Key to maintaining a balanced budget is ensuring that we continue to build a foundation for retail, hospitality and small business success. This means creating an environment for businesses to succeed, even in a challenging economy. We are on extremely solid footing today.
Palm Springs is a world-class destination, and we’re growing with over 1,600 new hotel rooms and 1,000 new jobs since the launch of our Hotel Incentive Program, and our double-digit growth in Transient Occupancy revenues is a huge success for us.
New airline service from Allegiant, WestJet and Frontier Airlines is further indication of confidence in our City as a leading destination for vacationers from around the world.
The opening of restaurants like Lulu California Bistro, The Red Tomato, and Guiseppe’s—just to name a few— are helping us create new activity and interest in all parts of town, and it rises the tide for the other restaurants and businesses throughout.
Our retail vacancy rate continues to decline, and our convention center activity continues to increase, which brings more guests to our city, and keeps our competitive assets growing. I’m thrilled to announce that the Airline Pilots convention is again returning to the City next year, bringing many visitors and further priming the economic pump for Palm Springs.
Voters this fall will have the opportunity to weigh in on Fashion Plaza redevelopment, and City Council unanimously approved an agreement and timeline to have the site revitalized by January 1, 2015. A new informational website has been set up for residents to read more about Measure J and you can visit it by clicking below:
Diversifying beyond tourism is also important, and our Innovation Hub (known as the i-Hub) designation is a huge feather in our cap in this effort. This will help sustain diversification and bring innovative businesses to the area.
I’m also extremely excited to have taken part in the groundbreaking of the Palm Springs campus of College of the Desert. This facility not only is a proud example of sustainability in development, but it’s also going to bring education opportunity closer to our residents, translating into more opportunity for students, small business and economic development.
Many moving parts are involved in keeping a City viable as a destination and a place to live and do business. I’m proud of our leadership here—hard work, tough decisions, and boards and commissions whose focus is to preserve the best assets of our city while laying foundation for growing the economy.