As we put to bed the Palm Springs Life Annual Progress Issue, I would appear to have my head in what our publisher, Milt Jones, refers to as “a very dark place” if I neglected to acknowledge the survival tactics of so many business and households in the desert.
Our company — which also publishes in Newport Beach; Pebble Beach; Monterey Bay; New Mexico; Houston and El Paso, Texas; and Vancouver, B.C., Canada — has painstakingly reduced the size of our staff and our paychecks. Some would dwell on this. I would rather point out that our firm is working leaner, meaner, and much smarter.
We have a revitalized emphasis — an industrywide mandate — on innovation across all media: www.palmspringslife.com, e-newsletters, social networking on sites such as Facebook, and Palm Springs Life events. These efforts continually capture a world of new readers, friends, and fans who will experience the desert as a resident or a visitor. Our impact has never been greater.
Meanwhile, the high-demographic readership of the magazine remains intact and, fortunately, continues to purchase fine goods and services.
This should excite even those who see only gloom and doom. (And, for the record, my head is in a very bright place.) Yes, we have a tough year ahead, a period of hard decisions and calculated risks — such as the $37 million renovations at Wyndham Palm Springs and Hyatt Regency Suites Palm Springs. The properties are positioning themselves to compete for convention accommodations and other group business, touting downtown, attractions, and airport proximity.
We see many signs of optimism and progress, such as plans to break ground this year on The Shoppes of Rancho Mirage; developer Jerry Fogelson’s initiative to open the luxurious Indian Wells Crossing shopping and entertainment destination off Miles Avenue by 2011; and, farther east, the makeover of Indio Fashion Mall, which will become the lifestyle-oriented Fiesta Mall, with wi-fi and Cinema West, a stadium-seating movie theater with at least 14 screens.
In this issue, Shellie Karabell writes about “Where We Stand” (page 1F) in the Coachella Valley, Sarah Reiss explores local businesses opening doors and opportunities in “In With the New” (page 28), and Ellen Paris reintroduces Harvey Katofsky of HK Lane in “Carpe Diem” (page 22).
For many of us, this is a time to ask what truly matters in life. What do we want to be or do in the next phase of our lives? Let us embrace, not fear it. That is progress.