In just a few days, local leaders from Lake Havasu City, Arizona will be in Denver, Colorado with hopes of returning home with the top prize in the America’s Best Communities competition, a $10 million initiative sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel to revitalize small towns and rural communities across the country.
For almost three years, a local team has been working toward this moment. They developed a comprehensive Community Revitalization Plan packed with innovative ideas to stimulate economic development and neighborhood revival, and they’ve taken strides to implement it.
Throughout the competition, the community has won a total of $150,000 in grant funding from the program’s sponsors to create its strategy and put it to work.
“The funding we’ve earned through America’s Best Communities is certainly an accomplishment to celebrate, but we’re most proud of how our community has come together to believe in a shared vision for revitalization and prosperity,” said James Gray, Partnership for Economic Development. “We have worked hard to make it this far in the competition, and no matter what happens in Denver, our community should be proud of what we’ve achieved.
“Still, all we’ve accomplished will be even sweeter if we bring home the grand prize,” he added.
In addition to Mayor Mark Nexsen, Cal Sheehy, London Bridge Resort and Tonya Krueger, Partnership for Economic Development, will be representing Lake Havasu City at the America’s Best Communities Grand Prize Ceremony April 19 in Denver.
The top community will be awarded $3 million, second place will win $2 million, and third will receive $1 million.
When they launched the America’s Best Communities competition in September 2014, Frontier Communications, DISH, CoBank and The Weather Channel challenged small towns and cities to envision a stronger future and build a strategy to achieve revitalization and growth.
More than 350 communities entered the competition, and now only eight community teams remain. In Denver, each community will present the strategies they’ve developed to revive their local economies, and the top three — which will be determined by their progress in implementing those strategies and the potential for sustained revitalization — will be awarded grand-prize funding to accelerate their communities’ growth.
In addition to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, the other finalists are:
· Chisago Lakes Area, Minnesota
· Darrington/Arlington, Washington
· Huntington, West Virginia
· Madison, Indiana
· Statesboro, Georgia
· Tualatin, Oregon
· Valley County, Idaho
For more on the competition, visit www.americasbestcommunities.com.