After making its final pitch in the America’s Best Communities competition yesterday, Lake Havasu City captured the second place prize of $ 2 million dollars.

For the past nearly three years, Lake Havasu City representatives in a variety of walks of life have worked diligently to capture the grand prize of $3 million in the America’s Best Communities competition.

About a year ago, Lake Havasu City learned that it had passed the hurdle to become one of the eight finalists out of a field of 15.

City Council member Cal Sheehy, Mayor Mark Nexsen, James Gray and Tonya Krueger gather in Denver for the ABC Communities announcement Wednesday. photo courtesy Cal Sheehy

That hurdle garnered the city a $100,000 prize grant from competition sponsors Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel. That prize empowered the finalists to bring their economic revitalization strategies to life.

Vision 20/20 outlined Lake Havasu City’s plan for a future of growth. A town hall meeting in January brought the Vision 20/20 plans to a group of about 150. These plans included a co-location building for small businesses that require a space to work professionally, a downtown catalyst project to revitalize the downtown McCulloch Boulevard area, and an eco-environment center which will be located off State Route 95 on the south end of Lake Havasu City.

The eight finalists stretch across the country: Chicago Lakes Area, Minn.; Darrington/Arlington, Wash.; Huntington, W.Va.; Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; Madison, Ind.; Statesboro, Ga.; Tualatin, Ore.; and Valley County/Meadows Valley, Idaho.

The prizes were as follows:

1st: Huntington, W.Va.

2nd: Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

3rd: Statesboro, Ga.

For further information on the contest, visit

Tonya Krueger of the PED is interviewed by The Weather Channel Wednesday at the ABC Communities announcement. photo courtesy Cal Sheehy
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Becky Maxedon
Becky Maxedon has lived in Lake Havasu City for more than seven years, coming to the city as the managing editor of the Today’s News-Herald. She is currently the executive director of the Lake Havasu Museum of History. After a 30-plus year career in journalism, Becky has taken leave of the seven-day deadline-driven industry to give back to the Lake Havasu community that she has fallen in love with.


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