake Havasu Unified went through some strict budget cuts, closing one of its two middle schools (Daytona Middle School), and distributing 6th graders throughout the elementaries and 7th and 8th grades to Thunderbolt Middle School. Local voters passed a bond and a budget override for the district in 2016, helping to alleviate some school district budget problems.[28][29]

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.[30]

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.[31]


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.[32]

As of November, 2008, 64 percent of registered voters in Lake Havasu City are Republican, 35 percent Democrat, and the remaining 1 percent Independent.[33]

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 people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

Route 66 filmed a 1962 episode entitled "Go Read the River" in the area which became Lake Havasu City just a few years later. The "Site Six" test site and Thompson Bay are mentioned prominently in the fictional story of a McCulloch company engineer working on a new speedboat motor which he tests while racing across Lake Havasu.

The Day of the Wolves is a 1971 heist film 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.[34]

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.[35]

The director Andy Sidaris has directed three soft-core adult films in Lake Havasu: 1989's Savage Beach,[36] 1990's Guns,[37] and 1992's Hard Hunted.[38]

MTV featured Lake Havasu during its Spring Break coverage in 1995.[10]

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.[39]

Piranha 3D 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 August 19, 2010, and was released nationally on August 20, 2010.[40]

The Concepts x New Balance Made in U.K. 991.5 "Lake Havasu" athletic shoe was inspired by the story of the London Bridge's relocation to Arizona, and the transatlantic partnership between U.K. shoe manufacturer New Balance and American shoe retailer Concepts.[41] Lake Havasu City Mayor Mark Nexsen officially declared February 27, 2018 as "Concepts/New Balance 991.5 'Made in U.K.' Lake Havasu Shoe Day."[42]

Indie rock band Pedro the Lion's sixth studio album Havasu was written about the one year of childhood the singer spent living in the city. [43]


  • London Bridge
  • London Bridge Resort
  • Lake Havasu Golf Club (36 holes)
  • Islander RV Resort
  • The Nautical Beachfront Resort
  • Lake Havasu and Colorado River
  • Wheeler Park
  • Lake Havasu Historical Society
  • Havasu 95 Speedway
  • The Aquatic Center
  • Patrick Tinell Memorial Skatepark
  • 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[44]
London Bridge
Lake Havasu City from the west


  1. ^ a b "2021 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Arizona". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lake Havasu City, Arizona
  3. ^ a b "Lake Havasu City city, Arizona: 2020 DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  4. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  5. ^ London Bridge34°28′18″N 114°20′50″W / 34.47167°N 114.34722°W / 34.47167; -114.34722
  6. ^ a b Laskow, Sarah (2016-10-17). "London Is Still Paying Rent to the Queen on a Property Leased in 1211". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2021-04-17.
  7. ^ a b "Construction Company & General Contractor – Sundt".
  8. ^ "London Is Still Paying Rent to the Queen on a Property Leased in 1211". 17 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Best Arizona Attraction Winners: 2017 10Best Readers' Choice Travel Awards". 10Best.
  10. ^ a b "Find - IMDb". IMDb.
  11. ^ Tucson Racing Inc., retrieved 2018-03-06.
  12. ^ "Havasu Balloon Festival and Fair – Jan 2019".
  13. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  14. ^ "Lake Havasu City, AZ – London Bridge".
  15. ^ "Lake Havasu City Transit".
  16. ^ "Pickup & Drop-off Locations –". Retrieved 2021-02-06.
  17. ^ "Transportation – Lake Havasu City".
  18. ^ Johnson, Weldon B. "Hottest city in Arizona? That'd be Lake Havasu City". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  19. ^ "Lake Havasu City, Arizona – Climate Summary".
  20. ^ "NOAA Online Weather Data". National Weather Service – NOWData. Retrieved 2021-05-05.
  21. ^ "Station Name: Lake Havasu City, AZ". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2021-05-05.
  22. ^ WRCC. "Period of Record General Climate Summary – Temperature". WRCC. Retrieved 2021-05-05.
  23. ^ WRCC. "Period of Record Monthly Climate Summary". WRCC. Retrieved 2021-05-05.
  24. ^ "Lake Havasu City, Arizona, USA – Monthly weather forecast and Climate data". Weather Atlas. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  25. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  26. ^ "Four Arizona cities make list of best places to live". April 19, 2007.
  27. ^ Lake Havasu USD No. 1. "Lake Havasu USD No. 1".
  28. ^ Louis, David. "Passage of bond, override allows Havasu's school district to cut sports fees in half". Havasu News-Herald. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  29. ^ Messick, Brandon. "Lake Havasu Unified School Board OKs budget, teacher raises". Havasu News-Herald. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  30. ^ Zumbrun, Joshua. "In Pictures: America's Best- And Worst-Educated Cities". Forbes.
  31. ^ "Havasu ASU". ASU. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  32. ^ "Official Website of Lake Havasu City". Archived from the original on 2015-08-23. Retrieved 2015-07-05.
  33. ^ {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help){{dl|date=June 2021
  34. ^ Day of the Wolves
  35. ^ "Terror at London Bridge" – via
  36. ^ "Savage Beach". 9 March 1990 – via
  37. ^ "Guns" – via
  38. ^ "Hard Hunted". 3 March 1993 – via
  39. ^ "Border to Border" – via
  40. ^ "Piranha 3D" – via
  41. ^ "Concepts International – Concepts x New Balance Made in U.K. 991.5 "Lake Havasu"".
  42. ^ Staff report. "New Balance releases shoe honoring Lake Havasu City".
  43. ^ "Havasu on Bandcamp". Bandcamp. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  44. ^ "LHC Lighthouse Club – Famous replica lighthouses".

External links[edit]