A Dream Hometown On The World’s Stage.
By Bonnie Crail
- MAYOR: Dana Reed
- MAYOR PRO TEM: Richard Balocco
- COUNCIL MEMBERS: Douglas Hanson, Ted Mertens, Ty Peabody
- YEAR INCORPORATED: 1967
- WEBSITE: www.cityofindianwells.org
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, the city of Indian Wells is steeped in a rich and colorful history tied to its vital desert location. Documented origins date back to early inhabitants who unearthed the city’s namesake well — a veritable source of life in an arid region. Over the centuries, Native Americans, explorers, pioneers, and prospectors called this part of the Coachella Valley home. The location became a noted stagecoach stop and key railroad destination — as its marvelous natural source of water continued to be treasured by all who came.
Fast forward to the 1950s, and to a landscape filled with pools, movie stars, and amazing golf — and Indian Wells could be found playing host to Desi Arnaz, Frankie Avalon, Ray Bolger, Kirk Douglas, James Garner, and Bob Hope. Arnold Palmer won the first local golf tournament in town, and President Eisenhower visited regularly, ultimately becoming an Indian Wells homeowner.
To ensure that Indian Wells would be a community characterized by distinctly fine residential/country club living and resort hotels, in 1957, E.M. “Pete” Peterson, who became the city’s first mayor, established the first property owners association. Peterson’s commitment to quality of life carried forward—and that focus on quality of life still defines the city today.
On July 14, 1967, Indian Wells became California’s 400th city (and Riverside County’s 16th). Municipal infrastructure was established and the new city soon began hosting golf events, big-name tennis, highquality residential communities, beautiful hotels, its own multicourse golf resort, and the site that would become the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Today, 50 years later, the city of Indian Wells is admired for its strategic leadership, accountable government, superlative resident benefits, and mindful budget policies. The city’s fiscal discretion has proved to be especially valuable in times of economic downturn, in the current recovery, and in the face of state initiatives that are straining the finances of small municipalities.
Palm Springs Life once said of Indian Wells residents, “Abhorring glitz or flamboyance, they have created a city government in their own image — one of quiet efficiency and responsible management.” City residents live in a community of beauty, tranquillity and genuine care for others, and newcomers relocate to Indian Wells for the same reason that businesses choose to open their doors here — beautiful weather and an ideal location where resort-style living is within easy reach of major metropolitan areas.
And the world is taking notice:
“INDIAN WELLS, ABOUT 120 MILES FROM ORANGE COUNTY, IS CLOSE ENOUGH FOR A DAY TRIP. BUT ONCE YOU ARRIVE YOU WON’T WANT TO LEAVE.” — The Orange County Register, 2016
“INDIAN WELLS IS BLOOMING IN THE DESERT.” — Sports Business Daily, 2016
“IT’S LITTLE WONDER THAT, YEAR AFTER YEAR PEOPLE RETURN TO INDIAN WELLS. COME TO INDIAN WELLS TO EXPERIENCE ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE MEETING AND CONFERENCE DESTINATIONS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.” — Smart Meetings, 2015
Tennis, Golf, Arts, and Culture
In addition to fostering business opportunities, Indian Wells is a small city where one of the world’s five largest tennis tournaments and some of the West’s topranked golf terrain lie within minutes of each other. The Indian Wells Arts Festival is second to none each year, and the renowned Modernism Week tours often take in some of the city’s remarkable midcentury modern residences. Further enhancing the appeal, all of these activities are located within just five or 10 minutes of beautiful Indian Wells homes and neighborhoods, as well as enticing hotels, restaurants, and spas, a one-of-a-kind resort experience and convenient local services.
Tennis certainly is a distinct advantage for the city. The Indian Wells Tennis Garden encompasses the second largest tennis stadium in the world, along with a fullservice year-round tennis club and the BNP Paribas Open tournament. This famed pro tennis event dominates the world sports stage every March, attracting more than 438,000 attendees in 2016 alone.
The city-owned Indian Wells Golf Resort welcomes residents and visitors to two championship 18-hole golf courses ranked among the top public courses in California. This exceptional golf location lies within easy walking distance of the city’s four major hotel resorts and is anchored by a stylish clubhouse that is the envy of many a golf community. Located within the modern, light-and-bright clubhouse is VUE Grille & Bar, hosting popular daily happy hour and dining experiences open to the public. The golf resort’s 5,700-square-foot Pavilion is an added venue that hosts large receptions, weddings, and banquets, and beautiful catered events have become an important and welcome option for residents, businesses, and guests of the city.
Additional local activities are offered by the city’s own specialty groups and venues, including The Joslyn Center for active adult residents, civic organizations, and community service groups such as Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce. Volunteer programs bring heartfelt support to local neighbors, while the city’s government hosts patriotic ceremonies and resident social gatherings.
Indian Wells By The Numbers
- 1,438 standard, deluxe and private villa accommodations.
- 36 holes of championship golf.
- 11 refreshing pools.
- 40 outdoor meeting venues.
- 53 tennis courts.
- 3 beautifully appointed, serene spas.
- Close proximity to countless premier tourist attractions in the greater Palm Srpings Desert Resorts area.
Living In Paradise
Living in Indian Wells means enjoying a warm welcome and highly inviting selection of homes — from serene gated golf and country club communities to beautiful senior-friendly accommodations and inviting family neighborhoods. The community feels like a small town, with hospitable residents, clean streets, stunning desert landscapes, and inviting swimming pools that herald a quality of life that makes this a dream setting. The city’s Resident Benefit Card is an added, and enormously appealing, incentive. Thanks to this ID card, Indian Wells residents can enjoy numerous local discounts at the golf resort and hotels, and other rare and valuable perks and privileges.
Public safety is always the city’s top priority, and the last year alone has seen the lowest Indian Wells property crime rate in a decade. This year also has seen a 32 percent decrease in traffic collisions, while the Indian Wells Fire Department has achieved an admirable 3 1/2-minute average response time for service calls.
A Future Of Promise — Strategic Marketing And A Solid Economic Base
Indian Wells is an extraordinary place, where business, sports, recreation, entertainment, real estate, arts, and culture thrive. Thoughtfully positioned and carefully marketed to meet the needs of its residents and businesses, this small city offers a residential resort lifestyle that is second to none.
For the coming year, The city will target business expansion, including development of vacant properties in the city. Astute planning will continue to underlie growth, with the well-being and satisfaction of residents remaining at the forefront — just as they did when that first vote for cityhood took place nearly 50 years ago.
- 4,974 – Total Population
- 0.41% – Annual Growth Rate
- 64 – Median Age
- 567 – High School Diploma
- 1,218 – Bachelor’s Degree
- 892 – Graduate/Professional Degree
- $134,534 – Average Household Income
- $84,231 – Median Household Income
- 12.25% – Construction
- 11.57% – Retail
- 10.50% – Healthcare, Social Assistance
- 10.44% – Real Estate, Rental, Leasing
- 9.76% – Professional, Scientific, Tech Services
- 8.24% – Accommodation and Food Services
- 5.25% – Educational Services
- 3.89% – Arts, Entertainment, Recreation
- 3.89% – Services (Excluding Public Administration)
- 3.33% Business and Administrative Support
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2007, Indian Wells is known as a beautiful enclave with luxurious resorts and high-caliber residential living. When the City of Indian Wells celebrates a landmark occasion, this vibrant desert community knows how to throw a party in style.
We cordially invite you to sample the incomparable Indian Wells lifestyle. Experience spectacular tennis events at our state-of-the-art Tennis Garden, home of the Pacific Life Open; championship links at our acclaimed Golf Resort, and worldclass amenities at our four spectacular luxury hotels. Factor in a wide array of exhilarating cultural events and you will understand why Indian Wells is recognized worldwide as the ultimate vacation oasis!