How is Havasu connected to the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Lorne Pratt helped usher in Havasu’s next chapter
Robert P. McCulloch may have brought the London Bridge to Lake Havasu City, but Lorne Pratt brought an entire village.
He was once executive director of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and according to the Valley Verde Hall of Fame, he was heavily involved in the creation of the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1958. He was just the man McCulloch needed for the job of bringing international attention to Havasu.
Pratt, a California native, became senior vice president of property developer Holly Enterprises, which was acquired by McCulloch to become the real estate arm of McCulloch Properties Inc. Through Holly Enterprises, Pratt served to develop and promote the city of Lake Havasu. He played a major role in bringing the London Bridge to Havasu, and was one of the masterminds behind McCulloch’s “fly before you buy” advertising campaign for the city.
McCulloch left the real estate business in his final years, and Pratt went into business for himself. Under Pratt Properties Inc, Lorne Pratt bought the majority of McCulloch’s real estate development holdings in Havasu – a purchase finalized less than a year after McCulloch’s death in 1977.
Pratt saw tremendous potential for expansion of the London Bridge area, he told Lake Havasu City Herald reporters in December 1977. In an act parallel to McCulloch’s hiring of C.V. Wood in the planning for Havasu, Pratt himself hired another of Disneyland’s original developers, Charles Thompson, to study development of what would eventually become a full expansion of the English Village.
Pratt’s original plans included a museum of English royalty, as well as arts and crafts shops for the area. He also told Herald reporters in 1977 that he intended to add a convention center to the area, and planned to expand the park surrounding the bridge.
In 1978, Pratt launched a $14 million project that would ultimately produce English Village buildings south of the London Bridge, including what would become the London Bridge Resort and Convention Center. The project would also create Stonebridge Golfcourse, whose fairways now lie adjacent Bridgewater Channel.
The project also called for a wax museum, an arcade of specialty shops including a glass blower, ice cream parlor, a candy shop, a lapidary, an art studio, a photo shop, a candlemaking shop and a gift shop during its first phase of construction. Also planned was an electronic family entertainment center with a laser gun range. Pratt also proposed a plan for the city of London to establish an English welcome center in the English Village, as well as a Polynesian restaurant and Hong Kong bazaar with imported merchandise for Havasu’s visitors, and a fast food restaurant on the water’s edge, featuring a “drive-thru” for boaters.
Not all of Pratt’s ideas for the English came to fruition, but the results of his expansion remain alongside Bridgewater Channel today.