The Retreat is a proposed repositioning of the Porcupine Creek property from a private enclave to a six-star, exclusive guest experience. Plans have been submitted to the City of Rancho Mirage and are proceeding through the required entitlement process.
Since 2011, Porcupine Creek has been used as a vacation property by the current owner, his family and guests, and has functioned as the ‘home quarters’ during the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament. Repositioning will open the property exclusively to health and wellness enthusiasts placing Rancho Mirage among the world’s most desirable retreat destinations.
The property currently includes a golf course with clubhouse; tennis pavilion with three courts; pool and spa area with private spa treatment rooms; fitness center; poolside bar; and twenty-three studio, single-bedroom, and multi-bedroom units for guests (“keys”).
Proposed upgrades would include a rerouted golf course—on the existing fairways with some minor adjustments—a modified main house, a new restaurant, dining deck, upgraded spa complex, additional wellness related facilities, and an incremental increase in the number of units (currently at twenty-three, plans would allow for a potential increase to fifty). The option to “phase” the construction of new keys is being studied.
Timing can only be projected at this point, but it is hoped the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be released in the fall of 2020, followed by public comment and hearings with repositioning anticipated to begin in early 2021. Construction activities may be implemented through a “phased approach.”
No new land acquisitions are required for the repositioning of the existing property. No currently undisturbed land is expected to be impacted by the project.
The Retreat will be an exclusive destination for health and wellness enthusiasts, and therefore not open to the general public. Staff and service personnel will provide a six-star experience at the relatively small profile property with a maximum of only fifty keys.
Yes. To welcome community input, provide transparency, and detail mitigation measures, the City will be preparing a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR). This is anticipated to be available in the fall of 2020, though timing could change based on factors beyond the City’s control.
Yes. The Retreat will fully comply with all conditions of the Coachella Valley Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan.
Yes. The Retreat is expected to have a positive impact on the economy of Rancho Mirage and the surrounding area. It is anticipated that the repositioning will create both construction jobs and new staff positions, as well as increased exposure for the Rancho Mirage tourism and hospitality sectors as one of the top retreats in the world. There is also the potential for guests of the Retreat to patronize local commercial establishments prior and post visit.
The project is anticipated to bring noteworthy prestige and economic growth to Rancho Mirage. At present, the City receives only limited revenues from the use of Porcupine Creek as a private estate—a small share of taxes on estate-generated sales at local commercial establishments, and a minimal share of property tax revenues (since the property was a part of the City at the time of its incorporation). The revenues and benefits the City will receive upon repositioning Porcupine Creek as a Retreat are expected to include transient occupancy tax (TOT) and sales tax revenues generated by the luxury travel market.
Will the Retreat increase neighborhood traffic, either by guests, deliveries, staff, or construction?
Details will be addressed in the traffic study as part of the EIR, but day-to-day Retreat operations, including traffic patterns as may be perceived by local area residents, are not projected to have any noticeably greater impact than that of peak usage periods during recent years (for instance, during the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament).
Also of note is the nature of the Retreat itself, which is intended to be an all-inclusive experience that encourages guests to remain on property during their visit.
The interests of the neighborhood are a high priority to the project team. Noise and lighting impacts are not expected to be appreciably different than what exists currently and will be compatible with a residential neighborhood setting.
All potential impacts will be studied in the appropriate section of the EIR, which will also detail mitigation measures under consideration.
Just as Porcupine Creek does now, the Retreat is being planned to blend as seamlessly as possible into the surrounding landscape.
Setbacks and building heights, as well as the preservation of berms and landscaped areas, are being planned to minimize the visibility of any buildings or other vertical structures from off-property.