City of La Quinta
Even Better Than Imagined
Words by Erika Z. Byrd
Photographs by Chris Miller / imagineimagary.com
MAYOR: Linda Evans
MAYOR PRO TEM: Kathleen Fitzpatrick
COUNCIL MEMBERS: Jone Peña, Robert Radi, Steve Sanchez
YEAR INCORPORATED: 1982
La Quinta is even better than La Quinta First Lady Kay Wolff imagined it might become. She and her late husband, Fred, (La Quinta’s first mayor) were among a group of eight people who were instrumental in getting La Quinta on the ballot for incorporation. “We drew the boundaries for the city on our dining room table,” she said. Reaching its 40-year milestone this past May, residents are encouraged to visit the La Quinta Museum to view a continuing exhibit devoted to four decades of progress, including a video with comments from Wolff, who still resides in her beloved La Quinta.
Progress Continues on TALUS Resort
The first of two branded hotels at TALUS is shaping up luxuriously and is slated for occupancy next season. This upscale hotel will feature 134 guest rooms arranged in 34 cottage-style buildings, with every room oriented to take in the spectacular Santa Rosa mountain views.
“What’s being done here is really special. This is a flagship not just for a hotel but for the valley itself,” said Bruce Maize, chief operating officer, Robert Green Residential. “And there’s no other experience that will be like it in the Coachella Valley when it’s completed. It’s fivestar with a polish.”
For leisure or business travelers seeking more affordable accommodations, Hampton Inn is coming to La Quinta in late 2023. The 125-bed hotel will be built on three acres at Adams Street and Auto Center Drive.
Finally, an Anchor for La Quinta Village Shopping Center — Grocery Outlet Fills the Bill
Two sisters, Mayra Ornelas and Ruby Ramirez, from Hemet, both in their 20s, were in the process of training to become Grocery Outlet operators when they learned of the brand’s commitment to open a store in La Quinta. They claimed it as their location and moved to the La Quinta Cove, meeting residents and business owners, joining the chamber, and becoming integrated into the community well before the store opened on November 4, 2021. As they did last October even before opening, Grocery Outlet will again host a “Trunk or Treat” event, and the sisters are planning for their store’s first anniversary celebration in November.
Another new grocery store on the horizon for La Quinta residents will be in the former Steinmart building. The brand has not been officially announced, but locals think they know from the fresh design what the big name will be.
Foodies Find Fun Flavors in La Quinta
“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood” was Mister Rogers’ memorable song as well as the inspiration for a new, hip, modern, and flavorful restaurant in the La Quinta Village Shopping Center by the husband-and-wife-team Justin and Mackenzie Jenkins. Opened the last week of March just before Coachella, Beautiful Day was an instant hit with the visiting LA crowd and has been gaining a steady following of locals. “One of the things that’s really gotten us that traction is our vision,” said chef Justin Jenkins. “Mackenzie is vegan, and I’m not. We’ve always struggled to find a place that serves both of us and that we could feel really good about. While I’m an omnivore, I’m very particular about the animal products I buy and eat. Our dairy and bacon are the highest quality we can find, and it’s important to buy from people who treat animals and the environment well.”
While the menu is about 70 percent plantbased, it is approachable for all. “We’ve got a burger and eggs and toast, so were not totally shocking everyone with our esoteric selections, but then we get to play with other menu items,” he said. Currently open for breakfast and lunch, the couple is talking about hosting a few “pop-up” dinners this season.
The Jenkinses also proudly serve fellow La Quinta business Cali Rosina teas at their restaurant. Keep an eye out for Cali Rosina Tea & Chocolate Shop’s expansion to an adjacent space this season as they plan to offer tea tastings.
Another new breakfast and lunch eatery, Café California in Old Town, offers brunch and creative and healthy options for take-out. Pizza lovers will find a new must-visit at Slice Italia, a New York-style pizzeria and kitchen in the Washington Park Shopping Center. For special occasions or just a sweet treat, Nothing Bundt Cakes now has a new, convenient La Quinta location. For a smoothie treat, Jamba Juice will open soon next to Sprouts. And get your steak knives ready; Longhorn Steak House is coming to the old Soup Plantation building soon.
Revved Up Retail
Among the newest stylish boutiques are Roam.e in Old Town and Michelle’s Swimwear and Denim in the Washington Park Shopping Center. Roam.e features curated clothing, handmade jewelry, and bath salts for mom, and clothes and accessories for baby. Opening in late 2022 off Jefferson Street, Rapport International Furniture is bringing an outlet store to La Quinta, which will serve as a clearance center for its collection of modern furniture. For appliances, WDC Kitchen and Bath Center, also opening in late 2022, will help your home sparkle.
X Park La Quinta — A Magnet for Top Skaters
Since opening this past March, X Park La Quinta has been bustling with activity. “Participants of all ages and skill levels are enjoying the facilities side by side,” said Victor Nelson, operations director of Action Park Alliance. “We’ve seen Olympians, X Game and other top athletes here, and on any given day, you will find legendary skaters at the park.”
X Park La Quinta features a combi bowl — the fourth combi bowl to ever be constructed in the world, with two others still standing in California. As is the developer’s custom, Spohn Ranch Skateparks sought input from local skaters on the park’s design, which included local Skateboard Hall of Famer Eddie Elguera.
Mark your calendars for November 12 when X Park hosts El Gato Classic with exhibits, demos, vendors, and multi-generational skateboarding contests. The perfect way to usher in a new era of skating, this event coincides with Elguera’s 60th birthday.
Addressing Affordable Housing Issue
Amidst escalating home prices and the rising scarcity of affordable rentals, the city recently closed on 15.2 acres next to Best Buy just off Highway 111. This parcel will be designated for mixed-use, including affordable apartment housing, and will connect to the CV Link.
A Plan to Educate Nurses to Help with National Shortage
For educational opportunities beyond high school, La Quinta currently offers two cosmetology schools. While near College of the Desert and other higher education centers, this fall representatives will break ground for a new nursing school in La Quinta, which will provide a muchneeded facility to train more nurses.
Memorable Murals Part of La Quinta’s Public Art
La Quinta now has six colorful murals in its Art in Public Places program. The latest mural is Bird Song by Nate Frizzell, the same artist who painted the Fred Waring/Adams Street mural, Bloom. The new mural graces the side of the vacant, historic building at 77895 Avenida Montezuma, which will be part of a city cultural campus. Stay tuned for more details on that.
Total Population – 38,272
Median Age – 50.2
Annual Growth Rate – 0.36%
Average Household Income – 146,424
Median Household Income – 100,802
High School Diploma – 18.71%
Bachelor’s Degree – 25.79%
Graduate / Professional Degree – 14.32%
Retail Trade – 13.43%
Healthcare / Social Assistance – 9.76%
Agriculture / Forestry – 2.97%
Construction – 7.64%
Accommodations / Food Service – 9.75%
Arts / Entertainment / Recreation – 3.59%
Education Services – 7.99%
Manufacturing – 4.25%
Transportation / Warehouse – 2.80%
Finance / Insurance – 3.03%
Real Estate / Rental / Leasing – 5.95%
Professional / Scientific / Tech – 8.%
Admin / Support / Waste Managment Services – 5.37%
SOURCE: Est/Coachalle Valley Economic Partnership