Cathedral City

Emerging and hitting its stride.

October 12, 2017
cathedral city
The Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre shares its plans for a 
professional live performing theater in downtown Cathedral City.

The shimmering sun casts its glow on Cathedral City. Given its year-round appeal for desert living, Cathedral City has never been content to be a mere shimmery surface. A wide variety of new projects and developments set to emerge in the city illustrate its depth and commitment to being an extraordinary destination for residents and visitors alike.

Arts and Entertainment

Fans of live theater will be thrilled to learn that the Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre (CVRep), the only playhouse in the valley to possess a Small Professional Theatre status with Actors’ Equity, has found a new home in downtown Cathedral City. The theater company has plans to fundraise, purchase, and renovate the Desert Cinemas movie theater into a state-of-the-art, live performance theater.

Stanley E. Henry

MAYOR Pro Tem:
Gregory S. Pettis

Mark Carnevale
Shelley Kaplan
John Aguilar


It will anchor the city’s municipal plaza on the west side just as the newly refurbished Mary Pickford Theatre does on the east side. The latter is one of the newest locations for the world-renowned Palm Springs International Film Festival. Seems only fitting since Cathedral City will serve as a major sponsor of the Film Fest in 2018.

Meanwhile, exciting plans are afoot to build a brand-new park in downtown Cathedral City that will house an outdoor amphitheater. It will occupy 2.5 acres directly north of the CVRep and next to the downtown parking structure at the corner of Cathedral Canyon Drive and Avenida Lalo Guerrero.

“The new park and our adjacent Festival Lawn support ongoing efforts to create a lively entertainment district in our downtown corridor,” says Mayor Stan Henry. “Cathedral City began as a haven for the arts and we are continuing that tradition with the upcoming addition of live performing arts by CVRep and the existing cluster of world-class art galleries along nearby Perez Road.”

Another mixed-use entertainment venue that will further Cathedral City’s emerging plans as a popular destination was recently announced by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. They are well on their way to creating a downtown gaming facility at the corner of East Palm Canyon Drive and Date Palm Drive. This will serve as a major entertainment anchor and contribute to creating a thriving Cathedral City downtown scene.

Health and Wellness

When it comes to health and wellness, Cathedral City is hitting its stride. The recent opening of Eisenhower Health Center’s Internal Medicine Residency Clinic at Canyon Plaza North has greatly enhanced healthcare options in the city. This medical unit moved from Eisenhower’s Rancho Mirage Main Campus and filled the space of the previous Eisenhower Occupational Health Services and Primary Care facility on East Palm Canyon Drive near Target. Those previous health services are now located on the south side of East Palm Canyon Drive in a new and expanded facility to better serve clients.


A variety of new and emerging projects demonstrate the City’s commitment to health and wellness for both the residents and visitors. Construction begins on a 2.2-mile segment of the CV Link.

Fitness-minded individuals will discover that Cathedral City offers the best facilities to live a healthy lifestyle. Construction has already commenced on the first section of the Coachella Valley Link, also known as CV Link. This 2.2-mile portion will be completed this fall, offering breathtaking views of the San Jacinto Mountains and the Whitewater River Basin. Runners, bikers, and drivers of neighborhood electric vehicles can maneuver along what will become an eventual 50-mile health and fitness path stretching from Palm Springs to Coachella.

Officials have also announced that Planet Fitness will open a new location in late fall featuring a wide range of fitness equipment and classes for the entire family. This is the second large fitness center to emerge in Cathedral City in the past two years. The other state-of-the-art facility is In-Shape Fitness, located at the corner of Gerald Ford and Date Palm drives.

Residents can also be proud to use the adult fitness area, walking path, multi-use sports field and other outstanding elements at Ocotillo Park, which earned the recognition of “Parks and Recreation Project of the Year” for the entire state of California in 2017. Bicyclists will soon be able to pedal farther afield as bridge construction projects — Cathedral Canyon Drive, Date Palm Drive, and Ramon Road bridges — all include dedicated bike lanes in their plans.

Head of the Class

Cathedral City appears destined to achieve honor roll status based on several new and emerging educational advancements. A two-story, state-of-the-art facility is set to replace the aging Agua Caliente Elementary School in the Dream Homes neighborhood in early 2018. Installation of a long-desired swimming pool at Cathedral City High School certainly made a splash this year. Speaking of education and sports, softball fans won’t want to miss the ever-popular Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, the annual NCAA–Division 1 Softball Tournament that is proud to call Big League Dreams Cathedral City home.


Medical service is available at the newly opened Eisenhower Internal Medicine Residency Clinic.

Held over two weekends in February, the 25,000-plus crowd continues to expand with each passing year. Meanwhile, College of the Desert is planning to move the automotive technology center from the main campus in Palm Desert to a new building in the vicinity of the Cathedral City Auto Center. Since so many of the program’s graduates find jobs at the Auto Center, this will serve as a workforce incubator and create greater synergy between auto dealers and the College. Other new opportunities are being created in the Auto Center with the recent announcement of a 5-acre luxury sales and service center being developed along East Palm Canyon Drive by Shottenkirk Desert Lexus.

Emerging Cannabis Industry

The medical cannabis industry continues to expand nationwide and Cathedral City is well-positioned to nurture this emerging market. While the south side of town has become home to numerous dispensaries and cultivation centers, eyes are now turning to the area north of Interstate 10 as a prime locale for indoor cannabis cultivation and manufacturing. The city is keeping abreast of changing times and remains open to opportunities by adapting its zoning laws and regulations. If the demand is there — and there are many signs it will be — the city is prepared to supply the necessary support. This up-and-coming cannabis industry promises to provide good paying jobs with benefits and solid tax revenue for parks, public safety, and improvements to roads and bridges.

“Cathedral City is well positioned to address the needs of the emerging cannabis industry,” says Mayor Henry. “The city has established proper regulations from seed to sale. We mandate enhanced security, the latest fire suppression technology, odor filtration systems, and building structures that are aesthetically pleasing. In return, the industry is redeveloping and improving our light industrial parks, bringing them into the 21st century.”

In the Know

Since so many projects and developments are emerging in Cathedral City, the city’s elected representatives feel it is important to keep citizens in the know. It’s why they instituted “City Hall at Your Corner.” This once-a-month public forum gives residents an opportunity to learn more and ask questions of City Council members in a casual setting at various locations throughout the city and at different times of the day. Scheduling information is available on the city’s website.

Hints of still greater things to come lie just beneath Cathedral City’s shimmering surface — stay tuned as leaders continue to add luster to this decidedly nuanced city.


The multiple award-winning Ocotillo Park.


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SOURCE: Esri Business Analyst 2017/Coachella Valley Economic Partnership