Photo Courtesy We Care Spa

The City of Desert Hot Springs Turns 60

Celebrating six decades since its incorporation, the city focuses on new businesses, tourism, and sustainability.

Trudie Mitschang City Progress, Sponsored, Vision

Photo Courtesy We Care Spa

We Care Spa.

Commonly referred to as California’s “Spa City,” Desert Hot Springs recently celebrated its milestone Diamond anniversary. This shining desert jewel was originally centered at the intersection of Palm Drive and Pierson Boulevard and its name is derived from the area’s abundant natural hot springs. It wasn’t long before the once small town went from a hidden gem to a thriving tourist destination thanks to its abundant spa amenities, boutique hotels and proximity to all of the Coachella Valley’s tourist attractions.

“The City of Desert Hot Springs is such a unique community,” says Interim City Manager Doria Wilms. “We have tremendous development opportunities, a variety of housing options, amazing views, and a rapidly growing population. As an organization, we think out-of-the-box and follow our city councils lead of being open-minded as it relates to economic growth.”

In fact, Desert Hot Springs was not only an early embracer of cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and retail, but also a pioneer in “cannatourism” (a term the city coined), as sanctioned boutique hotels invite guests to legally consume onsite. “We’ve integrated cannabis into the foundation of health and wellness that has always been prevalent for Desert Hot springs,” Wilms says.


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Attracting industry, growing the economy

Retail and commercial growth continues to expand, on the heels of the significant revenue boost garnered from the cannabis industry. While they are continuing to grow and diversify that industry, Economic Development Director Sean Smith says there is also a concerted effort to strengthen the city’s economic health through new commercial development, job creation, housing, and growing the established hotel community.

With that in mind, the city has approved a 650,000-square-foot Amazon facility. Building plans are underway and anticipation is high, not only from a revenue standpoint, but also from the number of job opportunities it will generate.

As more people seek to call Desert Hot Springs a place to live, work and play, staying connected is more essential than ever. Race Communications has announced the commencement of its fiber-based, multi-gig service with internet speeds of up to 10 Gbps available to residential homes and businesses city-wide — the first such offering in the Coachella Valley. This monumental milestone provides residents and businesses of the area with more efficient and reliable internet services, giving them access to a previously unattainable level of speed and performance.

“We are thrilled to bring our advanced fiber optic infrastructure to the City of Desert Hot Springs,” says Jim Miller, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Race Communications. “This future-proof technology will provide people with faster internet connections and have a positive effect on the local economy.”

The project is expected to debut in early 2024.

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A multi-story immersive art installation and mural by Travis “TRAV.”

A sustainable place to call home

Families flock to Desert Hot Springs for its scenic vistas and affordable, high-quality housing.  New developments vary from budget-friendly mobile homes, modern town homes, charming single-family dwellings, and apartment homes. Now, the future of housing is coming to Desert Hot Springs with a development of sleek, minimalist and smart 3-D housing.

Designed by Culver City architects EYRCs and built by automated home manufacturer Mighty Buildings, the project will feature approximately 70 Mighty Quatro homes measuring 1,176 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a separate ADU. Each home is designed to be net-zero energy, thanks to roofs made of solar panels, heat pump systems, which can reduce heating-related energy use by about half, and well-insulated infill panels made from 60 percent recycled resin. Many will have their own pools, and add-ons include cabanas, fire pits and outdoor showers.

Speaking of sustainability, Desert Hot Springs is also installing 80 EV charging stations, providing 160 parking stalls for charging electric vehicles. The charging stations will be installed at public facilities throughout the community including at city hall, all city parks, the corporate yard, future public safety campus, and the health and wellness center.

“This project is a testament to the importance of sustainability in Desert Hot Springs,” says Interim Deputy City Manager, Danny Porras. “These charging stations will help us keep pace with the growing popularity of electric vehicles.”

Installation of the charging stations is scheduled to begin by the end of 2023.


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Esri/Coachella Valley Economic Partnership

Celebrating culture and the arts

Earlier this year, Desert Hot Springs unveiled a dynamic multi-story immersive art installation and mural by Travis (TRAV), an American artist best known for dynamic, vivid, and colorful collage paintings and monumental wall pieces. The art installation at the corner of Palm Drive and Pierson Boulevard was painted in collaboration with well-known art collective the Seventh Letter and Known Gallery, which recently relocated to downtown Desert Hot Springs.

“This project is one that truly fulfills the mission of our Arts in Public Places effort,” Wilms says. “The installation will provide enjoyment for all those who live in the area year-round, increase tourism to the city, and really embrace what we are doing to foster arts and economic development.”

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ACRES Gateway, features newly renovated one-of-a-kind vintage airstreams with amenities for a total glamping experience.

Adding to the allure of Desert Hot Springs’ destination reputation, the grand opening of ACRES  Gateway, a one-of-a-kind, vintage Airstream property, brings nostalgia and luxury to the heart of the Coachella Valley. ACRES, a getaway destination dedicated to respite and rejuvenation, features newly renovated vintage airstreams designed for laid-back luxury and a retro-modern vibe. The Airstreams renovations feature amenities for a total glamping experience: private outdoor cabanas with soaking tubs sourced with the mineral hot spring waters; luxurious bedding; a private bathroom; air conditioning and heating; and a kitchenette. ACRES will open Spring 2024. Prospective guests can learn more and reserve at:

Drinking in all the amenities

While Desert Hot Springs is increasingly famous for a wealth of tourist amenities and offerings, at its heart are the restorative natural mineral baths that continue to draw visitors from around the world. What you might not know is that not only can you soak in the city’s water; you can drink it too. Desert Hot Springs boasts under-ground cold water springs that are pure and delicious; their municipal drinking water has won gold, silver, and bronze medals over the last few years in an annual international water competition.

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A lap pool filled with mineral water at Azure Palm Hot Springs Resort & Day Spa Oasis.

Desert Hot Springs is home to very special hot and cold water aquifers that produce some of the purest water in the world,” Smith adds.

Without question, Desert Hot Springs is a city on the move, with expansion and innovation taking place in virtually every sector. By all indications, the city is poised for stellar success as it embarks on its next 60 years of growth.