In Lake Havasu City and Kingman, the big business is vacations: other people’s vacations. Kingman sits along the longest remaining preserved stretch of America’s Main Street, Route 66.
The museums, hotels and diners that have sprung up draw tourists from around the region and the country, both as an end destination and as a stopover en route to larger cities such as Las Vegas. Lake Havasu City draws both solitude seekers and spring breakers from far and wide to its 450 miles of lakeshore and abundant accompanying recreation.
The town is also home to the unique landmark London Bridge, which sits over a channel created just off Lake Havasu. The resulting island features all the trappings of an English village, including the red telephone booths. It’s hard to miss tourism as a driving force behind the Lake Havasu City-Kingman economy, but many other players are at work behind the scenes.
The Kingman Regional Medical Center is the largest private employer in Mohave County with more than 1,200 employees. The hospital’s enormous economic impact can be seen in the $56 million in salaries and benefits employees received, as well as the $9.5 million KRMC spent with community businesses. With its location on I-40, convenient to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix, Kingman has also cultivated a friendly industrial climate.
Recent business locations or expansions in the area include Allied Signal, Guardian Fiber Glass and the Griffith Energy Power Plant. The Airport Industrial Park hosts more than 70 businesses, including Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and American Woodmark Corp. Lake Havasu City promotes itself as the gateway to the Southern California market and has developed a light manufacturing sector. The Lake Havasu City Partnership for Economic Development relies on a four-prong approach to grow local industry: promotion of the city’s business park, business retention and expansion, workforce development and island resort development.