BULLHEAD CITY — Blue sky and high temperatures brought out plenty of people seeking relief at local parks during the weekend after spending time at home to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
People also were able to rent motorized watercraft and enjoy the cool rush of the Colorado River this weekend because a local proclamation declaring such businesses as nonessential expired Thursday. The proclamation was issued a month ago to help reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in the community.
The ramadas also reopened at Community Park and Rotary Park.
City staff already had reopened bathrooms at the city’s public parks days earlier after the governor’s office told Mohave County officials that localities had decision-making power regarding the matter as long as the facilities allowed for proper social distancing and hygiene.
“There were people saying they were happy the parks were opened,” said Dave Heath, the city’s parks and recreation superintendent.
Not only locals were enjoying the outdoors. Parking lots at Community Park and Rotary Park also had large numbers of vehicles with Nevada and Arizona license plates.
There were more people using the city’s public parks over the weekend compared with this time last year, Heath said. That includes higher numbers of people at Rotary Park.
If there had been no COVID-19 precautions taken, the first weekend in May is when the city would have opened park launch booths, Heath said.
Both Colorado River-adjacent public parks in Bullhead City have been busier Mondays through Thursdays as well, he said.
The city not extending the ban on watercraft rentals was a happy surprise, said one business owner.
“We were excited about it,” said Baryasslai Badery of Waterworld Jet Ski Rentals and Five Star Jet Ski and Boat Rentals.
He said both locations in the 1100 block of Highway 95 near Community Park sold out of rental watercraft Saturday and Sunday.
Recreating on the river isn’t a high-contact activity, Badery explained.
A family boat ride is not only a pleasant outdoor excursion, it provides social distance from other groups of people, he noted.
“You are isolated from everyone else because you are on the boat with the same people,” Badery said.
His type of business isn’t an operation with heavy customer foot traffic, either.
Daytime temperatures are expected to reach triple-digits for the next several days, meaning the river will be — as always — a popular getaway.