Explore Palm Springs: The Desert Turf Club

Luxury race track was to sit off Highway 111 between Cathedral City and Palm Springs.

Renee Brown History 0 Comments



Seventy-five desert area officials gathered on May 3, 1957, to watch as bulldozers began to break up the sand dunes in an attempt to transform the barren desert into The Desert Turf Club.

The luxury race track was to include grandstands, a clubhouse, barns for the horses, a parking lot to handle up to 3,000 cars as well as a press box located atop the grandstand. The proposed location was off Highway 111 between Cathedral City and Palm Springs.

Desert Turf Club President Frank Bogert pointed out to the local dignitaries that the area in the center of the track could be used for polo, flower shows, horse shows, and many other community activities.

Another project to bring horseracing to the desert area was the Palm Springs Turf Club. The Palm Springs Turf Club lost its bid to the California Horse Racing Board in favor of the Desert Turf Club’s proposal.

In the end, neither project ever became a reality.

There is a multitude of ways to learn more about Palm Springs, which turned 81 in 2019.

One of the more intriguing methods is by exploring the city’s history.

The Palm Springs Historical Society will share a weekly story whose time and place corresponds with today.

The Palm Springs Historical Society is located at 221 S. Palm Canyon Drive. Visit www.pshistoricalsociety.org for more information.

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