City of Indian Wells
Indian Wells Celebrates Change And What Remains The Same
Words by Cameron Grimm, Tripepi Smith
Photographs by Chris Miller / Imagine Imagery
There’s a lot happening in the small City of Indian Wells. A community well known for its travel amenities, luxury spas, golf courses, and numerous sports and cultural events, the City is doing even more to remain an unparalleled desert travel destination and place to call home.
The City does much to practice fiscal prudence; invest in smart, focused growth; and be in a position to capture future opportunities that will enhance the quality of life for visitors and residents of the desert community. In fact, the City was in such a strong financial position that in 2017 they made a $1.25 million payment to the unfunded pension liability balance, saving taxpayers $6 million. City staff also cut general fund expenditures by $1 million, $300,000 of which came from a Citywide review of every line item, contract, and expenditure to identify cost reductions and ensure operational efficiency. Moves like these put the City in a position to invest in the community and ensure residents and visitors have an optimized experience for years to come.
One recent investment took shape at the Vue Grille & Bar inside the Cityowned Indian Wells Golf Resort. The City and Troon, its partner at the Golf Resort, leveraged the need to replace aging kitchen equipment to address a full range of upgrades that were completed while the kitchen and restaurant were shut down. Renovations included a kitchen remodel to better facilitate food preparation and customer service, a dining room with an enclosed space to cater to private functions and a larger, more open bar.
RENOVATIONS AT THE VUE GRILLE & BAR INCLUDE:
The kitchen equipment at the Vue was due to be replaced, as it withstood the normal wear and tear of a commercial kitchen since it opened in 2008. Included in the remodel was an improved kitchen layout to better facilitate food preparation for large-scale gatherings and ease in expediting food into the dining room.
Improvements to the dining room included enclosing part of the space so that it can be utilized for private functions, a segment that is growing and generating increased revenue for the restaurant. The enclosed space allows for hosting of private events like weddings and large group gatherings while keeping the restaurant bar open.
By creating a new, larger bar, extra seating was added as well as improved ambiance and openness within the dining room. The new rectangular shape allows for seating all around and windows that open to the views of the Indian Wells Golf Resort, bringing the feel of the outdoors in.
To minimize the impact on guests, the restaurant was closed to the public for six weeks to complete renovations during the slowest period of use for the Golf Resort. Coming in on schedule and within budget, the resort was pleased to welcome residents and visitors alike back to the Vue on September 12.
Last year, innovation also caught on with the Golf Resort’s driving range with the launch of Shots in the Night. This attraction features glow golf on the driving range, putting green activities and food trucks that attract a new crowd that doesn’t necessarily play the traditional round of golf. It has been a hit for the Resort and generates additional visitors to the desert destination.
Indian Wells will have some exciting news in the coming months for the Village at Indian Wells shopping center that will be open to the public in early 2020. The City worked in partnership with the owners of the center, MIG Real Estate, to bring in a suitable tenant after Ralphs vacated the space. To help attract new potential retailers, the City Council approved an ordinance to allow for more flexibility in signage and restaurant space. By working together, the City and MIG were able to bring in a tenant to fit the needs of residents and drive traffic to other small businesses in the center.
The resort campus the City is known for is also going through a variety of changes. The Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa launched a significant remodel of their resort, a $20 million investment that saw upgrades at the pool, lobby, restaurants and meeting space. The Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa also started a $20 million renovation to upgrade their lobby, bar and all of their rooms.
The City has worked to create partnerships between the Golf Resort and the surrounding hotels to create a resident and visitor experience like no other in the Coachella Valley. Innovations at the hotels that deliver new and exciting amenities in collaboration with the Golf Resort establishing additional attractions and greater restaurant and group dining experiences generates great results for both visitors and residents.
With all of the change that’s taking place, it begs the question what remains the same in the City of Indian Wells. What has and will stay true is the City’s dedication to transparency, fiscal responsibility and focused growth. By investing in projects that improve the lives of residents and those who visit, the City plans for long-term growth and a bright future.
MAYOR: Ted Mertens
MAYOR PRO TEM: Ty Peabody
COUNCIL MEMBERS: Dana Reed,
YEAR INCORPORATED: 1967
Total Population: 5,638
Median Age: 65
Average Household: $154,459
High School Diploma: 15%
Bachelor’s Degree: 28%
Graduate, Professional Degree: 23%
Healthcare, Social Assistance: 11%
Accommodation, Food Services: 8%
Real Estate, Rental, Leasing: 10%
Professional, Scientific, Tech Services: 12%
Retail Trade: 10%
Arts, Entertainment, Recreation: 3%
Educational Services: 6%
Finance, Insurance: 2%
Admin, Suppot, Waste Management Services: 4%
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Hunting: 1%