Havasu Balloon Festival Partners With Good Sam

Join Good Sam Club for high-flying fun at the fourth annual Havasu Balloon Festival and Fair, January 17-19, 2014.

Havasu Balloon Festival dont-miss2Good Sam members can join tens of thousands of spectators watching hot-air balloons soar high above London Bridge, the crystal-clear waters of Lake Havasu, and beautiful desert landscaping.

Like Albuquerque’s renowned Balloon Fiesta, the Havasu Balloon Festival turns the Southwestern sky into an airborne parade with the world’s oldest flight technology dressed up in fanciful colors and contemporary shapes.

Beyond experiencing the thrill of more than 60 thermal-powered aircraft aloft above Lake Havasu, members will get a lift knowing their camping fees support deserving charities.

One of the biggest events in the region, the Havasu Balloon Festival was launched by the Lake Havasu City London Bridge Lions Club and the London Bridge Rotary Club as a way to fund local charitable groups. Four years later, that’s still the mission, with the 2014 festival operated by volunteers and proceeds going to fund groups from Meals on Wheels to Big Brother/Big Sister.

Good Sam anticipates as many as 500 RVs at this popular festival; already 260 members have registered to camp out for the festivities. This number exceeds all of last year’s total of 242 RVs camping out for this colorful event, reports havasunews.com.

Having 260 RVs already signed up for the Balloon Festival is amazing because the event usually gets the bulk of RV enthusiasts signing up closer to the event, according to the organizers.

Lake Havasu Marina has been the main location for people to park their RVs for the previous years of the festival, but with this year’s participation of Good Sam, the overflow Site Six parking lot and an area at Crazy Horse campgrounds are being opened up as well.

Havasu banner03Dramatic morning launches, optional balloon rides, and magical evening balloon glows give spectators an up-close look at these inflatable crafts that ride on the wind.

Beyond the festival’s sky-high pageantry, down-to-earth activities include a carnival, a car show, a food court, hundreds of vendor booths, live musical entertainment, and much more.

Festival-goers can take advantage of Lake Havasu City’s other amusements, from Segway rides to jet-boat trips to tours of the legendary London Bridge, transported stone by stone from England’s capital city.

The Parker Dam was completed in 1938, holding back the Colorado River to form Lake Havasu. In 1964, Lake Havasu City—a 2,500-acre planned community—was founded on the lake’s shore, around the core of a turn-of-the-century mining town.

One of the most interesting attractions in Lake Havasu is the London Bridge, built in 1831 and sold by the City of London—where it had been sinking at a rate of around eight inches a year—in the 1960s. Since 1971, when its reassembly was completed, the arched bridge has spanned Lake Havasu, adding to the city’s tourist appeal.

Havasu Balloon banner02Dubbed the “Personal Watercraft Capital of the World,” Lake Havasu is one of the Southwest’s premier locations for water sports, including wakeboarding, waterskiing, jet skiing, swimming, and boating of all kind.

All types of watercraft are available for rental on the lake itself, from kayaks to Jet Skis to pontoon boats.

Good Sam Club members will pay $20 per RV for their site. All of the proceeds from the members paying $20 will go to charities through local Rotary and Lions Club. The city donated the land for the RVs to use at no cost.

Details

4th Annual Havasu Balloon Festival & Fair

Website: havasuballoonfest.com

Good Sam RV Dry Camping

Sites available from January 13-20, 2014

Daily rates: Pre-RegistHavasu 2014ration – $22.00, at the Gate; $25.00; $2.00 discount to all Good Sam Members for Pre-Registration only.

Worth Pondering…
Newcomers to Arizona are often struck by Desert Fever.

Desert Fever is caused by the spectacular natural beauty and serenity of the area.

Early symptoms include a burning desire to make plans for the next trip “south”.

There is no apparent cure for snowbirds.

Read More

Lake Havasu Motorcoach Resort Approved

Mohave County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a zoning use permit for a 107-space, 84-acre luxury motorcoach resort project at The Refuge Golf & Country Club in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

The measure allows The Refuge golf course owners, longtime Havasu residents Jerry and Cindy Aldridge, to move ahead on construction of a project they first envisioned and presented to the county in 2009.

Nestled on the banks of Lake Havasu the Motorcoach Resort at the Refuge Golf & Country Club sits on 170 acres on the north-end of Lake Havasu City adjacent to Havasu National Wildlife Refuge.

Featuring an 18-hole golf course, The Refuge Luxury Motorcoach Resort, is a $17 million development. With only 107 sites, the resort design maintains the elegant, country club feel Refuge members have always prized, according to a news release.

The Aldridges have previously completed the 18-hole golf course, negative-edge resort pool, fitness center, Pilates/Yoga room, state-of-the-art pro shop, a 300-seat event pavilion, spa treatment rooms, and Clubhouse restaurant, lounge, and piano bar that hums both day and night.

On the social side, The Refuge offers wine tastings, live music and entertainment, crafts, karaoke, game nights, member events, golf tournaments, and clinics, tours of the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, dances, and casino tours.

“I founded Coach Net Roadside Assistance in one of the most beautiful resort destinations in the Southwest, Jerry Aldridge said in a news release.

“Now, Cindy and I are taking our award-winning customer service skills to a new level with a luxury RV destination unrivaled in the resort industry.”

The Refuge Golf and Country Club

The Motorcoach Resort is scheduled for completion in October.

Motorcoach owners who enjoy golf and the country club lifestyle are invited to come now to tour the facility, play a round of golf using our Member-for-a-Day package, and preview the Club’s amenities. Onsite, overnight parking is available.

The Refuge Golf and Country Club is easily accessible, situated along the Colorado River and Lake Havasu.

The property is located between I-10 and I-40 off Highway 95 in western Arizona, just 30 miles from the California border.

During the county supervisors’ general meeting in Kingman, five proponents of the project addressed the supervisors, and 11 people spoke in opposition of the project, Today’s News-Herald reported.

Those in favor cited reasons of business growth, increased property valuations, and golf course property improvements.

Those opposed cited reasons of decreased property valuations, a down-sized golf course with no ties to Arnold Palmer’s original design, and increased traffic, noise, and crime.

Also during the meeting, Nick Hont, director of county development services, said the flood plain has recently been recalculated with updated technology showing the area of the RV spaces could be removed from the flood plain.

The findings currently are being submitted to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for review. The current flood plain is thought to manage a 100-year flood storm event, but new calculations show it’s more relevant for a 500-year flood storm event.

Hont also said the property’s original U.S. Army Corps of Engineers drainage study from 2002 is still valid since no grading or topography of the property has been changed.

Details

The Motorcoach Resort at the Refuge Golf & Country Club

The layout of the new luxury motor coach resort under development in Lake Havasu City.

The Refuge Golf and Country Club is located at 3103 London Bridge Road, adjacent to the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, approximately a half mile north of the Lake Havasu City limits.

Situated along the beautiful Colorado River and Lake Havasu, The Refuge Golf & Country Club is located just off of Highway 95 in western Arizona, south of Interstate 40, approximately 30 miles from California

Location: 3103 London Bridge Road, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86405

Mailing Address: P O Box 2460, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86405

Phone: (928) 764-1404

Website: refugecountryclub.com

Worth Pondering…

What you can do, or dream, you can do, begin it.

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Read More

Birdwatchers Flock to Lake Havasu City

In January 2012, news spread worldwide that a Nutting’s Flycatcher was spotted in the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) near Lake Havasu City, Arizona, attracting scores of birders.

A pristine stretch of the Bill Williams River within the National Wildlife Refuge. (Source: golakehavasu.com )

Though it may seem like one of the more unique vacation ideas, birding is big business for the Lake Havasu area, according to a news release.

“We host hundreds of birders here a week,” said Kathleen B., Blair, Ph.D., a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service ecologist.

Bill Williams River NWR birders receive cards that read, “Your business has been patronized by a birdwatcher” to leave at local businesses.

“By emphasizing that wildlife conservation is good for business, we hope more people will support it,” said Blair.

The desert marshland of the Bill Williams River NWR was recently designated by the National Audubon Society as a Globally Important Bird Area. It harbors species of global conservation concern, supports range- and biome-restricted species, and represents a bottleneck through which migratory birds pass seasonally.

“The refuge is a vital stopover for neotropical migrant birds using the Colorado River flyway. It provides a nesting habitat for endangered and threatened species, including the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher and Yuma Clapper Rail,” said Tice Supplee, Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon Arizona.

Key features which identify this bird as a Nutting's Flycatcher include the call, tail pattern, wing pattern, mouth lining and bill shape. (Source: ccsf.cc.ca.us)

“By calling attention to the spread of invasive exotic species and excessive public recreation, we hope to preserve this Arizona gem.”

The Important Bird Areas program is a global effort to identify and conserve vital bird areas. Working with Audubon chapters, landowners, public agencies, community groups, and other non-profits, Audubon endeavors to activate a support network for Important Bird Areas.

Details

Lake Havasu City

Lake Havasu City, home of the historic London Bridge, is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Havasu on the Colorado River border of California and Arizona. The City was established in 1963 by Robert P. McCulloch, Sr., as a self-sufficient, planned community. Lake Havasu City is located off Arizona Highway 95 in Mohave County, an 18-mile drive north leads to Interstate 40, and a 65-mile drive south leads to Interstate 10.

Lake Havasu City is located on what is known as the “West Coast of Arizona,” three hours driving time west of Phoenix. The area attracts 750,000 visitors a year thanks to its calm waters, beautiful beaches, desert weather with more than 300 sunny days a year.

Phone: (928) 453-3444 or (800) 242-8278 (toll free)

Website: golakehavasu.com

Bill Williams National Wildlife Refuge (NWR)

The rare riparian habitat of Bill Williams River NWR draws a variety of neotropical migratory birds—winging their way from Central and South America to their breeding grounds in the north.

About a dozen endangered Yuma clapper rails spend the summer months in the cattails of the marsh and may overwinter. More likely heard than seen, their dry kek-kek-kek echoes at dusk and dawn. Another endangered bird, the southwestern willow flycatcher, nests on the refuge in the willow trees lining the river.

Crisscrossing tracks in the sand chronicle the nighttime excursions of cottontails, javelina, and deer, as well as predatory coyotes, bobcats, and the less common cougars.

A marsh bird the size of a chicken, the Yuma clapper rail is gray-brown above and buffy-cinnamon below and has brownish-gray cheeks and flanks barred with black and white. Its somewhat orange bill is long and slightly down-curved.

Directions: From Lake Havasu City, drive south on Arizona Highway 95 approximately 23 miles. Watch for the signs. When you start to make the curve at the south end of Lake Havasu, between mileposts 160 and 161, look for a rock wall and enter at the gate. The entrance to the paddle craft launch ramp is to the right; public parking and fishing access are to the left. The Visitors Center is directly ahead.

Address: 60911 Highway 95, Parker, AZ 85344

Phone: (928) 667-4144

Website: fws.gov/southwest

Worth Pondering…

The West is color. Its colors are animal rather than vegetable, the colors of earth and sunlight and ripeness.

—Jessamyn West

Read More

Upscale Motorcoach Resort Planned for Lake Havasu City

Imagine the beauty of dawn along the water’s edge, a perfectly struck 9 iron arcing over a scenic desert golf hole, and an upscale motorcoach resort offering first-class amenities to rival the country club back home.

The Refuge Golf & Country Club Clubhouse. (Credit: refugecountryclub.com)

That what’s being planned for Lake Havasu City, Arizona, on the grounds of The Refuge Golf & Country Club, according to a Tuesday (January 17) news release.

Nestled on the banks of Lake Havasu the Motorcoach Resort at the Refuge Golf and Country Club sits on 170 acres on the north-end of Lake Havasu City adjacent to the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge.

Featuring an 18-hole golf course, The Refuge Luxury Motorcoach Resort, is a $17 million development spearheaded by longtime Lake Havasu City residents Cindy and Jerry Aldridge. With only 107 sites, the resort design maintains the elegant, country club feel Refuge members have always prized.

Already, the Aldridges have completed the 18-hole golf course, negative-edge resort pool, fitness center, pilates/yoga room, state-of-the-art pro shop, a 300-seat event pavilion, spa treatment rooms, and clubhouse restaurant, lounge, and piano bar that hums both day and night.

On the social side, The Refuge offers wine tastings, live music and entertainment, crafts, karaoke, game nights, member events, golf tournaments and clinics, tours of the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, dances, and casino tours.

The Refuge Golf & Country Club (Credit: refugecountryclub.com)

“I founded Coach Net Roadside Assistance in one of the most beautiful resort destinations in the Southwest. Now, Cindy and I are taking our award-winning customer service skills to a new level with a luxury RV destination unrivaled in the resort industry,” said Aldridge in the news release.

The Motorcoach Resort is scheduled for completion in October 2012. Motorcoach owners who enjoy golf and the country club lifestyle are invited to come now to tour the facility, play a round of golf using our Member-for-a-Day package, and preview the Club’s amenities. Onsite, overnight parking is available.

The Refuge Golf and Country Club is situated along the Colorado River and Lake Havasu. The property is located between I-10 and I-40 off Highway 95 in western Arizona, just 30 miles from the California border.

Details

Refuge Golf and Country Club

The Refuge Golf and Country Club is located at 3103 London Bridge Road, adjacent to the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, approximately a half mile north of the Lake Havasu City limits. Situated along the beautiful Colorado River and Lake Havasu, The Refuge Golf & Country Club is located just off of Highway 95 in western Arizona, south of Interstate 40.

Mailing Address: P O Box 2460, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86405

Phone: (928) 764-1404

Website: refugecountryclub.com

Lake Havasu City

Motorcoach Resort at the Refuge Golf and Country Club Development on the north-end of Lake Havasu City adjacent to the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. (Credit: refugecountryclub.com)

Home to the world famous London Bridge, Lake Havasu is a paradise for water lovers and desert lovers alike. The crystal clear water and sunny skies of Lake Havasu offer the perfect environment year around.

With 400 miles of stunning shoreline, more than 300 sunny days a year, and so many things to see and do, Lake Havasu is an all-season resort.

Havasu National Wildlife Refuge

From desert bighorn sheep to the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher, birds and other animals at Havasu National Wildlife Refuge rely on the life-giving waters of the lower Colorado River. The Havasu National Wildlife Refuge protects 30 river miles—300 miles of shoreline—from Needles, California, to Lake Havasu City, Arizona. One of the last remaining natural stretches of the lower Colorado River flows through the 20-mile-long Topock Gorge. A great river in a dry, hot land attracts wildlife and people like a powerful magnet.

Phone: (760) 326-3853

Website: fws.gov

Worth Pondering…
Newcomers to Arizona are often struck by Desert Fever.

Desert Fever is caused by the spectacular natural beauty and serenity of the area.

Early symptoms include a burning desire to make plans for the next trip “south”.

There is no apparent cure for snowbirds.

Read More

Let the Snowbird Season Begin

Although the temperatures in Arizona haven’t indicated fall is here, the calendar surely has.

There is always something to do in and around Lake Havasu City. (Credit: PolkaDots)

With the beginning of October comes a flurry of activities that linger through April taking the place of endless summer in Lake Havasu City, reports Today’s News-Herald.

The change of season heralds a change of demographics as well. Soon the summer boating crowds will give way to streams of motorhomes, fifth wheels, and travel trailers. The snowbirds will trickle in over the next several months and reach full capacity toward the end of November.

October brings with it the beginning of a season in full swing of events and entertainment.
The IJSBA (International Jet Sports Boating Association) 30the Anniversary World Finals kicked off last week (October 1-9) at Crazy Horse Campground. This event brings participants and spectators from around to world to Lake Havasu City for this personal watercraft spectacular, reports Today’s News-Herald.

Perhaps one of the most important of those events will begin October 14 with the rededication of the London Bridge in honor of its 40th anniversary on Lake Havasu.
London Bridge Days will encompass an array of events and activities throughout the week following the rededication.

The 40th annual London Bridge Days Parade steps off October 15 and is an always popular must attend event. McCulloch Boulevard will once again be lined with eager spectators showing their appreciation for those who make it a yearly success.

Beginning that day with one of the longest traditions of London Bridge Days will be the Boy Scout Pancake Breakfast. What a great way to begin a great day.

And this very important series of events is just the beginning of scheduled activities almost every weekend through next spring.

Lake Havasu City is home to London Bridge, all 10,276 granite bricks of which were brought over from England in 1968. (Credit: tripadvisor.com)

October includes the ever popular Fright Night celebrating Halloween with booths lining McCulloch Boulevard providing safe and friendly trick-or-treating to area youth.

The holidays bring traditional events like the Boat Parade of Lights and so much more.

The second annual balloon festival will happen in January, promising to be bigger and better than its maiden voyage with 60 hot air balloons scheduled to participate.

Residents and visitors should get out the calendars now and start marking them because there will be something for everyone.

And as always, the fabulous Lake Havasu City weather promises not to disappoint.

See you out there!

Details

Lake Havasu City

Often referred to as the place where “the desert meets the water,” Lake Havasu City affords snowbirds the best of both worlds—a stunning lake with more than 400 miles of coastline to explore and a breathtaking desert that is home to a fascinating variety of plant and animal life.

Aerial view of Lake Havasu City and Lake Havasu. (Credit: lake-havasu-homes.net)

Of course, Lake Havasu City offers more than just fun in the sun. As most of the free world knows, the city is home to London Bridge, all 10,276 granite bricks of which were brought over from England in 1968 by city founder Robert McCulloch of McCulloch Chainsaw fame.

When the city of London put the bridge up for sale because it was too small to handle its traffic demands, McCulloch bought the bridge in a publicity stunt for $2,460,000.

The city has gone to great lengths to complete the illusion of an English community. At the base of the bridge is the Tudor-style English Village. The shops, the streets, and even the phone booths resemble those in London.

There is always something to do in and around Lake Havasu City. With superb water recreational opportunities, thrilling outdoor adventure tours, world-class spa facilities, and lush golf courses, the area provides RVers with hundreds of activities from which to choose.

Bird lovers and nature enthusiasts will enjoy taking in one of the four national wildlife refuges in the area, and those who are looking for a heart-pounding adventure will be delighted to know that there is a myriad of possibilities in the region, including hot air balloon tours, outback off-road adventures, rock climbing opportunities and, of course, water sports activities.

Location: On Arizona Highway 95, 18 miles south of I-40

Population: 52,527 (2010 Census Bureau)

Website: golakehavasu.com

Worth Pondering…

Newcomers to Arizona are often struck by Desert Fever.

Desert Fever is caused by the spectacular natural beauty and serenity of the area.

Early symptoms include a burning desire to make plans for the next trip “south”.

There is no apparent cure for snowbirds.

Read More