Space invaders

The search for parking spaces for those heading to Havasu Landing Resort and Casino or the English Village has become more and more difficult in the past several months.

Parking issues are nothing new for cities and towns that cater to tourists. In Lake Havasu City, the parking bottleneck occurs mostly in the area near the London Bridge, where new investments in hotels, restaurants and shops have created additional interest for visitors.

Coupled with the Chemehuevi Tribe’s new hotel resort and casino expansion across the lake, it’s safe to say visitor interest in the English Village area is probably higher than it’s been since the days of Lorne Pratt and Robert McCulloch.

All of that additional economic activity comes with some inevitable parking headaches. We’re the victims of our own success in that regard. We say the headaches were “inevitable” because that’s what happens when you allow for a lot of growth to occur but do little to address parking.

It’s no wonder that VRE, the company that owns much of the area we think of as the English Village, has now hired security guards to enforce parking rules, particularly when guests of the Havasu Landing casino start to spill over into VRE-owned lots.

Nobody can be blamed for wanting to ensure their own customers have adequate parking.

However, it makes little sense to frustrate visitors over this, and the parking issues are only going to come to more of a head as development continues to progress (keep in mind the Havasu Landing’s new hotel and casino won’t open until July, and VRE has plans sitting on a shelf for another new hotel in that same area.)

It’s better that the community deal with the parking situation now. True, it’s a conflict between private businesses, but it’s in Lake Havasu City’s interest to ensure the best visitor experience possible when it comes to a trip to the London Bridge.

Squabbling land owners won’t do much to achieve that.

A couple of options come to mind. Paid and validated parking is one solution. Besides acting as something of a parking regulator, paid parking could turn the lots along London Bridge Road into money generators of their own for their respective owners. A parking garage is another option – and it’s probably one that should be considered if more hotels are truly in the future for that area. It’s appeared to have worked well enough for Laughlin.

Finally, Lake Havasu City ought to consider restoring the old shuttle services, making use of the public parking areas on Mesquite Avenue as overflow parking for the English Village. In addition to giving people a relaxing way to visit Havasu’s top tourist attraction, it could also help introduce them to other areas of the community they might not otherwise see, such as the uptown McCulloch district.

Bottom line: Havasu is built around a bridge, and it’s time to bridge the gap when it comes to parking problems.

— Today’s News-Herald

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(5) comments

janaplum

Growth is good until we all begin to suffer its impact. One only needs to look at California to understand this.

HwyRovr

Oh, look another California Hater shows up to make a fool out of them-self.

janaplum

Lived there 70 years. I am sort of an expert! And you?

HwyRovr

Lived there as well. Although far from perfect it is far from the hell-hole ignorant people claim it to be. Want a real Hell, check out Utah! Heck Arizona taxes are higher and that is despite the many great social programs California has to take care of people. Here the greatest accomplishment of our Legislature this year was the massage of the Lemonade Bill. I am always saddened by the number of nasty, bitter, old people who move here and constantly complain about California.

Ralph Chandless

There's plenty of parking. There's parking in the area of the swap meet and across from the swap meet area on the west side of London Bridge Rd just southof The Hampton Inn, there's a public parking area. All these public parking areas are within walking distance of the English Village. Obviously the expensive tax payer funded signage, that the city got duped into, isn't working. No more taxpayer's funds should be used for parking, like the rarely used million dollar parking lot on Mesquite.

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