City of Rancho Mirage
Onward and Upward
Words by June Allan-Corrigan
Photographs by City of Rancho Mirage
“Chance favors the prepared mind,” said famed chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur. When an occurrence not seen in over 100 years — namely, a pandemic — takes the world by surprise, it helps to have a solid foundation. The City of Rancho Mirage is that community. Undeterred and always prepared, Rancho Mirage continues to move forward.
A BURGEONING OASIS
The dream of a grand desert oasis with a crystal blue lagoon at its center is moving closer to becoming reality. Activity has begun on the 618-acre parcel of land at the corner of Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra Drives adjacent to Sunnylands known as Section 31. 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.
The ambitious new development will also introduce two new resort hotels to the community plus a vibrant mainstreet scene with shopping, dining, entertainment, gallery and leisure activity opportunities for residents, hotel guests, and the general public. Wells have now been drilled to accommodate the unique and stunning feature that will lie at the heart of it all — a signature 34-acre recreational body of water referred to as the Grand Oasis Crystal Lagoon.
Meanwhile, the grading master plan for the entire project is on the verge of being approved. Phase one of the project — including the much-anticipated lagoon — is expected to get underway in late 2021. Once complete, the Section 31 development will surely be a showstopper.
A TIMELY PLAN
In early May of this year, the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage broke ground on a $30 million expansion and renovation project. It is especially timely since the pandemic bore witness to rising rates of addiction and mental health problems in California and across America. It is the most ambitious expansion the world-renowned treatment and recovery center has undertaken since its opening in 1982.
Set to unfold over a four-year period, the project includes construction of three new buildings and updates to the grounds including a dedicated new entrance to the campus independent of neighboring Eisenhower Medical Center. The first phase of the project, approved by Rancho Mirage city officials last fall, will introduce an approximately 23,000-squarefoot Day Treatment Pavilion, which will accommodate flexible treatment options for 44 patients.
Phase 2 of the expansion will remove two existing residential buildings and construct a new two-story 31,000-square-foot residential pavilion with 46 beds. A second, similar residential treatment pavilion will be constructed in Phase 3 replacing another two existing residential buildings. All told, the newly renovated and expanded Betty Ford Center will increase from 100 beds to 156 beds and gain an additional 32,800 square feet to better provide hope, recovery and growth to individuals and families.
“More space means room for more people to heal,” Chris Yadron, PhD, vice president of Recovery Services for Hazelden Betty Ford’s West Region and administrator of the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage. “By expanding our capacity by 56 beds, several hundred more people will be able to get the help they need each year.
A SIZZLING ADDITION
It’s not a mirage! The Rancho Las Palmas Shopping Center welcomes In-N-Out Burger to the fold this fall! Construction started over the summer on a long-vacant pad earmarked for restaurant development on the northeast corner of Highway 111 and Magnesia Falls. The iconic eatery’s newest home in Rancho Mirage features an approximately 3,885-square-foot building defined by the chain’s classic look with a Rancho Mirage twist. There is indoor seating for 74 people and outdoor seating for an additional 82 guests. The latter can enjoy shade provided by a large patio cover on the restaurant’s southwest corner.
Of course, what would an In-N-Out Burger be without a drive-thru window? Naturally, the location in the Rancho Las Palmas Shopping Center includes the classic, namesake convenience. Taking its cues from the tasteful and low-key integration of drive-thru windows elsewhere in the center — namely, CVS Pharmacy and Starbucks — the In-N-Out drive-thru lane delivers but does not distract from the overall aesthetic. Dine-in, dine-out, drive-thru — whatever the approach, burger fans can satisfy their cravings at the new In-NOut Burger in Rancho Mirage!
A CHARGED ATMOSPHERE
The mood is electric as Innovative Automotive Holdings, owner of VOLVO Palm Springs and INFINITI Palm Springs plans to develop a new auto park in Rancho Mirage along Highway 111 at Library Way. Plans are in place to break ground in fall 2021 on a 6.5-acre parcel of land situated across from the Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory. The project will include an 8,650-square-foot VOLVO showroom, a 5,807-square-foot INFINITI showroom, a 15,995-square-foot vehicle workshop with additional space allotted for a future third dealership.
VOLVO Rancho Mirage and INFINITI Rancho Mirage will be completely engineered, designed and constructed for an electric vehicle future, the first in the nation among its respective network of dealerships to do so. “By the time we open in Rancho Mirage, half of our sales will be all-electric vehicles,” said Dan Jessup, President of Innovative Automotive Holdings. “We have a unique opportunity for EV readiness from the ground up plus the ability to take the lead locally from an environmental and socially relevant standpoint.” The City’s newest automobile dealerships will not only feature environmentally friendly electric vehicles in their showrooms, but the entire development is seeking to become a LEED Gold certified green facility with ecologically conscious features such as solar roof panels, drought-efficient landscaping, and low-level lighting. The latter is especially significant so as not to detract from stargazing at the nearby Rancho Mirage Observatory.
ONWARD AND UPWARD
Rancho Mirage has never been a community that leaves anything to chance. Resourceful leadership and sound planning continue to define this midvalley city, ensuring it will always be prepared for every twist of fate and fortune.
MAYOR: Ted Weill
MAYOR PRO TEM: Charles Townsend
COUNCIL MEMBERS: Richard W. Kite, Iris Smotrich, G. Dana Hobart
YEAR INCORPORATED: 1973
Total Population: 18,307
Median Age: 65
Annual Growth Rate: 1.36%
Average Household Income: $131,147
Median Household Income: $79,092
(Ages 25 and Older)
High School Diploma: 13%
Bachelor’s Degree: 23%
Graduate/Professional Degree: 17%
Healthcare/Social Assistance: 8%
Real Estate/Rental/Leasing: 3%
Retail Trade: 3%
Education Services: 2%
Accommodations/Food Service: 2%
Esri/Coachella Valley Economic Partnership