Boating friends of ours introduced us to Lake Mead back in the late ’70s or early ’80s (before kids), when we would travel out from our home in Southern California with our tiny ski boat and stay in Echo Bay.
Oddly, during those years, we never even considered coming to Boulder City even though I had frequented the old airport a few times. Echo Bay seemed to offer everything we needed, a marina with launch ramp, restaurant, hotel and small airstrip.
Our first child was born in 1983 and our Mead visits slowed to a trickle. Following the birth of our second child, in 1987, we began to look at Lake Mead again. Gotta teach these kids how to ski, right? The Echo Bay drive was killing us; I had to figure out something much more convenient. That’s when we discovered Boulder City.
We began our many visits to Boulder City in February of 2000. We would gas up the Jeep Grand Wagoneer with boat in tow, load up our two teenage kids along with their friends and enjoy numerous weekends on the lake. Sometimes we would set up camp in one of the many coves on the lake or stay at the now-shuttered Lake Mead Lodge. In those days the lodge was packed, the lake was full of activity (for that matter full of water, too) with fun for all. Even though the drive was better than to Echo Bay, it still was more often unpredictable and tedious at the same time; mostly tiring was a better description.
A couple of years later we thought maybe we should consider a weekend home here. With our marine electronics business doing well, our ability to swing it was in the making. The dream was to have a hangar at the airport where we could store a car and a small boat and fly in in our trusty little Cessna. Avoiding that drive was everything.
After a few months of looking we settled on a small home, found someone willing to rent us their hangar and we were off to an adventure. Yes, sometimes dreams do come true.
Even though our residence here was part time we slowly acclimated to the small town of Boulder City. It was quite a shock coming from a fast-paced Southern California city to a slow-moving town. I used the word slow because I would often find myself driving fast and racing up to a red light when we first entered town. My wife would say, “Hey, we’re not in California anymore, slow down!”
I have to admit, it took a while to acclimate. We learned the history of Boulder City and the people, all of which, early on, was a mystery to us. The kids got older and began to do their own thing but my wife, Elisa, and I would still cherish our trips here even though we sometimes never launched the boat.
Often on a Sunday, just before we were headed back home, we found ourselves asking, “Do we really have to go home”? We just wanted to stay. The next few years we flew and drove back and forth nearly every other weekend. Holidays afforded a longer stay. Then, in 2016, we made the major decision to sell our business that we had spent 45 years building and move somewhere to retire. The question was, where? It was an easy decision, Boulder City, of course.
It is a wonderful community, one that we slowly acclimated to; however, being here full time was a little tough at first for Elisa. With the lack of the everyday commotion that she was accustomed to in Southern California, it sometimes wasn’t easy. Since I was raised in a small town in Minnesota, my process of acclimation was quicker than Elisa’s as she was always a California girl.
The last few years she has done well adjusting to the slower pace ever since I told her, “All you have to do is acclimate.”
G. Kevin Savord is currently a professional pilot and former small business owner. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.