Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

Lake Havasu City Celebrates 50th Anniverary

Its new branding campaign is "Play Like You Mean It(sm)."

Arizona's Lake Havasu City, which rose out of the desert 50 years ago this month and is perhaps best known for the iconic London Bridge reassembled there in 1971, has taken another important step in marketing itself. The Lake Havasu City Council formally approved its first official logo and flag, two important components of the city's first branding campaign.

The new branding initiative, the result of two years of surveys and consumer testing, is designed to attract active residents and visitors who are serious about having fun in a "rare escape born of desert, mountain and the Colorado River."

The new full-color logo is rendered in an impressionistic style that symbolizes the southwest Arizona sun, mountains and water, while at the same time, also conveying a sense of activity.

Two Years To Develop

Working under the auspices of the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), a blue ribbon panel of community leaders invested nearly two years in developing the brand, logo, flag and new marketing tagline, "Play Like You Mean It(sm)." They solicited bids from 17 destination-branding agencies in the United States before selecting North Star Destination Strategies of Nashville, Tenn., to help focus the initiative.

Looking to create a brand that would age as gracefully as the London Bridge, the group commissioned a half dozen local focus groups and interviewed more than 25 leading citizens before commissioning and reviewing 18 separate research studies to identify the most important brand ingredients.

In the end, four potential logo treatments and two potential taglines were submitted for feedback from more than 20,000 residents and visitors before final brand components were selected.

The new tagline and logo are designed to drive visitation and increase revenue from hotel occupancy and retail taxes — revenue that will benefit the city in terms of more jobs and improved infrastructure. Eventually, the logo will be seen on municipal vehicles, emergency vehicles, streets signs, websites and stationery, and be used by scores of brand partners in the community that are licensed to market and promote the city brand.

‘Someplace Memorable’

"Our typical visitor knows that fun grows incrementally more joyful when it is shared with family and friends. And, they understand that to make memories, it helps to be someplace memorable," said Douglas Traub, president and CEO of the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau.

"That's why we invested nearly $100,000 to develop this new brand: in Lake Havasu City, we really 'play like you mean it.'"

Adds Armando Contla, Branding Committee member and 2011 past president of Lake Havasu Association of Realtors, "'Play' is what this city is about. We wanted one theme to convey the sense that this is a place where you can work, live, and play — a place with easy access to major metropolitan areas, yet surrounded by astounding natural beauty."

Editor's note: For a history of Lake Havasu City's branding effort, log onto: http://www.golakehavasu.com/brand/branding-history.aspx

About Lake Havasu City

Lake Havasu City, three hours driving time from Phoenix, 2-1/4 hours south of Las Vegas and four to five from the Los Angeles region, attracts 750,000 visitors a year thanks to its dry, desert weather, more than 300 sunny days a year, a range of restaurants and lodging, and a boatload of special events.

For more information on Lake Havasu City, Arizona's only waterfront resort destination, including a 2013 calendar of events, log onto golakehavasu.com or call (928) 453-3444. Also find Lake Havasu on-line at facebook.com/lakehavasucityarizona and twitter.com/golakehavasu.

“Play Like You Mean It(sm)” and the Lake Havasu City logo are service marks of Lake Havasu Tourism Bureau Inc dba Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau.

For more information: http://www.golakehavasu.com


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