who built her career in L.A. and New York.
She relishes the ability to live outdoors, the
interesting people she has met, and the convenience of having a car again. “Younger people
are seeing the desert’s attraction. Artists and
designers who love the space they can have in
the High Desert are starting to migrate and
bring their businesses and design studios. As
people are more interested in work/life balance and quality of life issues, I think they will
be drawn to places like Palm Springs.”
Travel+Leisure recently deduced that
people in Joshua Tree are “turning the
region into a hipster oasis.” Two women
from Philadelphia who plunked down in
Pioneertown have opened La Copine, a trendy
brunch place. White knows a Joshua Tree
resident who works in the San Francisco Bay
Area a few days a week. “I run into more and
more people commuting from San Francisco
because rents have gotten so high,” he says.
That’s innovation, determination, and lifestyle design personified.
ON THE DESERT HORIZON
In addition to efforts to expand higher
education, White suggests advances in transportation and the creative economy will help
further transform the workforce. As the newly
formed California Desert Arts Council aims to
empower and promote the visual and performing arts, the CVB has been working to expand
air service with JetBlue, American Airlines,
and WestJet. Better year-round air access will
beckon tourists and assist commuters.
Rail service also will expand. “People need
the option to live in Greater Palm Springs, own
a home with a pool and a nice-sized yard, but
get into L.A. easily to do business and escape,”
White says. “Driverless cars will be critical to our
society, but I don’t think they will replace rail.”
Wallace says Greater Palm Springs is well-positioned but transformation takes execution,
and execution requires investment, perseverance, consistency, and cross-city cooperation.
“We’re almost where Austin was 10 to
20 years ago, but we don’t want to become
Austin,” White adds. “With their creative
economy and high-tech sector, all cities want
a piece of what Austin has. I think we can do it
in our own way. Once people experience the
area, nine out of 10 times they fall in love. We
want them to see there are so many things to
do here they can’t do it all in one trip.”
And if they keep coming back, he’d like to
see them settle in for the good life.
Hip properties like ARRIVE Palm Springs
stir interest among millennials and more
established Gen X’ers.