City of Rancho Mirage
A Solution-Centered And Forward-Facing Community
Words By June Allan Corrigan
Photographs By City of Rancho Mirage
Sound leadership and careful planning have always been a cornerstone to the success of the City of Rancho Mirage. This solid foundation has served the City well during the pandemic. Rancho Mirage was one of the first cities to take measures to protect the community at large and has shown considerable resourcefulness dealing with the many challenges COVID-19 has presented. At the same time, the City has never lost sight of its future goals and in a true display of resiliency and good government, continues to move forward.
Barely a week after the first case of coronavirus appeared in the community, the City launched the Rancho Mirage Food Access Program. Its mission was two-fold. It offered non-corporate, fullservice restaurants up to $8,000 in cash incentives to remain open through the end of May, keeping local jobs while ensuring our community continued access to food and other essentials during the quarantine. It was a win-win for business owners and consumers alike. Later, when Governor Newsom announced the Great Plates Delivered program for individual counties to run, Rancho Mirage stepped up to administer the program on its own for its senior residents — the only city in the Coachella Valley to do so. Over the course of the program, the City has provided meals for more than 370 high-risk adults age 60+, while also infusing well over $2 million dollars into the economy, retaining many local restaurant jobs.
Pro-active is the term that best characterizes the City of Rancho Mirage’s response to the pandemic. It was the first to close its public library, yet it has also been the first to reopen the same space in a controlled and safe manner. Meanwhile, a dedicated COVID-19 website and hotline established by the City early on continues to be a vital source of information providing updates and additional resources for businesses and residents.
The View is Sunny
The specter of a luxurious and sustainable grand desert oasis with a turquoise blue lagoon at its center could lift anyone’s spirits at this period in time. Yet it isn’t a mirage! The City of Rancho Mirage and the master developer continue to move forward with Section 31 — a broad swath of land totaling 618 acres beginning at the corner of Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra Drive adjacent to Sunnylands. This pristine and heretofore undeveloped parcel stretches for an uninterrupted mile north to Gerald Ford Drive and east to Monterey Avenue. The Section 31 Specific Plan was approved by the City Council in December of 2019.
Destined to be nothing less than the crown jewel of Rancho Mirage, the completed Section 31 development will be home to several desert-themed residential neighborhoods featuring a variety of housing types. It will also introduce two new resort hotels to the community plus a vibrant main-street scene with shopping, dining, entertainment, gallery and leisure activity opportunities for residents, hotel guests, and the general public. All of these amenities will border upon or span outwards from the striking 34-acre recreational body of water referred to as the Grand Oasis Crystal Lagoon. This ambitious new development situated right in the heart of Rancho Mirage is sure to attract attention, both near and far.
Demand and pricing for valley real estate continues to surge, seemingly at odds with the current economic climate. Yet with so many people confined to their homes and immediate surroundings these days, it’s no wonder the desert lifestyle is looking increasingly appealing. All of which is good news for Del Webb at Rancho Mirage where homes are selling quickly. As of September 10th, 364 single-family dwellings had passed their final building inspections and another 110 building permits were recorded issued or outstanding. Approximately 1,029 homes are expected once full build-out is complete inside this graciously planned development situated at the northeast corner of Dinah Shore Drive and Los Alamos Road, across from Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa.
Onward and Upward
Traffic along the Highway 111 corridor and other Rancho Mirage roads could best be described as eerily light throughout the spring. However, it proved an excellent time for the City to concentrate on a signal synchronization project it had in the works. Miles of new fiber optic communication lines have been installed along Highway 111, Bob Hope Drive and Monterey Avenue. These lines enable intersections to share information and ultimately improve traffic flow. In addition, new traffic signal equipment has been installed at 40 intersections to improve reliability. Real-time monitoring and remote diagnostic capabilities are now a reality for the City’s traffic signal technicians.
Pedestrians have not been overlooked either. Flashing countdown signs have been installed at the same 40 intersections to enhance safety for them. This project will keep the City at the forefront of traffic signal technology for years to come and will provide a safer transportation network for pedestrians and vehicles alike. Meanwhile, plans for the eagerly anticipated Frank Sinatra Bridge are once again in full swing. The Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) has approved the bridge structure pending additional grade control measures. Following completion of resulting administrative and funding matters, the City anticipates breaking ground on the project in late 2022.
In a year unlike any other in its history, the City of Rancho Mirage continues to forge a path ahead. Sensible leadership and thoughtful planning have always guided this mid-valley city and there is no reason to expect anything different moving forward.
MAYOR: G. Dana Hobart
MAYRO PRO TEM: Ted Weill
COUNCIL MEMBERS: Richard Kite, Iris Smotrich, Charles Townsend
YEAR INCORPRATED: 1973
Total Population: 18,378
Median Age: 64.7
Annual Growth Rate: 1.50%
Average Household Income: 138,993
Median Household Income: 85,128
(% of population age 25 and older)
High School Diploma: 15.47
Bachelor’s Degree: 24.67
Graduate / Professional Degree: 19.43
(% of population)
Healthcare / Social Assistance: 23.14
Real Estate / Rental / Leasing: 9.92
Professional / Scientific / Tech Services: 8.9
Retail Trade: 6.83
Educational Services: 6.01
Admin / Support / Waste Management Services: 5.42
Other Services (Excluding Public Administration): 4.95
Finance / Insurance: 4.79
Accommodation / Food Serivces: 4.11
Arts / Entertainment / Recreation: 3.73
SOURCE: Esri/Coachella Valley Economic Partnership