Real Estate: Instant City

"I've never been happier. I wouldn't trade places with God." So says George M. Foster, 57, who sold his flourishing Los Angeles ice cream and catering business two years ago to become the operator of a boat marina at the fledgling Arizona town of Lake Havasu City. Foster's spirit is typical of the 2,500 settlers in three-year-old Havasu, an "instant city" built by the California-based McCulloch Oil Corp. along part of the 45-mile lake behind Parker Dam on the lower Colorado River.

Located 235 miles due east of Los Angeles, and surrounded by...

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