Tag: Springs

Palm Springs sees spike in vacation rental complaints. No plans to change ordinance

On a steamy Sunday afternoon in early August, a Palm Springs code enforcement officer arrived at a luxurious vacation rental property to inquire about a noise complaint that came into the city’s hotline.

Video: Coachella Valley vacation rentals popular destinations during the pandemic.



The officer could hear “Brickhouse” by The Commodores playing from the side of the street, according to a city hotline log. Ultimately, the officer issued a citation, one of 159  issued to Palm Springs vacation rental properties in June, July and August.

That figure represents a 150% increase in the number of citations issued to Palm Springs vacation rentals compared to the same months last year. The majority of citations stemmed from loud music, which comes with a $500 fine to the guest. Others were issued over parking, operating without a license, or other violations.

Palm Springs cracked down on vacation rentals because of neighbor complaints, this fall they are updating the ordinance. Locked key boxes used by vacation renters are photographed at the Biarritz condos in Palm Springs, Calif., on November 12, 2019.

© Taya Gray/The Desert Sun
Palm Springs cracked down on vacation rentals because of neighbor complaints, this fall they are updating the ordinance. Locked key boxes used by vacation renters are photographed at the Biarritz condos in Palm Springs, Calif., on November 12, 2019.

The spike was coupled with an unanticipated influx of visitors venturing to the desert in the summer heat for longer-than-usual stays to break from sheltering in place.

Bruce Hoban, the co-founder of the Vacation Renter Owners and Neighbors of Palm Springs said the increased number of bookings this summer stemmed from pent-up demand amid the coronavirus pandemic, where “everything was shut down for three months and then all of the sudden you can go get a vacation rental.”

chart, bar chart: This chart from the city of Palm Springs shows the overall number of citations issued to vacation rentals.

© Courtesy of the city of Palm Springs
This chart from the city of Palm Springs shows the overall number of citations issued to vacation rentals.

These stays were also longer; while travelers normally stay for two nights for a desert summer getaway, this year saw more frequent stays of four days or longer, Hoban said.

“We got this very not normal crowd coming into the city to rent vacation rentals who just didn’t want to follow the rules,” Hoban said.

Palm Springs’ vacation rental ordinance has been held up as a model for strict enforcement. The city has a “three strikes” policy that can cause an owner to lose their ability to operate for two years. An individual can only have one vacation rental license, which is limited to 32 guest stays a year plus an extra four bookings during July, August and September. 

On Wednesday, Councilmember Lisa Middleton presented along with former code enforcement officer Boris Stark, who now works for Acme Vacation Rentals, at a California League of Cities meeting to talk about “best practices” for short-term rentals. 

Palm Springs airport: Southwest to begin flights to Oakland, Phoenix and Denver

Outdoor dining: Palm Springs to reopen Palm Canyon Drive to cars after lawsuit

But some Palm Springs residents would rather see more restrictions, or see vacation rentals gone altogether. A lawsuit is still working its way through a California appellate court disputing

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Saratoga Springs parents, coaches make plea for recreation

SARATOGA SPRINGS – More than a dozen coaches and parents spoke out at Tuesday’s City Council budget hearing against cuts to the city’s recreation program, a casualty of what Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan calls the “COVID economy.”

Madigan and the Council were told that cuts to the programs are “setting the wrong example” and elimination of soccer, skating, summer camps and other activities is “not in the best interest of our kids’ mental and physical health.” One mom, Frieda Miller,  said the programs are needed to give families like hers hope.

The crowd showed up for the hearing, which typically proceed with little to no public input, after an email was sent on Friday to thousands of recreation participants saying the program are “at stake” and urging parents, coaches and players to ask the Council to “not defund recreation.”

“We are concerned about the potential interruption of the (Weibel Avenue) rink and how our programs will affect us,” Mary Brophy Magnus of the Saratoga Winter Club said. “We are aware that the budget cuts impact a much wider swath of sports than speed skating. We are willing to work with the community and the rec department during this time.”

It’s a tough time for the city. It is expecting a $6.8 million budget shortfall over 2020 and it will raise taxes, layoff public works and public safety employees as well as ask City Hall employees who remain to take a 10 percent pay cut. In her original budget message, which was released on Oct. 6, Madigan noted that the “recreation department budget has been reduced to exclude all formerly planned programming.”
However, on Tuesday, she tried to assure those who attended that the recreation budget still has some allocated funding, $1.2 million, for staff, building and grounds, maintenance and utilities. She also said as 2021 progresses and a federal relief package becomes available, recreation programs might be restored. For now, though she said, “recreation programs cannot occur though, without any additional costs to the city.”

“It does not mean recreation is shutting down,” Madigan said. “As a budget neutral program is implemented … the budget will be amended to include them.”

Mayor Meg Kelly told the audience that the council full agrees, but “we have to work to make it budget neutral.”

Parents and coaches, who worried about facilities becoming dilapidated, suggested raising fees, others raising private funding and yet another, raising taxes higher than the proposed 6 percent.

But Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton, who is facing a 15 percent cut in police and firefighters, brought the audience back to reality, saying the public must realize the city is struggling to maintain essential services.

“The city has not determined how it will maintain essential services,” Dalton said. “Essential service is what this city needs to continue to operate. They are water, sewer, roads, fire, EMS and police. Unless we can assure those essential services are intact, we have nothing. We can’t operate. We won’t be able to drive to

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Miami Springs takes aim at homeless in hotel

A Miami Springs homeless camp located under the city’s entrance bridge known for drug use and prostitution.

A Miami Springs homeless camp located under the city’s entrance bridge known for drug use and prostitution.

For the Miami Herald

Some of the county’s most needy citizens sought refuge at a Miami Springs hotel during the COVID-19 pandemic, but city leaders now want them out.

“The county has contracted with two of our Miami Springs hotels to provide housing for the homeless,” Councilwoman Maria Mitchell said at a Sept. 14 council meeting broadcast via YouTube. “Out of two hotels with 200 rooms each being designated for the Homeless Trust, this last week we were able to get the county to remove one of the hotels from their list.”

ms mayor city council meeting.JPG
The Miami Springs Mayor and City Council address homelessness and crime about the city at a recent meeting broadcast via YouTube. Courtesy of YouTube

Mitchell said that 80 percent of the county’s homeless population resides in Miami Springs hotels, and that they are violating the city’s code by offering “meals and counseling and other things.” Since they are not being used for their “designated” purpose, Mitchell wants the city attorney to step in.

“There are about 2,500 people in shelters about the county,” said Homeless Trust Chairman Ron Book, an influential lobbyist and father of Florida state Sen. Lauren Book, who represents District 32 in Broward County.

An additional 1,020 live on the streets, bringing the county’s current homeless tally to 3,520, according to Book. As of Oct. 9, Miami Springs housed 89 people, at one hotel, or 2.5 percent of the county’s homeless population.

“We did a heroic thing and worked aggressively to protect them,” said Book, who noted that many are over age 65 with underlying health conditions that places them at high risk for COVID-19 infection.

As for offering meals and counseling to the impoverished at the hotel, Book said the program has compassionately and dutifully provided both.

Mitchell said she put the county’s emergency aid on the agenda after three people complained about homelessness and crime on the city’s east side.

“Our neighborhood has just become a hoodlum area,” said Genevieve H. Steffen, 74, of Miami Springs. “People are sleeping on the bus stop. I believe they are homeless, and they have made that their home.”

Another caller pointed to the hotels.

“We have a lot of individuals walking down our streets; we had our bicycles stolen from our backyard,” said Isabel Fulton, 48, of Miami Springs. “The common denominator here is the transients living over at the hotels off 36th Street.”

Miami Springs sits near Miami International Airport.

About 10 years ago, Miami Springs pushed for more hotels along Northwest 36th Street to keep its property-tax rate low. An unintended consequence of rapid hotel expansion has been a surge in crime including drug dealing, shootings and sex offenses.

Last month, the Runway Inn, at 656 East Drive, was raided and closed in order “to end the nuisance caused by prolonged criminal activity on the property,” police said.

In a 70-page complaint filed Sept. 16

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Inside The Palm Springs Hotel That’s The Location For ‘The Bachelorette’ 2020

To adapt to the pandemic, reality-TV juggernaut The Bachelorette decided to shoot at quarantine-friendly La Quinta Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. The hit ABC show bought out the entire Palm Springs oasis for season 16, housing its cast and crew there. (Similarly, The Bachelor took over Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, a sprawling estate with two hotels in Pennsylvania’s bucolic Laurel Highlands, for its forthcoming season with looking-for-love Matt James.)

La Quinta provides a picturesque playground for Sacramento bachelorette Clare Crawley and her 31 suitors with 45 verdant acres set against the Santa Rosa Mountains. It was a hot spot among the Old Hollywood crowd, with everyone from actors like Greta Garbo and Clark Gable to directors like Dorothy Arzner and Frank Capra checking into the 1926 hotel. And there are plenty of spots for romance — Ginger Rogers married French actor Jacques Bergerac in front of the resort’s waterfall in 1953.

“We were thrilled to host the entire cast and crew for this very special season of ‘The Bachelorette,’ and serve as a part of television history,” said Dermot Connolly, the hotel general manager. “As the season unfolds at La Quinta Resort, we look forward to welcoming guests back to our beloved California retreat and helping fans create their own special moments. With its legendary hospitality, serene desert surroundings and abundance of outdoor space, La Quinta Resort is an ideal setting to make up for lost time and make new memories with friends and family.”

We take you inside for a tour of Palm Springs’ oldest resort:

The Gardens

Watch the drama unfold in the lush gardens, which would be a fitting place for the rose ceremony. The gardens consistently bloom with brightly hued flowers, since they are updated three times a year. What you won’t catch on TV is the sweet scent. The grounds have 14 fragrant citrus tree varieties, including lemon, orange, tangerine, tangelo and grapefruit.

The Pool

Forty-one swimming pools and 53 hot spas tucked among the palm trees lend themselves to romantic rendezvous. Sitting near the mountains, the main pool welcomes children, while the 21-and-older plunge pool is a more tranquil option. All are climate controlled for maximum comfort.

The Casitas

The Spanish Colonial-style resort offers 620 casitas and suites and 98 villas. Among the red-roof, white-washed adobe accommodations, opt for one with history. In the Capra Junior Suite, the namesake writer/director penned the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life, and the décor includes a vintage typewriter. Dwight D. Eisenhower frequently stayed in the poolside King Eisenhower Suite after his presidency. And the two-bedroom, art deco Arzner Suite was a haunt of Hollywood’s first major female director.

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The Broadmoor Destination Resort in Colorado Springs

Due to the reality of COVID-19 and the need to self-separate our guests, employees and community from what’s commonly called the “coronavirus”, The Broadmoor will temporarily cease all operations on Saturday, March 21 at noon. At this time we anticipate to reopen for the Memorial Day weekend.

The Broadmoor’s leadership felt it was important to cease all operations out of an abundance of caution for the safety of everyone. The resort has had no cases or confirmation of any guests or employees testing positive for COVID-19. We all regret this unfortunate situation and thank you for understanding.

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