BULLHEAD CITY, Arizona – Not so long ago this town on the Nevada border was in full boom mode.
It was a magnet for people coming to work in the casinos across the Colorado River in Laughlin, plus Californians looking to retire here or have a second home at a fraction of the cost in their own state. Construction workers flocked here to build homes and roads.
All told, successive booms turned Bullhead City from a fishing village just a few decades ago to being a city of more than 40,000 people.
But America’s housing crisis and the most severe downturn since the 1930s stopped the city’s boom dead in its tracks.
“We had booms in the 1980s and the 1990s, but in 2005 and 2006 things went absolutely nuts,” said John “Mac” McCollum. “Then in 2007 all of a sudden the lights went out.”