Today, many of the communities in and around the Palm Springs area are hot tourist spots and boast of extreme wealth. Rancho Mirage, California is just one of the cities that have benefited by the world’s attraction to this beautiful desert area. Incorporated in 1973, Rancho Mirage is relatively young but has experienced tremendous growth over the past few decades.
Rancho Mirage is situated in Riverside County and became the 16th city in that county. It may have seemed like the city was always destined for wealth and success. In fact, the first building permit issued by the city was for the Sunrise Country Club Development.
And it didn’t take very long for Rancho Mirage to start attracting attention. In 1974, President Nixon wrote his State of the Union Address while golfing at Rancho Mirage’s Annenberg Estate. Prince Charles also visited the estate in this year, and likely noticed a great deal of development because more than 5,000 dwellings were under construction. The activity was so great that Rancho Mirage experienced an $11 million growth in valuation ranking it as the fifth wealthiest city in Riverside County.
Throughout the years, notables and dignitaries continued to flock to Rancho Mirage. It was here in 1976 that Frank Sinatra married Barbara Marx. Even President Ford loved the area so much that he purchased a home in the Thunderbird Country Club. Maybe he was in love with the area or maybe he wanted to be closer to his favorite golf courses. In any event, the closeness to golf greatness did not improve his game. In 1977, President Ford hit two people with a golf ball during the same month.
Despite several floods that did considerable damage to the area, Rancho Mirage continued growing in population, size and grandeur. Malls were added as were numerous country clubs, resorts and luxury establishments. And in 1985, a huge flood control project was started to eliminate the threat of high waters.
Today, presidents and dignitaries still visit the area, and Rancho Mirage has grown to be a cultural hub. In addition to luxury resorts and golf, a visitor to Rancho Mirage can now benefit from fine art centers, wildlife and ecology education, and elegant music halls.