The Best of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley

Recently, the Desert Sun published the Best of the Valley for 2010.  Of the more than 222 winners, many were Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce members and I would like to devote this week’s blog to them.

All in all, 1,132 entries were organized under 78 categories.  Over 229,500 votes were cast and we congratulate the following Chamber winners.

Elmer’s restaurant and Piero’s Acqua Pazza for breakfast; Spencer’s Restaurant for Brunch; Piero’s Acqua Pazza and Fisherman’s Market & Grill for a great dinner deal; Piero’s Acqua Pazza for family restaurant;  Piero’s Acqua Pazza and Matchbox Vintage Pizza Bistro for late night dining; Spencer’s restaurant and Piero’s Acqua Pazza for outdoor dining, Spencer’s restaurant and Wally’s Desert turtle for Romantic Dinner; PF Chang’s China Bistro for Chinese; Johnny Costa’s Ristorante for Italian; Las Casuelas Terraza and El Mirasol for Mexican; Le Vallauris for French; Fisherman’s market & Grill for Seafood; LG’s Prime Steakhouse and Chop House for Steakhouse; Spencer’s Restaurant and Piero’s Acqua Pazza for Continental; Cowboy Way Bar-B-Que for Barbecue Place; In-N-Out Burger for Burger Place; In-N-Out Burger, Del Taco and Chipotle Mexican Grill for Fast food; Fisherman’s Market & Grill and Shanghai Red’s for Fish Taco; Costco for Hot Dogs; Matchbox Vintage Pizza Bistro for Pizza; Sherman’s Deli, Panera Bread and Manhattan in the Desert for Sandwich; Panera Bread for Bagels; Aspen Mills Bread Co., Panera Bread and Jensen’s Finest Foods for Bakery; Azul and Las Casuelas Terraza for Bar; Azul for Gay Bar; Piero’s Acqua Pazza for Happy Hour; Las Casuelas Terraza and Blue Coyote Bar & Grill for Margarita; The Falls and Tropicale for Martini; Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa and Spa Resort Casino for Casino; The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa for Live Music; The Camelot Theatres for Movie Theater; Angel View Thrift Marts for Thrift Shop; Partylab for Toy Store; Trader Joe’s, Stater Bros and Jensen’s Finest Foods for Grocery Chain; Trader Joe’s and Jensen’s Finest Foods for Specialty Food Store; Trader Joe’s for Wine Shop; Images by Gideon Fine Art Gallery for Art Gallery; Jensen’s Finest Foods for Florist; Aunt Effie’s Gardens for Nursery; Palm Springs Dog Park for Dog Park; World Gym for Fitness Center; Indian Canyons for Hike; Living Desert Zoo & Gardens for a Place to take the kids; and Palm Springs Tennis Club for Tennis Courts.

We congratulate these winners and we encourage you to go to our website to find addresses and phone information on all of them.  They are worth your continued support.

Best Regards,

John Pivinski
CEO
Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce
760-325-1577 ext. 113

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The Quality of Life in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley

As I sit by the pool basking in the sun and wondering what others are doing North and East of me, I can’t help but be amazed by the wonderful weather Palm Springs has to offer more than 300 days per year.  With average temperatures in the 80’s and Sun shining down almost every day, you start to wonder why anyone would live anywhere else.  Of course we get some extremes every now and then but for unadulterated beautiful weather, Palm Springs just can’t be beat.

However, besides our beautiful weather, Palm Springs offers residents and visitors the culture, sophistication and opportunity usually reserved for large metropolitan areas.  Known as the playground of Presidents, movie stars, the Fortune 500, modern architecture, and the “Golf Capital of the World,” Palm Springs draws visitors from all over the world…and for good reason.  The vibrant community abounds with spectacular topography, outstanding attractions, opulent resorts, extraordinary dining, world class shopping and a prosperous business climate.

The Quality of life in Palm Springs is a top priority, and residents take great pride and interest in all that their city has to offer.  The community offers a perfect balance between casual lifestyle and business environment, combining a flourishing economy with plentiful recreational opportunities.

The city’s resurgence in Mid-Century Modern Architecture and “Modernism Week’ has become a significant influence in attracting worldwide visitors.  Albert Frey, Robinson C. Chambers, John Porter Clark, E. Stewart Williams, Donald Wexler, William Cody, Frank Lloyd Wright and other influential architects are representative of the homes and commercial buildings found in Palm Springs…and inspiring future and current projects on the drawing board planned for downtown.

Whether you want to take a carriage ride along Main Street or hike the San Jacinto Mountains, Palm Springs has so much to offer that tourists keep coming back and locals can’t get enough.  So when you plan your next vacation, think Palm Springs and come join us around the pool!

Best Regards,

John Pivinski
CEO
Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce
760-325-1577 ext. 113

Click on the RSS feed “Posts” at the upper right corner if you want me delivered to your email weekly.  Thanks again for reading.

Palm Springs Enjoys Some World Class Entertainment

As you approach Palm Springs from the West, you are greeted with the beautiful mountains of San Jacinto.   If you come in from the East, you see mountain ranges that reflect the sun in their beauty.  If you fly into our international airport, you are amazed at seeing such a beautiful oasis in the middle of the desert. However, once you reach the destination known as Palm Springs, you are awestruck at the number of entertainment venues both within the City and less than a 30 minute car ride away.  Within the city, our number one venue that attracts crowds from all over Southern California is the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies which operates in the Historic Plaza Theatre in downtown Palm Springs.  Riff Markowitz, the founder and Managing Director and Mary Jardin, the founder and Marketing Director has put vaudeville back into vogue in Palm Springs.   When they were first putting the show together, pundits said they were crazy. Scoffing, they asked, “Who’s going to pay to see old ladies’ legs?” Well, they couldn’t have been more wrong. The public took the show to its heart, and today, nearly three-million patrons later, the Follies has gained a worldwide reputation for glamour and excitement, has spawned imitators, has been the subject of innumerable magazine and newspaper articles, has been featured in countless television specials, and plays to packed houses at every performance, up to ten shows a week, seven months a year. Go to their video at Fabulous Follies and experience this amazing show in both sight and sound.  And the next time you are in town, make sure you see it.  You will truly be amazed. Next week, I will tell more about the entertainment in Palm Springs.  From Broadway Shows at the Annenberg Theater and the McCallum to small Cabaret at Tony’s Pasta Mia and Dink’s Restaurant.  Trust me, you won’t need Vegas.  Plan a trip today!

Best Regards,

John Pivinski CEO

Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce

760-325-1577 ext. 113

Click on the RSS feed “Posts” at the upper right corner if you want me delivered to your email weekly.  Thanks again for reading.

Healing Waters Beneath the Desert of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley

Palm Springs shares a feature with other valley cities in that we are the fortunate benefactor of some wonderfully healing waters beneath the desert floor.  Our valley enjoys being one of the only places in the world with sparkling, natural hot mineral waters enjoyed by tourists and locals alike.  Because of these healing waters, a cottage industry has sprung up with boutique hotels that cater to your every whim.

One of the most famous in the valley resides in Palm Springs.  The Spa Resort Casino, owned and operated by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, has been in existence for over 50 years and has helped to rejuvenate even the most tired of travelers.

The current day Spa at Spa Resort Casino opened on January 21, 1960. It was built by a group of investors called the Palm Springs Spa, Inc., led by its President, developer Samuel Banowit. The 30,000-square-foot Spa cost $2,000,000 to build and includes 36 mineral tubs, 34 massage/treatment rooms and two outdoor mineral pools. The original cost of a bath was $3.00; a massage was $5.00. Today, it’s a little bit more expensive but the results are the same.  The “Taking of the Waters” offers a journey for the senses in five therapeutic stages. Steam, sauna and eucalyptus inhalation are designed to clear the body and mind of toxins. Then the best stage—a private soak in the mineral springs—will send you drifting into serenity. The final stage is a rest in their cool tranquility room.

If the Spa resort is not enough to “wet” your appetite, there are other resorts in Palm Springs that will leave you in a tranquil state of mind.  SpaTerre is the Riviera Resort and Spa’s decadent stage with 11,000 square feet whose sole purpose is to cater to your body and soul. There are 18 treatment rooms, a rare and expansive Watsu pool and exotic Balinese, Thai and Indonesian rituals.  Their motto is Recover, Refresh, Reinvigorate.

And if you don’t mind travelling a few miles, just 30 minutes north of Palm Springs is the city of Desert Hot Springs.  This city, nicknamed, “Spa City”, has over 40 healing resorts where you will find all of the most popular, relaxing treatments.  Choose the style that suits your fancy from mid-century modern, bed and breakfast, Moroccan, restored hacienda, Classic, casual and clothing optional.  One of the most popular is The Miracle Springs Resort & Spa.  With 110 guest room, an on-site restaurant and eight natural hot mineral water pools, the Miracle Springs Resort & Spa is a wonderful spot to relax and enjoy the mountain views and the healing waters.

So when you are ready to relax and rejuvenate, come to Palm Springs and enjoy the power of the healing waters, the sun and the mountains.  You won’t be sorry.

Best Regards,

John Pivinski
CEO
Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce
760-325-1577 ext. 113

Palm Springs Has Shopping that Fits Everyone’s Needs

Palm Springs is unique in the Valley because we are one of the only cities that boast a thriving Uptown and Downtown area.  From walking along Palm Canyon Drive to visiting our nearby outlet stores and shopping centers, the City has virtually anything you could need or want.

As you walk our “Main Street”, you will encounter many specialty stores that offer one of a kind items sure to please the discriminating shopper.  One such store is Crystal Fantasy. The store features crystals, gems and minerals from around the world.  However, they don’t stop there, how about exotic jewelry, handmade wands, incenses and oils, candles and collectibles?  And if you are looking for just that right style, how about Clark Elliot Concepts or Don Vincent for the men or Revenge Boutique for the women.  You will leave there with the look that you want at a price that won’t break the bank.

If you are shopping for Jewelry or Art, Palm Springs has many offerings to entice you.  The Desert Art Center has many painting and photos available for sale from local artists.  The Michael H. Lord Gallery offers contemporary American and European paintings, sculpture, prints and photography.  Dwight Polen Fine Chinese Antiques offers a collection that features 19th and early 20thJEA Jewelry has unique pieces that will make your friends and neighbors turn their heads and ask “Where did you get that”? century provincial furniture, armoires, altar tables, screens and one of a kind objects/accessories for the home and garden.

If you want some bargains and don’t mind driving some, try the Cabazon Outlets on I-10.  Cabazon offers great outlet stores from Crate & Barrel, Reebok, and Kenneth Cole.  Cabazon is always a fun way to spend the day and return to Palm Springs with some great buys.

Two new shopping centers have recently opened in Palm Springs and they are worth mentioning.  The Springs, near the Palm Springs Airport, has some great stores and restaurants that are sure to please.  Smoke Tree Commons offers an upscale grocery store in Jensen’s Market and will give the shopper fine foods and a great wine selection.

Finally, don’t forget the Palm Springs Art Museum.  The Museum Store offers some great items that will make your trip to Palm Springs, a memorable one.

So when you are ready to spend your hard earned money, come to Palm Springs and reap the benefits.

Best Regards,

John Pivinski
CEO
Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce
760-325-1577 ext. 113

Palm Springs Has Attractions That Keep Our Locals and Tourists Busy

When I first arrived in the Desert in 2001, I was amazed by the beauty of the mountains and the lushness of the area. I always assumed that a desert would be dry and barren and not green and beautiful. Even though we have evolved over the years to be less reliant on water, the Palm Springs area is still a distinctly beautiful part of the Coachella Valley.

The base of the mountains allows many recreational activities that both locals and tourists enjoy. From our beautiful Golf courses like Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort and Escena Golf Club to our wonderful trails like Indian Canyons and Tahquitz Canyons, Palm Springs has much to offer the nature lover.

And if your idea of fun is not necessarily golf or hiking, there are many other activities that will certainly keep you busy.

Palm Spring’s world class Art Museum is nationally accredited with a vibrant theater, featuring fine permanent collections and top touring exhibitions. Since the area is rich in Tribal Culture, Palm Springs is home to the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. This museum shows the history and culture of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and will be transformed in the next few years to a world class destination for Indian Culture.

Tours are abundant in Palm Springs and you can get up close and personal with our incredible Windmills that soar 2,000 feet. Additionally, Hummer tours are available of the desert and we have many celebrity tours that hearken back to the movie star era of Palm Springs.

Of course having sun 350 days per year and always warm temperatures makes Palm Springs a great spot to lay by the pool and relax. However, if you want some excitement from the pool, try Knott’s Soak City. This water playground has 18 major water slides and an 800,000 gallon Rip Tide Reef wave pool that is sure to delight both kids and adults.

Three final attractions that I would be remiss not to mention is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the Palm Springs Follies and Palm Springs Power Baseball. The tramway is an amazing feat of engineering that takes the visitor from the desert floor to the Valley Station at an elevation of 8,516 feet. The cable car gives amazing views of the valley and during the winter months, the top of the tram is a snow lovers Mecca with cross-country skiing and sledding. The Palm Springs Follies is a world-famous, Broadway-caliber celebration of the music, dance, and comedy of the 40s, 50s, and 60s with a cast old enough to have lived it! The season runs from November to May and is always a must see when in Palm Springs. Power Baseball is semi-pro ball played at the historic Palm Springs Stadium which was a former home of spring training for the Los Angeles Angels. When in season, you can watch some great athletes play high quality baseball.

I have tried to give you just a glimpse of what you can do in Palm Springs. In future blogs I promise to give much more detail on each of these activates. Go to our website link and download our Activities for Kids and Teens. A great resource for both locals and tourists.

Best,

John Pivinski
CEO
Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce
760-325-1577 ext. 113

Palm Springs Has a Unique Group of Hotels To Fit Any Need

As a tourist destination, Palm Springs has evolved over the years with a great selection of Luxury Hotels as well as Bed & Breakfasts, Historic Inns, Family oriented and Pet Friendly accommodations that cater to a wide range of needs. From the beautifully restored Riviera Resort and Spa to the ultra hip Ace Hotel and Swim Club, Palm Springs gives visitors that unique sense of the Desert Style. Many of our hotels have open courtyards and wonderful pools and spas. The large number of boutique hotels offer breakfast by the pool or happy hour at sunset. From Clothing optional to GLBT specific accommodations, travelers can choose just the right fit for a day, a week or a month.

With our modernistic architecture and village setting, Palm Springs has many of the most beautiful hotels in Southern California. With perfect weather over 340 days per year, it’s no wonder that sun worshipers flock to our oasis in the Desert.

And did I mention renovations? In the past 3 years, Palm Springs has gone through a major renovation binge that has redone many of the long standing properties in the Valley. The most recent to join the group as completely redone is the Hyatt Regency Suites Palm Springs in the heart of our downtown area. This beautiful property has over 190 suites that feature flat screen TVs, plush bedding and incredible views of the San Jacinto Mountains. The pool area with wonderful cabanas and fire pits embrace the relaxing mode of the property.

Another newly refurbished hotel is the Renaissance Palm Springs which was formerly the Wyndham and is connected to our incredible convention center. This hotel has been transformed to a world class site that will have travelers struck by the décor as well as the amenities.

So remember from large, 4 and 5 star resorts to small boutique properties, Palm Springs is the place to come to relax, dine and play in the desert.

Best,

John Pivinski
CEO
Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce
760-325-1577 ext. 113

Palm Springs is an Art Lovers Destination

Since we get so many visitors to Palm Springs, it’s not surprising that wonderful Art colonies have sprung up all over the city. From storefronts on Palm Canyon Drive (the Michael H. Lord Gallery pictured on the right) to the Backstreet Art District on the South Side of the City, Artists have flocked to show off their paintings, sculptures, jewelry and other works of Art.

The Chamber has created an Art Gallery Guide that displays samples of art available at these wonderful shops and gives locations and other contact information. This guide is available to locals and tourists and is an exclusive Chamber product.

Another important fact about Palm Springs that Art Lovers respond to is our modernistic architecture. Palm Springs has a collection of buildings that have been created by world famous Architects like Albert Frey and Donald Wexler and we celebrate their works during Modernism Week which will be held February 12 – 21, 2010 in Palm Springs. Visitors come from all over the world to attend over 40 events celebrating our modern architecture.

Additionally, the City of Palm Springs has a Public Arts Commission that is very active in placing sculptures in locations throughout the city. These sculptures are either commissioned by the City or donated by world famous artists who feel that their art will be appreciated by both locals and tourists in Palm Springs.

So whether you are a tourist or a local, Palm Springs has what every art lover wants, an endless supply of art and architecture that will stimulate the senses and open your wallets. Enjoy!

Best,
John Pivinski
CEO
Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce
760-325-1577 ext. 113

Palm Springs - A great place to live and work!

Palm Canyon Drive, Palm SpringsAs I sit here and write my inaugural blog, I can’t help but think that I live and work in an extraordinary place.  Not only does Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley have the best weather in the country right now, we have the best views, best attractions and the best businesses.

As you walk along our world famous Palm Canyon Drive, overshadowed by the San Jacinto Mountains, you come across so many unique shops that you wonder why anyone would shop anywhere else.  From incredible art galleries to spa and salon experiences, Palm Canyon Drive offers over 400 businesses with something for everyone.

Restaurants are abundant and you can sample almost any type of cuisine you have a mind for.  From Pomme Frite to Dink’s Restaurant and Ultra Lounge, Palm Springs offers a unique style that is unmatched anywhere in the country.  In fact, our Palm Springs Chamber Restaurant Guide offers 79 restaurants to tempt any palate.

And did I mention entertainment?  Palm Springs holds a world famous international Film Festival every January and the stars from Hollywood come out to receive their rewards and mingle with the locals.  In fact, over 20,000 visitors descend on Palm Springs over a two week period to watch some incredible films.

In future blogs, I hope to give you some insight into what Palm Springs is all about.  Since I am the CEO of the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, it will always have a business slant, but in my opinion, that’s what makes this city tick.

So hold on to your seat and check back here often on PalmSprings.com to discover something new and exciting about my favorite world class destination – Palm Springs!

Best,
John Pivinski
CEO
Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce
760-325-1577 ext. 113