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Happy New Year: Looking ahead at 2022 in the Coachella Valley

The Coachella Valley will see a lot of change and improvements in the New Year 2022. We spoke to local leaders about what they expect to see and what they’re anticipating in the year ahead.

The Palm Springs International Film Festival was set to kick off the new year by screening 129 films from 70 nations. Its awards gala was canceled for January 6th leaving some of Hollywood’s biggest names without a chance to attend including honorees, Nicole Kidman, Lady Gaga, Will Smith, Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz, Jennifer Hudson, and Kristen Stewart.

In Indio, Goldenvoice is set to return with its massive Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals in April. This, after two years of pandemic delays. Splash House and other smaller festivals have been held despite the promoter’s larger event cancellations.

2022 will be a big year for the Coachella Valley Arena. It’s a new state-of-the-art, privately financed sports and entertainment Arena taking shape just off the freeway in Palm Desert. 

"So it really is the crown jewel that will bring the whole valley together for lots of different celebrations."

shannon miller, oakview gropu v.p. of Branding

“So it really is the crown jewel that will bring the whole valley together for lots of different celebrations,” said Shannon Miller, VP of Branding and Community Relations for the Oakview Group and President-Elect of the Palm Springs Area Chamber. Miller added, “We’ve never had anything like this before. And our geographic proximity to LA and Las Vegas I mean we’re going to get great acts coming in.”

The arena will have 10-thousand seats and is set to be the home ice for the Seattle Kraken’s AHL Franchise, the Coachella Valley Firebirds. It’s set to open in November.

In Cathedral City a new Cathedral Canyon Bridge will be completed and fully opened to traffic in 2022. Parks will see improvements and perhaps most important— events will continue to return including Film Festival screenings, The Taste of Jalisco Festival, Tejano Music Festival, and LGBT Days. 

City Manager Charles McClendon said, “The events are important because they provide opportunities for people outside our city to come and see what Cathedral City is all about.” McClendon added, “It also provides a great opportunity for people who live here to enjoy time with each other and enjoy being in our community.”

Short Term Vacation Rentals will stop by the end of the year in Cathedral City with exceptions for some HOA’s and home-sharing. Short-term rental activity will also no longer be permitted within the City of Rancho Mirage as of June 30.

The City of Rancho Mirage will kick off 2022 with the 8th annual Rancho Mirage Writers Festival at its Library and Observatory. The observatory also hopes to re-open for stargazing events early in the new year. The city’s amphitheater will showcase dynamic programming from the city’s cultural commission and Desert Theatricals partner. 

The City of La Quinta is set to see progress on Talus, the next chapter of the long-delayed SilverRock resort development. Montage and Pendry branded hotels are expected along with some single-family homes, condominiums, and golf bungalows. Vertical construction begins on the Pendry Hotel in the spring of 2022.

"We're seven years in and we're getting to that point where we're seeing vertical constructions. So patience pays off."

La Quinta city manager, jon mcmillen

La Quinta City Manager Jon McMillen said, “We’re seven years in and we’re getting to that point where we’re seeing vertical constructions. So patience pays off.” 

Aerial view of the new Talus Development in La Quinta

Public hearings for a proposed 600-acre surf park begin early next year. The Coral Mountain Resort project is opposed by residents in several neighboring communities who want it stopped. The city also anticipates opening its new X-Park for skaters this spring and hosts the American Express the week of January 19th. “We’ve got better parking. We’ve got a little better strategy for circulating people around. We have improved cell phone coverage,” McMillen added.

A renaissance of sorts will continue in Coachella as hundreds of new homes and apartments are set to pop up in 2022, along with city and Riverside county programs to make them affordable. 

Coachella apartments being built

“So our residents should be on the lookout for first-time homebuyers programs, said Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez. “They should be on the lookout for business assistance programs as well be on the lookout for home renovation programs where the city wants to make sure people can put new roofs, paint, and do everything they can to be involved in the progress that’s happening in the city of Coachella,” Hernandez added.

Also expect new businesses and commercial developments, and capital improvements including the new Grapefruit Boulevard Urban Greening Project. And the city plans to host all of its pre-pandemic festivals and events again in 2022. They include the Coachella Mariachi Festival, Fourth of July Celebration, El Grito, City of Coachella Tacos Tequila and Chavelas Festival, Movies in the Park, Veterans’ Pancake Breakfast, Run with Los Muertos 5k and Block Party, Synergy Music and Art Festival, Holiday Tree Lighting, and the city’s annual Holiday Parade.

The Coachella Valley Association of Government’s effort to synchronize traffic signal lights continues in 2022. CV Sync construction is aimed at improving the traffic flow along Highway 111, Ramon Road, and Washington Street. CVAG is also expected to make significant progress on bringing broadband across the Coachella Valley while spending millions on local energy efficiency programs.  

"We've done some pretty incredible things in 2021 and I think we're going to do some great things in 2022."

Coachella valley association of governments executive director, tom kirk

“We’ve done some pretty incredible things in 2021 and I think we’re going to do some great things in 2022,” CVAG’s Executive Director Tom Kirk said.

Kirk says CVAG’s homelessness initiative– CV 200 housed 70 of 200 homeless people encountered in 2021. “Something like homelessness, Kirk said. “You see that same person on the corner every day for the last 3 or 4 years. And you just think, ‘Is there any way we can help that person?’ And we are,” said Kirk. He added they’ve identified people by name and are reaching out to them. They then get them moved into permanent housing where their immediate needs can be met for up to 90 days until they’re more able to get back on their feet and get a job.   

Economic development continues in Palm Springs with the new 164-room Thompson Hotel by Hyatt opening on the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Alejo in December.  A much-needed new Homeless Navigation Center will be well underway in 2022. And new policies are expected to help develop a Reparations Program related to forced evictions of people living in Section 14 during the 1960s.

The City of Indian Wells will complete its General Plan Update and the Indian Wells Golf Resort Master Plan. Both documents will shape the entire city and municipal golf course for years to come. 118 new homes are set to be built and Whitewater Channel improvements will allow for future resort and retail opportunities along Highway 111 and Miles Avenue. Indian Wells is also excited about the return of the BNP Paribas Open in March, and other festivals and events.

Indio’s historic downtown is also ready for its next act planning monthly entertainment and events beginning in January. There will also be the addition of several large art installations, and a number of high-profile restaurants openings in 2022. The Coachella Valley’s largest city also expects to end the year with a historic number of single-family home permits, along with several large-scale developments underway. Some include the Canopy at Citrus, and a revitalization of the Indio Marketplace on Highway 111. Its remodel will commence no later than May 2022, with completion scheduled for April 2023.

In Desert Hot Springs, the city is set to add sidewalk and other improvements to a stretch of Hacienda and Palm Drive while rehabbing and revitalizing along Pierson. New businesses are also under construction and a new park is in the works.

And the City of Palm Desert plans to build on its CV Link and San Pablo revitalization projects of 2021 with continued efforts to foster a more pedestrian and bike-friendly community. The city also plans to spend resources in North Palm Desert in formulating a plan to best enhance the lifestyle and economic needs of residents and businesses around the university and beyond.  

Jeff Stahl

You can watch Jeff every weekday morning on News Channel 3 in the Morning and News Channel 3 at Noon. Learn more about Jeff here.


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