Lake Havasu City proposes taking over popular state park

[Mohave Daily News, Christine Harvey, Cronkite News Service, 2-16-2010] — With Arizona State Parks facing an uncertain future due to budget cuts, Lake Havasu City is proposing taking over operations of a popular facility there.  Unlike some other communities that have partnered to keep state parks open, however, Lake Havasu City wants a long-term lease to operate Lake Havasu State Park, home of the community’s busiest and largest boating ramp.

“Help us help you,” Mayor Mark Nexsen told the House Natural Resources and Rural Affairs Committee on Monday.  “The state cannot afford to keep our park open, and we cannot afford to have it close.”  In response to budget cuts, the Arizona State Parks Board plans to close 13 parks around the state while keeping nine open.  For now, Lake Havasu State Park is slated to remain open.

Rep. Doris Goodale, R-Kingman, who is sponsoring a bill to make the lease possible, said that could change. Her bill, HB 2786, would require Arizona State Parks Board to enter into a 25-year lease with Lake Havasu City, with the community paying the state $50,000 per year.  With Rep. Bill Konopnicki, R-Safford, the committee’s chairman, not in attendance, the panel put off voting on the proposal until next week.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Arizona rural tourism development grant program guidelines now available!

The Rural Tourism Development Grant Program (RTDGP) guidelines for FY09 are now available.  The objective of this competitive grant program is to provide coordinated funding for tourism related infrastructure projects in rural communities throughout the state.  The funding amount for FY09 is $500,000.  These funds assist rural economic development through tourism to strengthen the regional and local economies and expand tourism in rural and Tribal communities throughout Arizona.  The primary function of the infrastructure project must be tourism development and the project must be designed to initiate economic growth and enhance future tourism development.  Eligible entities include not-for-profits, government organizations and tribal government.

New for FY09!  Projects that contain an Arizona centennial component will receive priority funding.  A detailed description of the criteria will be included in the FY09 guidelines and projects must comply with these guidelines to be considered a centennial project.  The FY09 RTDGP Guidelines define centennial projects as:

  • Projects that include restoration of historic properties appropriate for use in the observance of the Arizona Centennial.
  • Projects that provide a sense of unity and pride by accentuating the diverse nature of the State’s tourist destinations.

Applications are available on AOT’s business-to-business Web site under the Grants section.  Applications must be received by AOT no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 15, 2008.  If you have any questions, please contact Glenn Schlottman, Tourism Education and Development Manager at 602-364-3727 or via e-mail at  For information on the Arizona Centennial please contact Karen Churchard at 602-364-4158 or via e-mail at

Tourism launches campaign highlighing state parks

In collaboration with Arizona State Parks and Arizona Trail Association, AOT is launching a new in-state campaign to highlight the amazing discoveries, signature beauty, and vibrant outdoor adventures that are all “Just Feet Away.”  Arizona Passages is an integrated campaign that energizes our brand promise by creating unique southwest moments for our in-state residents.  It addresses potential budget concerns for summer travel by encouraging new discoveries and adventure that are easily accessible.  It features outdoor adventures throughout the state, but also encompasses the experiences that highlight the rural charm and beauty of our cities and towns outside of the major metropolitan areas.

The call to Arizona residents to plan their adventure will be in print, radio, online, mall advertising, billboards, and much more that direct consumers to  This dynamic Web site is a true blend of AOT’s commitment to cutting-edge technology by providing itineraries, downloadable maps, meet-up groups, expert and peer recommendations, as well as information on all State Parks, and the Arizona Trail to give travelers the tools they need to explore Arizona.