July 9, 2024

City of Coachella Joins Visit Greater Palm Springs JPA

By Bob Marra

The Coachella Lakes RV Resort is one of the city of Coachella's newest hospitality venues.

In a landmark move to bolster regional tourism and economic development, the City of Coachella has officially joined the Visit Greater Palm Springs Joint Powers Authority (VGPS JPA). The VGPS JPA recently approved JPA Resolution No. 2024-007, marking a significant step in Coachella’s commitment to enhancing its tourism industry and diversifying its economic landscape.

Background and Significance

Visit Greater Palm Springs (VGPS), formerly known as the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), was established in 1989 to promote and enhance the hospitality, convention, and tourism sectors within the Coachella Valley. The VGPS operates under a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) that has been amended several times over the years to address evolving industry needs and regional goals.

“The City of Coachella has long been an important part of our nine-cities landscape,” states Scott White, President and CEO of Visit Greater Palm Springs. “We look forward to further collaboration on initiatives that enhance tourism and economic development in our easternmost city.”

Coachella’s entry into the VGPS JPA follows a recommendation from VGPS to include the city as a member, emphasizing the strategic importance of economic development diversity and the integration of short-term vacation rentals into the city’s tourism portfolio. The addition of Coachella is expected to significantly benefit the city’s residents and businesses by leveraging VGPS’s extensive resources and promotional capabilities.

Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez

“Joining the Visit Greater Palm Springs JPA is a pivotal step for the City of Coachella,” said Steven Hernandez, Mayor of Coachella. “The economic development opportunities in Coachella, coupled with the fact that we are generating TOT revenue from short-term home rentals, underscores the growth potential of our part of the region. With nearly $700,000 from vacation rentals, it’s clear why participating in the JPA is beneficial for all. The East Valley offers land availability, a capable workforce, and solid infrastructure, making it an attractive location for further development, including hospitality venues and attractions that will all be economic drivers. This move highlights our commitment to fostering job diversity and strengthening regional collaboration for a brighter future.”

Key Provisions and Financial Commitments

The City of Coachella’s approval to join the JPA involves several critical components:

  1. Adoption of JPA Resolution No. 2024-007: This resolution formalizes Coachella’s membership in the JPA Executive Committee.
  2. Amendment to the Joint Powers Agreement: The Second Amended and Restated Joint Powers Agreement has been revised to include Coachella as a member and to adjust the JPA’s territorial boundaries and voting procedures.
  3. Financial Contribution: Coachella will pay an initial entry and operation fee of $35,327, calculated based on the city’s estimated gross revenues. Thereafter, Coachella will contribute a minimum annual fee of $35,000 or an amount determined by the JPA’s funding formula, whichever is greater. This contribution supports VGPS’s broader initiatives and ongoing operations.

Broader Impact and Goals

Including Coachella in the VGPS JPA is poised to drive substantial benefits for the city and Greater Palm Springs region. By joining forces with VGPS, Coachella aims to:

  • Enhance Tourism Promotion: Utilize VGPS’s established marketing and promotional channels to attract more visitors to Coachella, boosting local businesses and hospitality services.
  • Economic Diversification: Develop and implement strategies to diversify Coachella’s economy, reducing reliance on a single industry and fostering sustainable growth.
  • Collaborative Development: Participate actively in regional discussions and initiatives to improve infrastructure, services, and amenities for residents and visitors.

Next Steps

Following the resolution’s approval, the City of Coachella will appoint a council member to represent the city on the JPA Executive Committee. This representative will play a crucial role in shaping the direction and policies of VGPS, ensuring that Coachella’s interests and priorities are well-represented.

The city’s financial contribution to VGPS will be allocated from the General Fund Unreserved Fund Balance, ensuring the necessary funds are available for this fiscal year and beyond. Moving forward, Coachella’s involvement in the JPA will be reviewed annually, with contributions adjusted based on actual gross room revenues and regional economic conditions.

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