LIVING IN PALM SPRINGS and COACHELLA VALLEY

April 5, 2018

Spring Refresh? FIve Ways to Update Your Home

When beginning to think about renovating your home, knowing which projects will give you the best return on your investment is essential to deciding which renovations you want to pursue.

Spending tens of thousands on a project that will only add 30 percent of its cost to the value of the home is a waste of capital in many regards, unless you are planning on living in the home for decades to come. Instead, updates that will add a significant amount more value to your home should be the projects that you begin first.

 Before you start, be sure to keep track of and contain the materials and waste left over from the renovations. Do not just throw them away - some of the materials can be dangerous to dispose in your local trash. You can either sell or donate the old materials that are in good condition to ReStore. Or, if you don’t want to deal with the leftover materials, contract a waste removal service that will donate and recycle as much of the waste before sending everything to the local landfill. Leaving all the hard work to renovating and not cleaning!

 Here are the top 5 interior renovations for 2018, why they are great, and how much value they will add to your home.

Garage Door Replacement

A garage door replacement is among the most profitable projects a homeowner can take up. It will make the exterior of your home look more cohesive and attractive if you choose a design that matches the rest of your property. The average cost of a garage door replacement varies, but as long as it is an improvement over the old door, you will always recover your investment in the value of your home.

According to U.S. news, the return on investment for a garage door replacement can be anywhere from 85 percent to 95 percent.

 

Minor Kitchen Renovation

A minor kitchen renovation includes things such as re-tiling the floor and backsplash, replacing small to medium appliances, or renovating cabinets and storage spaces. Kitchen renovations are some of the most obvious renovations out there, meaning a buyer will be able to tell upon looking at it if the kitchen has been remodeled and upgraded. 

According to Remodeling Magazine, you can expect to see a return of about 83% of your investment, but this varies slightly depending on which types of projects you choose to take on in the kitchen.

Insulation Upgrades

Insulation upgrades are one project that most don’t think about when considering renovating, but it is up there with a garage door replacement for the most worthwhile interior updates. In fact, it’s one of the few that will actually provide more value to the home than it cost.

Insulation is key to the comfort and sustainability of a house - a home with terrible insulation will feel uncomfortable, and will add hundreds to your electricity and heating bills over a short time. Insulation upgrades are very cheap to do as well, with most full-home renovations costing less than $2,000.

According to U.S. News, you can expect to see about a 108 percent return on your investment for insulation renovations.

Bathroom Renovation

The Bathroom is the room that nearly every guest and person living in the house has used and has to use. Having a beautiful and well-equipped bathroom tells others that you care about self-care and can help to create a cleaner image of the home as a whole. It’s one of those things that you don’t notice too much if it looks fine, but when the bathroom is in a state of disrepair, it becomes the focal point of all the things wrong with the home.

A bathroom renovation can include replacing sinks, bathtubs, shower doors, cabinets, and other larger-scale projects.

You can expect to see about a 80 to 90 percent return on your investment for bathroom renovations, but similarly with the kitchen renovation, this may vary slightly depending on exactly what you choose to do with the room.

 

Door Replacement

Replacing the front door with something that falls more in line with the aesthetic of the home can help to make guests and buyers alike feel more at home and welcomed into the house.

Make sure to choose a door that suits the look and feel of your home’s exterior - a door may look absolutely stunning on its own, but when combined with the rest of the house, it can seem garishly over-decorated. Steel Doors, for example, are becoming more and more popular due to their fire-preventing more secure nature. 

A door replacement can net you a return on investment up to 110 percent, but only if the new door both suits the home more than the previous one and is in some way an upgrade on the safety of the old one.

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When tackling your interior improvements, make sure to weigh the options of DIY and hiring a professional. Share your unique interior renovations in the comments below!

LISTEN TO PALM SPRINGS REAL ESTATE BUZZ RADIO SHOW EVERY SATURDAY at 8 A.M. on Coachella Valley's KGX 920.

March 22, 2018

Blinded By The Light: Lighten Up Your Living Space for Spring

 

Did you know that the lighting in your home affects your productivity, diet, and mood? It’s true. Studies have proven that energy, concentration levels, healthy food cravings, and overall happiness increase in spaces abundant in natural lighting. While homes with large south-facing windows and maximum sun exposure is preferred, they can be hard to come by. So what do you do if your apartment or house doesn’t have the light you desire? There are plenty of tricks that will make the most of the light you already have and compensate for the light that you don’t.

Change the Color of Your Walls

 The very first and possibly most important thing that will add light to a dark space is the right paint color: White. Painting a room white creates visual brightness as it scatters the light, rather than absorbing it. Here’s a tip: Avoid an unappealing glare by choosing a matte paint. Its soft finish will help diffuse the light.

Remember that all white paints are not created equal! Don’t make the mistake of buying the first can of white paint you see. In darker spaces with flourescent lighting, it’s best to choose a white with a subtle undertone of green or grey. When these shades of white are exposed to the warmer artificial light, they stay bright and true.

 When painting the walls with a matte, white paint, resist the temptation to cut corners by skipping the ceiling. This may seem like an insignificant detail that requires a lot of extra time and effort, but it will make all the difference. All the light in your room bounces off the ceiling so it alone has the power to add significant brightness to a dark space. Professionals recommend doing this even if the ceiling already appears to be white. Paint can dull and dirty over time so starting fresh is essential!

 

Add Artificial Lighting

To bring in the maximum amount of artificial light to a dark space, make changes to the installation lighting in the room. For maximum effect, introduce wall sconces. We suggest selecting ones that angle up toward the ceiling so their light will reflect and diffuse throughout the rest of the room. When installing can lights, place them along the edges of the ceiling so they illuminate the walls, making the room appear as light as possible.

 While not all rentals will allow for a change in installation lighting, there are some other adjustments you can implement that will brighten up your space. First, always use the highest wattage of light bulb in all lighting fixtures. This includes overhead lighting, sconces, and lamps. For recessed lights, opt for LED bulbs as they put out the most light and cut down on energy costs.

 In addition, avoid heavy and dark lamp shades that block the light before it even extends into the room. For optimal results, use white or light drum style lampshades. Because these shades have an open top and bottom, they put out more light than the typical empire shade.

 

 Choose Decor That Enhances Lighting

To make the most of any light a room has, whether natural or artificial, integrate a mirror or two into your decorating. All reflective surfaces bounce around light, creating the illusion of more light sources than there actually are. To make the most of this trick, place a mirror on a wall that doesn’t have a window, glass door, lamp, etc. The reflection of another light source will brighten that previously darkened area. While mirrors are naturally the most effective at achieving this, you may also choose to integrate other reflective surfaces into your decor such as a glass or mirrored coffee table. Small metallic home accents such as vases or pillows will really complete the effect and add small pops of light.

 When choosing your furniture and window treatments, remember that less is more. Heavily fabriced accents in deep tones will drag down an already dark space. Opt for roman shades and modern, streamlined sofas, and chairs to avoid added visual weight.

 If the room you are styling has a dark floor that you are unable to change, this can be easily remedied with a light rug. While a solid, white rug may be the most obvious choice, consider introducing some other vibrant tones by selecting a light rug with a large, playful pattern. This is a great way to add some personality to your space, just be sure that white is still the primary color.

 The final key to giving a space a light, bright, airy feel is by eliminating clutter. Unnecessary decor is guaranteed to visually weigh down a room, no matter how much light it receives. Go through your belongings that you don’t use on a regular basis and either organize them, store them, or get rid of them. Having fewer things on bookshelves and other surfaces will make your room appear more spacious and yes, you guessed it brighter. 

If decorating isn’t your forté, consider hiring an interior design professional. Just make sure to make room in your budget to brighten your home!

Story by Haley Keiser. haleyskieser (at) gmail.com

March 7, 2018

DIY-ing It? Five Reasons To Hire A Professional

So, you’ve made the big decision to upgrade your home and are thinking about doing it yourself. There are plenty of small projects that are perfect for taking on, however, some tasks are just better done by a professional.

 

Get the best ROI for home improvement projects and spring cleaning by following these guidelines for when you should hire a professional. As experts in their field, those you hire to fix up your house will be faster and more efficient.

The biggest difference between DIY and hiring a professional is the quality of the work long-term. Professionals know how to make a roof repair or power washing job last and do it right the first time.

They have also done these projects dozens of times and know what works and what doesn’t. It can cost you double or triple your budget if you were to DIY and mess up along the way.

Here are some reasons to hire a professional the next time you’re taking on a big home improvement project:

1. It’s Better Safe Than Sorry

Although many DIY projects may seem simple, they likely involve a variety of tools and knowledge on how to use them.

For example, power washing your home may seem like an obvious DIY project - especially in California, where salt in the air can be damaging to your home’s surfaces. However, the high-pressure water can be dangerous for those who aren’t accustomed to it. The water can easily make a hole in your house or worse, hurt you or a family member.

An good example of when to hire a professional is for termite damage and prevention. It’s best to hire an exterminator to evaluate the damage, especially because it could just be wood damage. If your house does have termites, investing in an exterminator will ensure that your house is up to regulation standards and won’t be further damaged.

Other projects like electrical work and plumbing are also best left to a professional as well. Touching or snipping the wrong wire can get you electrocuted and make your DIY a big fail.

 

Keep in mind that if you get injured working on a project, that is time you’re missing from your job and spending time with family.

2. More Money in the Long-Run

Going back to the power washer example, it wouldn’t cost much less to rent a power washer and all of the equipment than to simply hire a professional.

Plus, professionals have all the tools to fit different areas of your house, giving you the best bang for your buck.

Problems like termite infestation can be expensive to repair, however, you cannot sell your home without it being fixed properly.  

It will also cost you even more money if you end up getting injured or destroying something in your house along the way.

3. Quality over Quantity

Sure, you may be able to get more projects done with the same amount of money, however, you’ll likely have to redo it in a couple of months if it’s not done right.

Hiring a professional means it’s their duty to get it not only right, but perfect. Many professionals have ratings on their sites or you can check out places like angie's list.

4. Faster Results than DIY

Although you technically could install those new doors you’ve been dreaming about, getting the necessary tools and learning how to do it can take a long time.  

Most professionals will give you an estimate on how long it will take them, giving you the peace of mind to go on with your life after a couple of short hours.

Who would want to spend their entire weekend in the heat reading instructions? Not many people would and those who experienced this would tell you hiring a professional is the best option.

5. DIY Could Hurt Your Home Value

Even the most expensive, beautiful tiles will look bad if they’re poorly laid. Most home buyers are looking for something they can move into with no worries or remodels to be made.

This means even poorly laid tile or a wonky landscaping job can devalue your home and make it hard to sell in the competitive market.

Either way, DIY is best only for creative projects that don’t require too many tools. There’s always a time and place for DIY, but don’t let it cost you extra time, money, and headaches - especially during the process of selling your home.

Story by Haley Keiser. Email: Haleyskeiser (at) gmail.com. 

Feb. 2, 2018

No Driving Allowed: From Palm Springs to Coachella

Walking

The Coachella Valley is a desert region located in Southern California containing Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Desert Hot Springs, Bermuda Dunes and Indio. Extending approximately 45 miles, the valley is nestled between the San Jacinto Mountains, Santa Rosa Mountains, and Little San Bernardino Mountains.

 

Each spring, hundreds of thousands of people flock to Coachella Valley for the Coachella music festival. For some, this is an annual escape from everyday life and, for others, a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list event. This overwhelming surge requires an increase in public transit options, making it possible to easily commute within Coachella Valley without a personal vehicle.

 

But is it possible to commute in the Coachella Valley without a car the remainder of the year? You may be surprised to know that April, the month of Coachella, is not the busiest in the Coachella Valley. At a population of 200,000 in July, this number quadruples to 800,000 in the winter months due to a large number of seasonal residents, making public transit a necessity year round. Because of this, it is possible to live in or visit Coachella Valley without a personal vehicle.

 

While many hotels have their own private shuttle services, the Coachella Valley offers public transport between its many destinations on the SunLine, taxi services, limousine offerings, and other, localized public transit such as The Buzz.

 

The SunLine

One of the most effective modes of public transit in the Coachella Valley is the SunLine, operated by the SunLine Transit Agency, a transportation company that drives to provide safe and environmentally conscious transit options. The SunLine utilizes alternative fuel solutions and operates throughout the Coachella Valley to Riverside.

 

 

With fares as low as $1.00 for adults (even less with a pass) and 15 lines reaching different destinations, the SunLine makes commuting without a car easy, affordable, and efficient. All shuttles offer free Wi-Fi and abide by a regular route and schedule. The buses are wheelchair accessible and can accomodate two wheelchairs. In addition to its services for commuters and tourists, the SunLine also offers options for students as it provides access to 13 local middle and high schools.

 

Thanks to the SunLine, commuting by bike in the Coachella Valley has never been easier. Each SunBus features bike racks and a safe system for loading and unloading bicycles. Even better: There is no additional fee or permit required to travel on the SunBus with a bike.

 

For those who meet the requirements of the American Disabilities Act, the SunLine offers the SunDial, a curb-to-curb paratransit service for any individuals who are unable to use the traditional SunLine Service. Before utilizing this service, be sure to read the requirements and restrictions.

Cab Service

For those looking for a private transit option, there are several cab service companies available in the Coachella Valley. Yellow Cab and Desert City Cab are two of the most utilized and make for an easy commute around the Valley and to the airport. These companies offer an excellent alternative to rideshare programs as their drivers are licensed and trained, and advanced bookings are available by reservation. For immediate bookings, download a taxi mobile application or utilize rideshares such as Uber and Lyft.

 

Keep in mind that using a cab service may not be the most time efficient during peak season in the Coachella Valley. Consider traffic and plan accordingly.

Limo Service

For those looking to commute in luxury, book a limousine through one of Coachella Valley’s many limo services such as Superior Ride Limo or Ace Transportation Inc.

 

While you may not be the type to regularly book an extravagant ride service, this is the ideal choice for large parties or special occasions. With options ranging from sedans to SUVs to limousines, these vehicles can accommodate up to 15 people and offer special day trips to the spa, outlet mall, or golf resorts.

 

Like utilizing a cab service, renting a limousine may not be the most time efficient during peak season in the Coachella Valley. Consider traffic and plan accordingly.

The Buzz

If your primary goal is to commute around Palm Springs, consider taking The Buzz. These trolley-esque buses are air conditioned and run off compressed natural gas, which is more environmentally-friendly than diesel and other options. While this is service is free of charge, keep in mind that it only runs from 11am-1am Thursday-Sunday. If you are in town for a major holiday, be sure to check the website to see if The Buzz will be running outside of its normal hours.

 

If you are planning to take The Buzz, pick up your perks card for special offers and discounts at many participating local businesses - and don’t forget to swipe your card each time you board for a chance to win even bigger prizes!

 

On top of being free of charge and full of perks, The Buzz is also easy to use. By downloading the Visit Palm Springs app, you will have all you need for easy transport around Palm Springs at your fingertips. This mobile application reads your location and shares nearby stops, routes, and the location of each Buzz trolley.

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With or without a car, commuting in Palm Springs is much easier than most California cities. The commute time is slightly less than the national average. With so many options, you’ll find yourself less stressed throughout your daily commute - no matter which mode of transportation you choose. Get in touch with us to know more about living in Palm Springs.

 

Story by Haley Kieser.

Jan. 9, 2018

Things To Do in January 2018

 

Things to do in January 2018

As a resort haven for the entertainment elite, Palm Springs International Film Festival launches the beginning of our social year. And, it’s becoming quite a year with new restaurant openings and happenings.

Restaurant Openings:

  • Palm Desert: Actor Massimo Dubrovic (Sci-Fi’s “Age of the Living Dead) and his husband, Paolo de Angelis are opening a new Italian restaurant in Palm Desert. De Angelis is noted for his cooking prowess. Look for it to open late winter or early spring on El Paseo featuring regional Italian specialties.

 

  • La Quinta: Hidden behind a some real estate professional, medical offices and directly neighboring Louise’s Pantry on Washington, a new Cal-Mex, farm to table restaurant is debuting. Billing itself as an artisan eatery, Chúla, delicious sounding items such as red chile mac ‘n queso, gluten free flapjacks and a salsa flight trio with house-made tortilla chips.

 

EVENTS:

 January 11, 2018: Cirque de la Symphonie comes to the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, CA. Experience a heady, surreal and breathtaking mix of acrobats aerial flyers, dancers, and contortionists set to classical music pieces conducted by a world-class maestro. Tickets are on sale now.


Until March 8, 2018: Palm Springs Art Museum: No Glass Ceiling! Women Working in Glass, Part 1: Women have played an integral part in the American studio glass movement from the beginning and in today’s global world of communication and collaboration, women continue to excel.  This exhibition, Part 1 of a series, begins to portray the multiplicity of working styles and concepts that women working in the fluid medium of glass, share with the rest of us.  

January through April 1, 2018: Sunday Polo at the Eldorado Polo Club has long been an attraction of visitors and residents alike. Experience the thrill and the danger of professional polo while enjoying matches by the field, tailgating or at the Clubhouse Restaurant. Parking is just $10 per car. Clubhouse seating is just $10 per person and features the comfort of full table service. Matches are at 12pm & 2pm and gates open at 10am. Visitors can also enjoy games every Saturday at 12pm and Sunday at 10am on the patio at the Cantina.Please note that reservations are recommended for Sunday Clubhouse seating, please call the Clubhouse reservation hotline to reserve seating at (760) 831-POLO (7656).

Dec. 23, 2017

What Makes Living In Palm Springs Unique


Whether you’ve heard of Palm Springs for its music festivals or relaxing resorts, there is so much more to this desert getaway than meets the eye.

 Located about two hours from Los Angeles, Palm Springs is a unique city in Southern California that will make all of your friends wonder why they haven’t ventured out to the desert.

 From one of the country’s most popular music festivals to a date garden (more on that later), Palm Springs is a vibrant and special destination.

 Here are just some of the features and activities that make Palm Springs a unique and exciting place to visit for a weekend or a few weeks:

 One-of-a-kind Desert Oasis

 Palm Springs: A city with old-time charm, modern amenities and outdoor activities galore. Enjoy the many resorts and spas year-round as winter temperatures are typically in the 70’s.

 Hollywood stars of past and present have called Palm Springs home and famous hotels like the El Mirador have hosted Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra and more.

 Although the hotel is now a medical center, you can still stay in historic resorts like the charming Del Marcos Hotel, built in 1947. Relax in the heated saltwater pool and enjoy the view of the stars in the night sky during happy hour.

 Then, you should check out the unique display of Cabozon Dinosaurs before you take a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. As the largest rotating tramway in the world, you’ll feel on top of the world after a ride to the San Jacinto Peak.

 There are even dining options on top of the tram including the table service dining experience at Peaks Restaurant. Try to think of any other place that offers high-end dining with a view, history and even a little bit of weird. It’s all here in Palm Springs, where the weather and people offer year-round unique entertainment.

 

The Parker Hotel

 A Prime California Location

 Located within the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs grants access to surrounding cities like Indio, Rancho Mirage and more.

 Not only is this desert getaway outside of Los Angeles, but it’s also just two and a half hours from San Diego and a four hour drive from Phoenix.

 Palm Springs is a great location to call home while being able to explore all that Southern California has to offer. If you’re just visiting, the unique desert landscape and fun environment will make you want to come back year after year for more memories and good times in the Sonoran Desert.

 Good Vibes Make Positive Memories

 What truly makes Palm Springs a one-of-a-kind destination are the lively people and the variety of things to do in the area.

 Start your weekend on Palm Canyon Drive where you can stop in vintage boutiques and find the perfect Instagram-able outfit. Then, grab breakfast or lunch (or brunch) at Cheeky’s, one of Palm Springs many quaint restaurants.

 Let the good times continue while laying out by the pool and catching up on that reading list. Or, get a day pass at the trendy and always enjoyable Ace Hotel & Swim Club. This old motel was converted to have its now modern flare, a common trend in Palm Springs. Enjoy the Swim Club Pool for live DJs and drink specials or find yourself at the Commune Pool for more a laid back vibe.

 Outdoor Activities Galore

 You can spend an entire day exploring the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, where guests have the chance to feed giraffes and go on a private safari. The zoo also offers a botanical garden that gives information and perspective on native plants.

 Even better, explore Palm Springs’ terrain by foot – or ATV! Adventurers can rent ATVs and ride on a designated course with full training included. On the ATV you will get magnificent views of the famous Palm Springs wind turbines and can even take a selfie in your oh-so fashionable helmet.

 Another unique outdoor highlight is the Shields Date Garden in Indio. Make it a date and tour the stunning gardens, which are filled with fountains, exotic plants and more. Then, stop in the gift shop for delicious candy and a date shake made fresh from the garden.

 We can’t talk about unique outdoor activities without of course mentioning the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Held annually in Indio, California, the party spreads out to Palm Springs each year where thousands of music and arts fans from around the world come together.

 It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first time to Palm Springs or you’ve lived there all your life, there’s always something new and interesting to find in this diverse city.

 Book your next camping trip or stay in one of its post-modern hotels to truly experience all this city has to offer. Then, fill your itinerary with fun activities unlike any vacation you’ve been on before! But beware, after one visit, you’re going to want to start searching for a home to call yours in this beautiful desert oasis.

 

Guest Post by Hailey Keiser. 

Dec. 17, 2017

New Year's Resolutions: For Your Home

It’s that beginning of the new year when we make promises to keep ourselves fit, to become a better partner, to love each other with more care and on and on. What about the most significant investment of your life besides the person with whom you reside? (Or not.) Your home. Whether it’s your first, your second or your vacation home, it needs attention as well and not just when something goes awry. For many homeowners, that’s when we have the issues because we didn’t put the maintenance into it when we needed. In 2018, here are five suggestions on how to keep your home in tip-top shape so you can enjoy for years to come.

 1: According to Lifehack.com, keep your residence safe and sound: “Make sure your house ventilated properly. You could also install door and window alarms, which don’t cost much these days. And also, ensure that your home is up to date with latest safety standards.”  

2.  Clean your dryer vent every-time you use it says the home website, Angie’s List: “According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, dryers cause more than 15,000 household fires each year — most of which ignite due to a clogged vent. To properly clean the vent, detach the dryer and use a flexible brush, air compressor or vacuum/Shop-Vac to remove the buildup. Make sure you clear the entire length of the vent.  Inspect and clean the dryer vent at least once a year depending on the machine’s usage. If you have a large family or do a lot of laundry, consider a biannual cleaning.


3. In our desert communities, it’s essential to check for bugs. Due to the warm year-round temperatures, termites, and other pests will continue to do damage. According to online FamilyHandy.com, the homeowner can: “Pull out your flashlight and walk around your home, examining the foundation, both inside and out, to inspect for termite tunnels. Termites create invisible damage, inside walls and floors. Take the time to look for telltale sawdust and tunnels because termites can do significant damage before you even know they're there. If you spot signs of termites, call in a professional exterminator.”

4. And, lastly, since Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley are the world’s number one location for private pools, the blog, IntheSwim.com states, Keeping up with pool improvements can be confusing and even costly, but it doesn’t have to be. This year make a plan for some specific pool maintenance, such as a new pool liner at the beginning of the summer or buying new pool furniture during winter clearance sales. Fix any and all pool leaks for good, to stop water loss. Just like homes and cars, swimming pools need regular restoration to stay in top shape. Every 5-10 years you can expect to spend money on maintenance. Try to remember that the improvements you make to your swimming pool can actually save you money in the long run and stress in the short run!

 Happy 2018!

 

 

 

 

Dec. 8, 2017

Ring in 2018: Palm Springs, Coachella Valley and a Trip to Pasadena

Palm Springs and the other eight desert communities are another lands far from the maddening crowds of New York, Miami and Los Angeles where New Year’s Eve celebrations take on thousands of partygoers.  Our festivities are far more fun without the chaos of parking, highlighted by the California low-desert sky, where you can count the stars between fireworks.

Palm Springs

Spa Resort Casino is having their third annual “2018 Palm Springs New Year’s Eve Block Party”. The best part of this is that it’s free from 8:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. The extravaganza includes dancing to DJ Dense, fireworks, a bar garden and local restaurants plying partygoers. If you want to spend a few more Washingtons, feel free to pony up $35.00 to $100.00 to listen to the outdoor Plain White T’s in concert (“Hey There Delilah”). www.sparesortcasion.com

Rancho Mirage

If you like to “Get Down Tonight” and then into 2018, keep your “Boogie Shoes.” Head over to Agua Caliente in Rancho Mirage where you can “Shake Your Booty” to the sounds of KC and the Sunshine Band who are still performing nearly 45 years later with tunes like “That’s the Way I Like It (A-ha-a-ha!)” and “Keep it Coming, Love.” Tickets are $75.00 - $95.00. www.hotwatercasino.com

Cabazon

Morongo Casino is like opening a can of confetti where every door and venue at the resort seems to be another celebration. If you’re bold enough, get a room for the night. Then start picking them off one by one.  Start with a buffet lunch to start the last day of the 2017 year at Café Serrano while listening to the country strings of Hayride. Swim, head to the gym, gamble but then for dinner, dine at Cielo: The Steakhouse where its $250 per couple for a six-course, prix-fixe dinner which includes a bottle of champagne. Then you can take it to the top at The Drum Room on the 26th floor (limited availability) or Vibe: The Nightclub with DJ Icy Ice spinning and scratching while revelers “werk” their “twerk.”  www.morongocasinoresort

 Pasadena

If you’re feeling adventurous, stay at the luxurious Langham Hotel in Pasadena. Get one of the packages such as the “Family Getaway” or “The Art of Relaxation” taking advantage of some of the great spa treatments. Then rise and shine to get an early start on 2018 and the 129th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade whose theme is “Making a Difference….”  The show, presented by Honda, features American Idol alum and actor Todrick Hall and for closing the parade, pop singer Andy Grammer (“Keep Your Head Up”). Hotel: www.langhamhotels.com, Tournament of Roses: www.tournamentofroses.com.

Happy 2018!

 

 

Dec. 3, 2017

Tis the Season: Holidays in the Desert, December 2017

 

As beautiful as a fresh snowfall blanketing the ground can be, it also means wearing parkas and snowshoes throughout most of the country.  Coachella Valley, home to such lifestyle communities as Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells and La Quinta residents and visitors alike are jumping into heated pools for a night swim or wearing shorts and t-shirts while traversing nearly a thousand miles of destination hiking trails. Our average winter temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit which allows for lots of outdoor activities including food festivals, Christmas parades and Chanukah lighting ceremonies during the festive month. More importantly, it’s also about spending time with family, friends and loved ones.

Ice Skating in Rancho Mirage

The Renova Rink at The River makes its sophomore season appearance. Instead of heading into the New York’s winter or San Francisco’s crowded Union Square, ice skaters can bring their blades and skate along the picturesque mountains of Rancho Mirage. Our dusty pink sunsets are a perfect backdrop when practicing figure-eights or spins. The cost is  $15 and will run until January 14, 2018.

 

The Living Desert’s “WildLights Holiday Festival”

The Living Desert Zoo & Botanical Garden is landmark desert paradise. During the holiday season even more so as visitors experience the annual “WildLights Holiday Festival” featuring 750,000 lights illuminating the park in the winter evenings. It becomes a magical space offering a yearly tradition for kids and children of all ages.  Besides providing visual splendor, guests can experience shows, a variety of craft-making, carousel rides and feeling like an Egyptian riding a domesticated dromedary. (Yes, Virginia that’s a camel ride instead of Santa Claus.) Check the website for selected nights which runs through until December 24, 2017.

 Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert

The Palm Springs Art Museum hosts No Religion is An Island: An Exhibit of Hanukkah Candelabras from Around The World, featuring a lecture with Rabbi David Lazar. Learn all about the meaning of the lighting of the candles as well as breathtaking craftsmanship displayed celebrating the Jewish holiday. Thursday, December 21st. Lecture 6 – 7 pm.

Palm Springs Air Museum Hosts “Santa Fly-in”

 For one weekend, Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10, Santa Claus swoops into our desert valley landing at Palm Springs Air Museum. Each day at 11:00 a.m. the “Big Guy with the Toys” arrives at the museum in an airplane (his sleigh isn’t available until Christmas, natch’) to greet all the families and children who have come to see him. He will sit for photos for social media as well as doling out a present for each child present. Lastly, Mr. Claus chills out with his “winter fun land complete with snow directly from the North Pole.”

Nov. 24, 2017

Burn a Calorie or Three: Palm Springs and Coachella Valley Areas

 

According to a recent Consumer Reports story, the average American can consume up to 4500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. That’s the pumpkin pie with whipped cream, gravy on the mashed potatoes, sausage stuffing, buttered rolls and on and on and on. It's all delicious but one needs to burn off the eating. 

Thankfully, residing in the Palm Springs- Coachella Valley area presents a myriad of opportunities to assist in burning off the excess energy we ate over the course of twenty-four hours.

Palm Desert Aquatics Center

Open year-round, the three-pool waterpark offers the novice and the avid swimmers alike the ability to burn off nearly 500 calories per hour. During the spring and summer seasons, the aquatic center opens up with slides and kiddie pools for youngsters to frolic.

7351 Magnesia Falls Drive

Palm Desert

www.pdpool.com

(760) 565 – 7467

 

Hiking trails

 

Maybe you didn’t excel in swimming class turning you into the next Aquaman or at least Olympian Michael Phelps; hiking is a dominant pass time in the desert communities offering easy to strenuous excursions. Head to the website All Trails where all forty of the area’s desert walks are ranked.

You can even download a map, search for walks that will allow horses, dogs and bikes. An average person weighing 160 pounds can burn almost 450 calories (say “goodbye” to the slice of pumpkin pie!) while a two-hundred-pound individual can exercise nearly 550.  Don’t forget to bring your water bottle and hydrate. A flashlight comes highly recommended if you begin later in the day.

 

Biking

 

The roads through the nine cities of  Coachella Valley (Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Palm Desert, and Bermuda Dunes) features lanes specifically for cyclists. There is also over 1800 over biking trails for avid two-wheelers to the more experienced. Head to the site Map My Ride and find maps for 92 courses throughout the desert.

 

 

Get out and burn a mashed potato or two, so you can eat the leftovers!