For six months, local leaders in Lake Havasu City have been hard at work developing a Community Revitalization Plan to guide the city’s economic future. On November 6, they submitted the plan, which will determine whether Lake Havasu City will advance in the America’s Best Communities (ABC) competition for a chance to win the contest’s $3 million grand prize.
The comprehensive plan, called Vision 20/20, aims to fuel the momentum behind ongoing efforts that focus on five Pillars for change that will be instrumental in transforming the future of Lake Havasu City – Economic Development & Job Creation, Education & Talent Supply, Tourism & Place Development, Water, and Community Engagement. By putting this at the heart of the community’s plan, local leaders believe they have constructed a strategy that can drive the community forward.
“Whether we advance into the next round or not, we know we have a winning revitalization plan,” said Mayor Mark S. Nexsen. “No matter what happens next, our journey to become America’s best community will not end when the semifinalists are announced. This Vision 20/20 Plan has set us on a bold course to a more vibrant, prosperous future, and I am excited for the opportunity to bring this vision into reality.”
“We’re confident in our plan, and we know we’ve got what it takes to win the top prize,” he added.
When it advanced into the ABC quarterfinals, Lake Havasu City was awarded $50,000 to construct a Community Revitalization Plan. Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel — the sponsors of the America’s Best Communities competition – provided $35,000 of the award, with the remaining $15,000 in funding coming from Lake Havasu City’s Adopt-a-Community mentor, Verizon.
In addition, Lake Havasu City raised an additional $31,250 from local agencies and businesses including Mohave State Bank, Lake Havasu City, Lake Havasu Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Partnership for Economic Development, Havasu Regional Medical Center, Wells Fargo, Lake Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce, Lake Havasu Marine Association, Lake Havasu Hospitality Association, Horizon Community Bank, Lake Havasu City Rotary Foundation, London Bridge Resort, GDK CPA, NSC CPA, Springberg McAndrew Financial Services, and Lake Havasu Sunrise Rotary.
Lake Havasu City commits to supporting the goal to create an upward economic path. They will do this through a community of change-agents convening, collaborating and confronting challenges and successes together to achieve the vision as the desert destination exceeding expectations of businesses, residents, and visitors.
“With support from America’s Best Communities and input from hundreds of residents, we have constructed a revitalization strategy that effectively lays out the steps we need to take to become the community we know we can be,” said James Gray, Partnership for Economic Development. “With the resources necessary, it will change the trajectory of our economy and strengthen our community for generations to come.”
When Frontier Communications launched America’s Best Communities, the company envisioned it helping to uncover new business plans that have the potential to create the next great American city. Frontier hoped to develop roadmaps to revitalization for rural communities across the U.S.
“We’re excited to see which ideas rise to the top and how they will help not only an applicant’s local community grow and thrive, but how the proposals can benefit all communities across America,” said Frontier Executive Chairman Maggie Wilderotter when the competition first launched.
Lake Havasu City is one of only 50 communities across the country that advanced into the quarterfinals of the America’s Best Communities competition. A panel of expert judges will now review the revitalization plans, and the best proposals will be awarded additional funding in the next rounds of the competition.
In January 2016, up to 15 communities will be named semifinalists and invited to attend the America’s Best Communities Summit, where they will present their revitalization plans. Eight communities will then be selected to receive $100,000 to implement their plans, with the opportunity to secure one of the grand prizes.
Spearheaded by Frontier Communications and cosponsored by DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel, America’s Best Communities is a multi-stage, three-year competition that is providing $4 million in seed money and other support to assist communities as they develop new economic growth strategies. The top three communities will share a total of $6 million in grand prize money. The winning community will be awarded $3 million, with $2 million for second place and $1 million for third. To learn more, visit americasbestcommunities.com.
The Lake Havasu City ABC Team wishes to thank all those that participated in surveys and the Town Halls in August and would like to invite them and the entire community for a brief presenta