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Old May 15th, 2008, 10:43 AM
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Tribe and city discuss spa renovation

By Stefanie Frith Palm Springs Sun April 25, 2008
Environmental studies for the renovation of the Spa Resort Hotel and Casino in downtown Palm Springs should be complete by the end of the year, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians' chief planning and development officer said Wednesday.

Tom Davis addressed the Palm Springs City Council during a joint session with the tribal council at the Palm Springs Convention Center.
The tribe recently celebrated the opening of its $300 million, 340-room Agua Caliente hotel in Rancho Mirage and will now focus on retail development near that project, Davis said. But the renovation of the Spa Resort Hotel and Casino follows close behind as a priority.
The preservation of the mineral hot springs and traffic are two major concerns in the environmental review process, Davis said.
Preservation groups recently banded together to convince the tribe to save the late 1950s colonnade arch at Tahquitz Canyon Way and Indian Canyon Drive.
"Mid-century hotel renovations are becoming the norm, not the exception," wrote resident Ron Marshall in a letter to the tribe and city that was read Wednesday by resident Gary Johns.
While plans shown to merchants last year show a 100-foot high, crescent-shaped hotel tower fronting Indian Canyon Drive, Davis said Wednesday that the environmental review will drive the architecture.
"We will take a hard look at the architecture and fine-tune it," Davis said.
Once the environmental reviews are complete, they will be reviewed by the public and then the tribal and city councils. The tribal council will decide sometime in the first half of 2009 when construction of the hotel, ballroom, expanded casino, retail, restaurants and parking structure should begin.
"It's a matter of economics," Davis said.
Mayor Steve Pougnet said he looks forward to working with the tribe and seeing how Wessman Development's renovations of the Desert Fashion Plaza mall in downtown will fit in.
The vision is to see a connection from the Palm Springs Art Museum through the mall and the Spa Resort Hotel and Casino into the convention center.
"We are working clos(ely) with Tom Davi(s) from the tribe and are updating him on any major changes on our plans for downtown," Wessman Development Co. Vice President Michael Braun wrote in an e-mail to The Desert Sun on Wednesday.
Tribal Chairman Richard Milanovich said the renovation of the mall is important for the revitalization of downtown.
"The thoroughfare (from the museum to the convention center) makes a lot of sense for all of us," Milanovich said.
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roxann wrote:
I think "seekingtruth" and "get the truth" must be related. At the very least, through the misspelling of my name. The colonnade marks the spot of the original shack (and I DO mean "shack") over the mineral springs. That makes it historically important. I do not agree with some others who say the whole hotel should be saved. Surprise!!!! And I do not agree that the tribal buildings have been ugly; the Casino and the tribal offices would certainly disprove that. And the ridiculous comment about one of the town's more responsible, educated and INFORMED individuals (Sheryl Hamlin) simply serves to make the write look just the opposite. Sorry, Dick. You need to do a bit more homework.
4/29/2008 7:32:42 PM
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getthetruth wrote:
The originally built Spa Colonnade was architecturally beautiful and if it had been kept. I would be fighting to keep it as well, but the tribe ruined it with the tacky redo and the rock waterfall so as far as I am concerned knock the whole thing down. Unfortunately the tribe is not known for constructing attractive architecture so no matter what gets built it will probably be an eyesore. I agree that the likes of Roxanne Ploss and her naysayer crowd cannot do a darn thing to stop the building. The tribe can build what ever they want. That issue is the only thing that makes me happy about the whole thing!
4/29/2008 12:02:12 PM
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PSGirl wrote:
The editorial doesn't provide a good argument to keep the entire Spa hotel. The hotel is out of date and I'm sure energy wise, it is very costly. With the heat and electricity costs on the rise everything should be done to make the hotel enery and cost effective for the area. When temperatures reach 115 outside and you're only charging 89.00 a night, how does the hotel break even? I'm sure this is something all businesses deal with in the desert but since the tribe has the mean and opportunity to redo/remodel/rebuild the Spa, I think they should do whatever is necessary as a business owner to make it happen. If this includes saving the colonande arch that's fine and if they don't I'm okay with that too.
4/28/2008 9:41:39 AM
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DESERTRESIDENT wrote:
Thank goodness the spa resort is on Indian Land, otherwise nothing would ever pass the Palm Sewer City Council!
4/26/2008 10:05:32 PM
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PSFan wrote:
I believe the only thing that was being targeted to save was the colonnade arch. Everything else would be torn down and replaced with new construction. Connecting the focal point of the project to Palm canyon and right through to the the Museum would be great. This project is on indian land, so they regualr naysayers can not hold it up. Yeah!
4/26/2008 2:41:47 PM
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YouAreAnIdiot wrote:
Knock it down and clean it up - it is beyond a lipstick makeover. That old girl just isn't attractive at the dance anymore. Put it out of it's misery once and for all and make the Spa a true resort destination
4/25/2008 4:49:33 PM
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