The City of Desert Hot Springs is committed to becoming a world class health and wellness destination based upon its famous miracle waters, unique desert ecosystem, spectacular mountain views, and natural environment. My long-established goal is to enhance the economic viability of Desert Hot Springs while increasing the quality of life for residents and experience for visitors by strategically working to enhance the focus areas of tourism, business attraction & retention, cannabis, warehouse/logistic centers, and housing. Efforts towards each are guided by the aspiration of establishing Desert Hot Springs as the premier destination for health and wellness.
I am happy to report that while cannabis tax revenues are down, our Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue is up do to the increase of hotel rooms available for residents and visitors and the City’s focus on canatourism.
I hear from businesses that some landlords in DHS are unwilling to rent to them, or they have unreasonable requirements. We have quite a few storefronts that are vacant, have been vacant for years, and will remain vacant for the foreseeable future because of landlords who choose to keep them vacant. This really bothers me. It hurts not only the businesses that want to start here, but also the residents of DHS who have to look at vacant storefronts and miss out on the positive economic and social impacts that businesses have on a community. I am working with our City Attorney to fix this. I am confident that we will be able to incentivize these landlords to enter into leases, including through the use of penalties and fines, in order to recover lost City revenues and bring “life” to vacant storefronts.
And once those businesses open, they will be able to use 10G internet service. That’s because DHS will be the first city in the Coachella Valley to enjoy super-speedy 10G fiber internet service, which has been installed throughout the city by Race Communications.
In another first for our City, we will be installing 80 EV chargers for up to 160 electric vehicles. Chargers will be located at City Hall, Mission Springs Park, Tedesco Park, Wardman Park, the Carl May Senior Center, the Desert Hot Springs Recreation Center, at the future site of the Public Safety Campus, and at the future site of Corporate Yard Park. Construction of these charging sites began in December of 2023.
In a little more than a year, Amazon will be operating a 650,000 square foot storage facility that will create over 1400 jobs, most of which we expect will be filled with DHS residents. Right next to it will be the construction of another large warehouse known as the “Desert Gateway Project”, which will be a one million square foot logistics center and hotel with ancillary commercial uses. And a Pods Storage Warehouse is also being constructed a short distance away. All of these businesses will provide tax revenue and a lot of jobs for DHS residents.
I will continue to work with the City Council and our City Government to make DHS business-friendly and welcoming. I will continue to work with the city to support and strengthen the tourist-serving businesses, such as our spa hotels, that are still recovering from Covid. And, I will work tirelessly, along with our Economic Development Manager, to bring more businesses to DHS.