City officials say people have been visiting Palm Springs in record numbers.
News Channel 3’s Madison Weil spoke with business owners downtown who say this is, at least in part, because people are seeking out destinations that make them feel safe.
“People are coming to Palm Springs. Not only are the hotels doing very well...the vacation rentals are at an all time high,” said Rob Hampton, General Manager, PS Bureau of Tourism & Convention Center.
“People have learned they can work from home poolside in Palm Springs,” said Matt Robinson, Uber Driver, Palm Springs.
Robinson says he frequently drives for Uber downtown. He says he’s seen an increase in visitors from nearby areas as well as other states in recent months.
“I kind of turn my uber rides into visitor surveys. They've done their research. They are seeking out a safe destination,” he said. “I always ask after a meal how safe they felt...99% of the time they say they felt very safe in Palm Springs.
Joy Meredith has heard the same kind of feedback from her customers. She's the owner of Crystal Fantasy, a shop downtown that has been open for 33 years. She says visitors frequently share they chose Palm Springs as their destination because of the many naturally socially-distant outdoor activities available and the good weather. “You can go hiking, the tram has reopened...or even just a walk downtown,” she said.
She says they also frequently mention they sought a destination with enforced COVID-19 protocols. “They have a sense that it’s safe here and that Palm Springs cares about their health and safety,” she said.
In Palm Springs, police patrol the streets reminding visitors to wear masks even outside. Visitors will see mask requirement signs in store windows and hand sanitizer stations inside.
“Don’t be afraid to show people in your marketing wearing masks and these other changes, because that’s why people are coming here,” she said.
In fact, the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau just released a video marketing Palm Springs to nearby areas showcasing what the city has done to ensure the safety of both visitors and locals.
“We have two groups of guests. Those that want to come here for safety and then those who want a pool party vibe for the weekend. I’d rather attract the ones that want to be here for safety,” added Robinson.