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Waiting on the Havasu Riviera: Development on new state park inches forward

By Scott Shindledecker Today’s News-HeraldMay 26, 2019

A change in the leadership of Arizona State Parks, a redo of a massive grading project, and other problems have stalled the Havasu Riviera project since it began nearly three years ago.

Previously, city officials said the road and the traffic light at the intersection of Highway 95 would be done by November 2018.

While Lake Havasu City anxiously waits for the boat launch at Havasu Riviera State Park to open, the aforementioned factors have sabotaged the Riviera project since the first shovel of dirt was turned in November 2016.

But, on the bright side, paving from State Route 95 to the launch is nearly complete.

A worker with Kinney Construction Services, the Phoenix-based contractor that is doing the first round of work at the Riviera, said paving was complete within a few hundred yards of the launch.

There has also been substantial curb work done as well as the sidewalk, bike path and fire hydrant installation.

However, uncertainty over how electric service will be provided to the traffic lights at the Riviera could be another problem in moving forward.

Unisource said it is waiting on contracts to be signed before power can be supplied to the development.

City residents and seasonal visitors aren’t the only ones ready to see the road be opened to people who want to use the boat launch. Concrete for the launch ramp was poured in February 2018, and initially, there was anticipation the marina would open last summer.

City officials are also more than ready for it to open, considering it has sunk more than $2 million into the project.

“The city has fulfilled all of its promises,” said Lake Havasu City Manager Jess Knudson. “Now it’s time for our partners to develop the properties that are in their control.”

Knudson said when power is brought to the site by the developer, testing and striping needed to make the stoplight operable has to be completed.

Arizona State Parks & Trails Director Bob Broscheid has said that a valid Arizona Parks pass would allow entry to the new complex, but that to launch a boat, another fee would be charged because that part of the project is under control of Komick Development.

State Parks also said there will be additional fees for dry storage, marina and other concession areas, which will be run by the Komick.

Komick is the concessionaire and developer of Havasu Riviera State Park. Its contract includes paying for the development of the park. At the end of the 40-year contract, the facilities become the property of Arizona State Parks and Trails.

Havasu Riviera is a collaboration between Havasu City, Arizona State Parks and Trails and Komick Development. The project is supposed to comprise 550 acres, and is estimated to be completed in the next decade.

It will include a six-lane boat launch ramp, a 250-acre master planned community, a 300-room hotel, a 200-slip marina, a waterfront restaurant and day-use areas.

According to State Parks officials, Komick will run the operations and facilities, including a marina, food and beverage, retail, fuel stations, launch ramp, watercraft rentals, dry storage, as well as parking. The timeline for opening will predicate the phases and finalization of the plans.

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