Indian Wells

On a scale of one to 10, luxurious Indian Wells rates a "10+"

Jan Maguire

Tennis legends play here, world leaders stay here, and top CEOs own homes here. “Here” is Indian Wells, among the most exceptional residential resort communities in the United States. Within a two-hour drive of Southern California’s famed beaches and ski resorts, Indian Wells boasts 350 days of sunshine, an average annual temperature of 74 degrees, and an abundance of first-rate amenities. Whether you want to visit, raise a family, relocate your business, or retire, this desert paradise situated in the heart of the Coachella Valley offers a top-caliber quality of life.

Indian Wells’ visionary municipal government is one of the city’s greatest assets. “Our City Council and staff are dedicated to an enduring philosophy of ‘managing for success,’” Mayor Ed Monarch says. “Every day, we focus on creating an outstanding present and a brilliant future for Indian Wells, with strategic planning taking place on every level at City Hall.”

As a result, the City of Indian Wells is one of the healthiest financially in California, with a projected $28.8 million in cash reserves by the end of this year. The city is also on track to achieve a long-range savings goal of $125 million by the year 2025.

This leading municipality operates via an innovative private sector business model that rewards excellence. City employees profit from a pay-for-performance structure, and residents have access to the most extraordinary array of amenities.

It’s little wonder that a leading independent research organization that conducted the city’s 2009 Community Satisfaction Survey found that Indian Wells residents were the most satisfied resident group out of more than 100 similar studies completed for California municipalities. Indian Wells offers one of the finest resident benefit programs in the nation.

With a special property owner ID card, residents enjoy select discounts at the award-winning IW Club and Indian Wells Golf Resort, Indian Wells Tennis Garden, and four luxury hotels: Hyatt Grand Champions Resort, Villas and Spa; Indian Wells Resort Hotel; Miramonte Resort & Spa; and Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa. Additional perks of living in Indian Wells include year-round resident socials and themed events — an ideal way for neighbors to meet in this friendly, close-knit community. The city also sponsors Residents’ Day at the BNP Paribas Open, Memorial and Veterans Day ceremonies, a Fourth of July Celebration with fireworks, Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at City Hall, WildLights evening at The Living Desert, Movie Night featuring a Palm Springs International Film Festival screening, IW Club Satellite Library, and much more.

If leading a healthy and active lifestyle is important to you and your family, you’ll find so many activities to stay fit and have fun in the process. Tee off on your private country club course or golf in the footsteps of the pros on the championship Celebrity and Players courses at the public-access Indian Wells Golf Resort.

Join the tennis club at the state-of-the-art Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the fifth largest tennis stadium in the world. Oracle CEO/co-founder Larry Ellison recently purchased the Garden and its signature event, the BNP Paribas Open, which brings the world’s top tennis players to Indian Wells every March. This phenomenal 55-acre facility is also home to the Indian Wells Arts Festival and NBA Outdoors, a preseason exhibition game under the stars.

In addition to golf and tennis, residents and guests alike enjoy biking, hiking, jogging, swimming, fitness classes, horseback riding, gardening (Indian Wells recently started a new community garden) and many other recreational activities. The city is also in the planning stages for a new community center.

The arts and culture scene is as vibrant as the city’s lush landscape. Now entering its 19th season, Desert Town Hall Indian Wells brings the world’s foremost speakers to the stage at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa. President George W. Bush is already confirmed to speak in March 2011. Past luminaries have included President George H.W. Bush, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, and the late Benazir Bhutto, prime minister of Pakistan. Also at the Renaissance Esmeralda, the World Affairs Council of the Desert presents its Sunday dinner series, which headlines many noteworthy speakers addressing the most timely issues.

Through its philanthropic initiatives, the city of Indian Wells provides support for many other artistic endeavors and cultural institutions, among them the star-studded Palm Springs International Film Festival, Palm Springs Art Museum, McCallum Theatre, and The Living Desert zoo and botanical garden.

Food and wine lovers will enjoy the desert’s rich agricultural bounty and extensive wine selections at casual eateries and fine-dining establishments in Indian Wells and nearby resort communities; many offer outdoor dining year-round. With museum-quality art galleries and charming home design shops, chic clothing boutiques, and big-box stores all close by, residents will find everything they need to outfit their home and themselves.

City Hall’s commitment to residents extends well beyond the social and cultural arena. Indian Wells boasts one of the lowest crime rates and fastest emergency-response rates in the valley, thanks to a strong emphasis on public health and safety. And city grant programs provide financial assistance to community service agencies and school programs throughout the valley.

Earlier this year, Indian Wells unveiled two cutting-edge enterprises designed to stimulate investment in the community. In March the City Council approved a housing stimulus plan, which runs through June 30, 2011. The plan waives city-related building fees for residents who wish to remodel their homes or rehab foreclosed residential properties. The program fosters added benefits by creating construction jobs and helping to maintain compliance with state of California waste-diversion requirements.

This past August, the city, in a concerted effort to raise local real estate values, launched an extensive Realtor Program, working with local real estate agents who market and sell residential property in Indian Wells.

And, as part of its continuing conservation efforts, the city applied for and received a multifamily affordable solar housing grant from Southern California Edison for Indian Wells Villas, a 90-unit, low-income, senior affordable-housing community. New solar-panel cool roofs and dual-flex toilets have already been installed. This project is part of a larger vision for Indian Wells, which hopes to become a fully sustainable city by 2025.

Many corporate executives have already discovered that Indian Wells is also an ideal place to work. Where else can you set up your office poolside with a panorama of stately palm trees and magnificent mountain scenery in place of office walls?

Those seeking employment or considering starting their own company will find a thriving business climate and active chamber of commerce in Indian Wells. Likewise, the Coachella Valley is a hotbed for entrepreneurial types with its dynamic regional economic development concentrating on green energy growth, healthcare, and other diverse business sectors.

While small in geographical size (15.04 square miles) Indian Wells remains large in stature and rife with opportunity and extends the finest of everything that life has to offer. Looking for an exceptional place to call home? Consider Indian Wells, California, the most desirable address in the country.

Indian Wells Mayor Ed Monarch Mayor: Ed Monarch
Mayor Pro Tem: Patrick J. Mullany
Council Members: Douglas H. Hanson, William T. Powers, Larry Spicer
Year Incorporated: 1967
Population: 5,144
Median Household Income: $147,935