Friday, January 17, 2014

Killing Ourselves With Economic Development?

I love Kimpton Hotels, have stayed in several of them and I think a Kimpton Palm Springs would be fabulous.  However, I would argue that the defining characteristic of Palm Springs is the unobstructed view of the mountain where the tallest structures beneath it are palm trees.  To build a 6-7 story hotel at the base of the mountain in the name of economic development is extremely short-sighted.

I can't help but to think of coastal communities like Biloxi, MS, where they have a coastline without a view of the ocean, except for the tourists holed up in the casinos that run the entire length of it.  Meanwhile, the residents of Biloxi live behind the hotel/casino towers in neighborhoods cut off from the thing that makes their city special.

I'm sure there's an argument that "this is just one building" but when the next seven story (or eight, ten or 20 story) project comes along, what will the precedence to deny it?  In 20 years, will we have a downtown of towers with a mountain peaking out behind them?

Visitors and part-time residents are what make Palm Springs thrive.  Let's not kill what keeps them coming here.

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