More than 200 attendees at the Arizona Town Hall Meeting were asked what they would like Lake Havasu City to look like 20 years from now.
The event, with the theme of “Building a Strong Economic Future for Lake Havasu City,” was hosted by the Havasu Future Foundation on the campus of Arizona State University at Havasu on Saturday. Among those in attendance were local business owners, city officials, consultants, students, school administrators and other key players in the community who came together and participated in special panels aimed at encouraging discussions and capturing thoughts and ideas from participants involved.
The Arizona Town Hall is a private nonprofit corporation founded in 1962 for the purpose of striving for and creating solutions by gathering diverse views from those involved in these meetings.
“This is our ballpark Vision 20/20 Plan,” said Doug Traub, President and CEO of Lake Havasu City Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). “It will be different than the other plans of the past. We will harvest collective brain power and we will look deep in our hearts in the future to decide what is best. Then we will act.”
Panel discussions included the vision for the future of Lake Havasu City, tourism, economic development, along with education action plans, water conservation, and community engagement/quality of life.
Growing the Arizona State University campus and offering more degree programs and more participation in local school board meetings were just two of the visions participants suggested after some brainstorming. Others wanted to see emphasis on natural resources, as well as career opportunities for graduates and younger business professionals.
“Lake Havasu City is at a crossroads,” said Mayor Mark Nexson.” If we are to achieve greatness as a city, we need to think aggressively and big.”
For the last 40 years the city has worked to improve the needs of a growing city, from improving public safety to building infrastructure. Panels such as this town hall meeting can help find ways to make even more improvements.
Fawn McLaughlin with Chabin Concepts, a company specializing in solutions and tactics for economic development in communities, was among those observing the panels. She said there is a key piece in making sure a community is a success. “Any community can have an elaborate plan, but in order for it to take off, the community has to be on board with it and act on it.” said McLaughlin. “That’s what communities I observe must do for it to become successful.”
CVB’s Doug Traub has no doubt it can be done. “When we do reach our goal and get the $100,000 prize in America’s Best Communities competition, we will host a stellar celebration on the London Bridge and all will be invited to come and be ready for us.”
A brief review session will be held on Monday, August 24 at the Arizona State University campus from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.