Sorry to disappoint you, but no bulls or similarly horned bovines run in Bullhead City. The name comes from Bull's Head Rock, used as a navigation point by steamboats along the Colorado River. The completion of Davis Dam in 1953 produced Lake Mohave, the waters of which gradually covered the rock until its distinctive shape became nothing more than a boring slab.
Bullhead City is in the center-west section of Arizona, directly across the Colorado River from Laughlin, Nevada, and about 90 miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada. It's the largest city in Mohave County and is bordered on the west by the Colorado River, on the south by Fort Mohave and to the north and east by desert. This desert hotspot bills itself as "Arizona's West Coast" because it acts as a front door to the Colorado River, marking it a destination for water lovers. (Three airports and a major highway make it easy to get in and out of the city.) Both residents and visitors enjoy boating, fishing, hiking, bicycling, off-roading and other outdoor sports. The Tourism Office points to sunshine, clean air and open spaces as draws while the Chamber of Commerce touts the lower cost of living as the main reason to move here.
If you've rented before, then the application forms shouldn't come as a shock. They typically want contact information, current and previous addresses as well as rents paid, employer and salaries, and personal references. Some apartment managers will demand an application fee.
To make your application go as quickly as possible when you visit a complex, have paperwork in hand, like pay stubs, bank statements or letters of recommendation from your current landlord. Otherwise, the management company has to hunt for proof of your facts. Don't try faking any info. Managers routinely check your background and credit report to verify your rental credit. Felony convictions or outstanding arrest warrants are usually disqualifications.
To know what the credit bureau has on you, check your own credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. You're granted one free look a year from each of the major bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Foreclosures won't exclude you from the running. But many complexes won't consider you if you've got too many late rental payments or owe money to another apartment.
Don't just take the landlord's word that the air-conditioning works--you're going to depend on this appliance for comfort when summer temperatures hit 120 degrees Fahrenheit or more. While you're visiting your potential rental property, ask that the AC be turned on. Let it run for a few minutes and then feel the airflow to make sure that it's as cool as you expect. If you're not noticing any drop in temps, the appliance may be defective. You may want to pass on the rental rather than depend on a promise that the air conditioning will be fixed. The landlord would've repaired that problem by now if he/she was serious about any repairs.
Whether you want to hang in a trailer, single-family home, condo, or apartment, Bullhead City delivers with month-to-month or year-long agreements. Rental properties in Bullhead City are scattered throughout. However, on the water, you'll only find rental houses and not apartments. You can choose from the following neighborhoods.
City Center: Many of the newer developments cluster around the Parkway here. This area contains much of what keeps the city running including the airport, the bridge to Laughlin, Nevada, and the Western Arizona Regional Medical Center, a major acute-care hospital.
Ramar Rd/Arcadia Blvd: This area is more sought-after than the city center, because more than half of the residences consist of owner-occupied mobile homes.
Trane Rd/Ramar Rd: As is true with all waterfront property in the city, nearly every home on the water here has its own private dock. Even the gated riverfront condos boast a private marina.
Riverfront Drive/E Lakeside Drive: The single-family homes here tend to be long and narrow, so they can cram more residences per riverfront. Almost half of the properties are mobile homes although almost none of them are on the water.
Riviera: This neighborhood consists of small to medium-sized mobile homes and single-family homes with some of the mobile homes on the river. It is one of the two most desired neighborhoods in the city and contains the city's elementary and high schools.
Marina Blvd/E Lakeside Drive: This is one of the more desirable neighborhoods within the city. Despite having its southern border on the Colorado River, none of the homes here front the water. That area is reserve for public recreation that features picnic shelters on the water and a public dock.
Calle De Allegro/Camino del Rio: Although the area contains a good proportion of single-family homes, much of it is also empty space. It is also home to Chaparral Golf Course and the country club homes facing the greens.
Silver Creek Rd/Goldrush Road: This is arguably the quietest and most tranquil area of the city because it contains just a few suburban developments studded across otherwise empty desert.
Living in Bullhead City
Parking isn't an issue considering the street availability or in the garage spaces that come with the rental condos. So the best way to get around is by private car. Interstate 40 as well as Highways 95 and 93 are the main drags for your wheels. The city also runs its own public transit system in the form of BATS (Bullhead Area Transit System), which operates only until 8 p.m. and only from Monday through Saturday. Taxis can fill in any areas not served by bus.
Out-of-town visitors come in through the Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport, which is the only international airport in the county. They can also use two smaller facilities. The more rural Eagle Airpark lies 12 miles south of the city. Sun Valley Airport is privately owned and has a residential air park but allows use by the public.
Long distance bus riders can arrive through the local Greyhound station. Those who love the train roll in at the Amtrak stations at nearby Kingman or Needles.
The best times to take advantage of the city's unlimited sunshine, without roasting like a hot dog, is in the early mornings or evenings in the summer or anytime during the more comfortable days of fall, winter and spring. The best place to do so is outdoors, and the obvious first destination is the Colorado River.
As long as you stay out of the water, you can do practically anything, such as hiking or sightseeing, as long as it doesn't scare the wildlife. But if you want to dip your fishing line or paddle your kayak, check first with the Bullhead City Visitor Center. They'll clue you in to any rules and permits imposed by both Arizona and Nevada. You can follow the river north for a few miles until you hit Lake Mohave, which is larger, cleaner and less crowded than the more well known Lake Havasu, which is south.
No big surprise that the river is the center for annual festivals, with the major celebration being the River Regatta. The main event of this water party, which attracts tens of thousands, is the 3- to 4-hour float down the river on inner tubes, rafts, pool noodles or whatever else you can put in the water. (Life vests are required.) Other major events include the Colorado River Invitational Tournament for youth soccer and two Senior Softball Tournaments.
Not that you'd ever check in for fun, but two medical centers offer an extensive range of medical services, including emergency rooms, cardiology, intensive care and home-health rehabilitation.
The Chamber of Commerce wants you to spend your dollars at the small coterie of local restaurants. But for dining, everyone heads across the bridge to the steakhouses, buffets and international cuisines of Laughlin, Nevada. This mini-Vegas also boasts the big-time features of the bigger gambling mecca, like casinos with slot machines, roulette wheels and poker tables. It also has glitzy shows, lively dance clubs, happening bars and over 11,000 hotel rooms where you can stay while looking for 1-bedroom apartments in Bullhead City.