Back in the 1950’s Lake Havasu was a pristine, untouched peninsula on the east side of the Arizona desert. This was way before any city, a time when great egrets and herons were the primary visitors to its beaches, and when the Old London Bridge that today marks its narrow channels was still on the other side of the world.
When adventurous entrepreneur, Robert P. McCulloch, set his eyes on this region in 1958, he decided it would be the perfect place to test out his new line of outboard engines. He purchased 3,353 acres and spent the next five years exploring and appreciating the wondrous beauty of the lake, which inspired him to eventually purchase 16,000 more acres with the intent of building a city.
An International Sensation
In 1963, with the construction of McCulloch International Airlines, Lake Havasu City received visitors from all over the world through McCulloch’s “see-before-you-buy” program. McCulloch flew across oceans on his own dime because he knew that when potential buyers saw the true beauty of the lake in person, they would fall in love with it just like he did.
The First Lake Havasu Hotel
When visitors came to the lake they stayed in the original Nautical Inn, a 16-room beachfront hotel built by McCulloch in 1964. The inn included a cocktail lounge where guests could have a drink and listen to the latest groovy tunes, and when they were hungry, they could eat in the 180-seat dining room with panoramic views of the bay. It’s no wonder many of these visitors ended up investing in the city and turned into some of Lake Havasu’s first locals.
Today the Nautical Inn has evolved into the Nautical Beachfront Resort, a Havasu hotspot that still keeps it’s 1960 architectural charm in tact. A classic icon on the waterside, the inn receives international guests year-round, a majority of them being repeat visitors, realizing McCulloch’s dream of creating a lakeside city that everyone can enjoy.