It was a busy weekend May 15 – 17 on the Parker Strip as the area was filled with boaters and visitors, many of whom were from California.
This was the first weekend that Arizona was “officially” open with the expiration of Gov. Doug Ducey’s “stay at home” order due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, according to some people who spoke with the Pioneer, the weekend was reflective of how busy weekends have been on the Colorado River in the Parker area. They say many Californians have been coming here because recreational facilities in California have been closed due to the pandemic.
This was reflected in what Steve Benton, the director of the Emerald Canyon Golf Course, told the Pioneer regarding the Parker Open. While there were 120 players registered for the three-day tournament, they had been averaging more than 200 players per day on weekends prior to the tournament.
Benton said this was due to golf courses being closed in California. Residents there were coming to Arizona to play golf.
It wasn’t just Californians coming to the Parker Strip. One could see many Arizona license plates among the vehicles hauling boats and jet skis.
The La Paz County Sheriff’s Office reported three boat accidents on their Facebook page, all involving boats hitting docks. Buckskin Fire Department reported two of these accidents had injuries, with one patient suffering serious head injuries. The patient was flown out to West Valley Hospital in Goodyear, Ariz. in serious condition.
The evening of May 17, Buckskin Fire responded to an injury on Riverside Drive. The patient had a compound leg fracture and an arm fracture. This patient was also flown to West Valley Hospital.
Next weekend, May 22 – May 25, will be Memorial Day weekend. This is traditionally one of the busiest summer weekends on the Parker Strip.