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Rancho Mirage, California
City of Rancho Mirage
California State Route 111 in Rancho Mirage
California State Route 111 in Rancho Mirage
Flag of Rancho Mirage, California
Flag
Location in Riverside County and the state of California
Location in Riverside County and the state of California
Rancho Mirage, California is located in the United States
Rancho Mirage, California
Rancho Mirage, California
Location in the United States
Country United States
State California
County Riverside
Incorporated August 3, 1973
Area
 • Total 25.74 sq mi (66.67 km2)
 • Land 25.35 sq mi (65.66 km2)
 • Water 0.39 sq mi (1.01 km2)  1.57%
Elevation
272 ft (83 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 17,218
 • Estimate 
(2019)
18,528
 • Density 730.80/sq mi (282.17/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
92270
Area codes 442/760
FIPS code 06-59500
GNIS feature IDs 1661281, 2411515

Rancho Mirage is a city in Riverside County, California, United States. The population was 17,218 at the 2010 census, up from 13,249 at the 2000 census, but the seasonal (part-time) population can exceed 20,000. Incorporated in 1973 and located between Cathedral City and Palm Desert, it is one of the nine cities of the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area).

It is home to and has been home to a number of celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr., Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Billie Dove and Gerald and Betty Ford. It is a low-density desert-resort community with resorts, golf courses, and country clubs in the Coachella Valley within the Colorado Desert section of the Sonoran Desert. It is nestled along the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains in the south and is located between the cities of Palm Springs and Palm Desert. It is adjacent to Cathedral City, Palm Desert, and Thousand Palms.

It has been nicknamed "Playground of the Presidents" and "Golf Capital of the World." The city has hosted and currently hosts a variety of golf and tennis tournaments, including the Ryder Cup, Desert Classic (PGA Tour), Davis Cup, and the LPGA Tour (ANA Inspiration).

History

Although the first modern settlements date back to the 1920s and 1930s, Rancho Mirage got its claim to fame after World War II. The Annenberg Estate or Sunnylands, owned by philanthropists Walter and Leonore Annenberg, had long been popular with the wealthy and powerful, including Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Queen Elizabeth II, Patrick Macnee and Mary Martin. Several United States Presidents have vacationed at the Annenberg estate, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford. Ford later bought a house in Rancho Mirage and was living there at the time of his death in 2006. The Betty Ford Center, a world-renowned addiction rehabilitation center, is located in Rancho Mirage at the Eisenhower Medical Center. President Barack Obama has also used Sunnylands for summit meetings with world leaders during his administration.

Rancho Mirage has twelve golf courses, also known as country clubs or golf resorts. The city's first resort was the Thunderbird Guest Ranch, opened in 1946 for entertainers and business clientele. Other golf resorts are the Tamarisk, Mission Hills, Thunderbird, the Springs, Sunrise, Omni Resorts Rancho Las Palmas hotel (opened in 1979 to replace the Desert Air golf and private airport from 1954–1978), Rancho Mirage, Morningside, Mission Hills North Course, Westin Hotels Mission Hills resort, and Tuscania by Sunrise Company opened in 2006.

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians of Palm Springs runs the Agua Caliente Casino on the intersection of Bob Hope Drive and Ramon Road off Interstate 10, opened in 2002. The casino is a popular destination for locals, tourists, and gambling enthusiasts. In 2008 the tribal board completed the expansion of the Agua Caliente resort, which includes a 16-story hotel and spa, as well as remodeling the casino and expanding the parking structures. A theater for top name entertainers opened in 2009. Though the Agua Caliente Resort and Casino was just outside the border of Rancho Mirage in an unincorporated area, the City of Rancho Mirage included the property as part of the city in an agreement with the tribe so they would have access to police and firefighting services.

The First Family is heading west. According to the New York Post, the Obamas have reportedly purchased a house in Rancho Mirage, California.

Rancho Mirage has expanded its economy from one based on seasonal, resort-based golfing and low-paying rentals, to include light industry and commerce near the I-10 and high-end retail centers like The River shopping complex.

Geography and climate

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.8 square miles (64 km2), of which, 24.4 square miles (63 km2) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) of it (1.57%) is water, including the 10-story Desert Island Hotel-Golf Resort built on an island surrounded by an artificial lake.

Climate

The climate of the Coachella Valley is influenced by the surrounding geography. High mountain ranges on three sides and a south-sloping valley floor all contribute to its unique and year-round warm climate, with the warmest winters in the western United States. Rancho Mirage has an arid climate: Its average annual high temperature is 87 °F (31 °C) and average annual low is 63 °F (17 °C) but summer highs above 108 °F (42 °C) are common and sometimes exceed 120 °F (49 °C), while summer night lows often stay above 82 °F (28 °C). Winters are warm with daytime highs between 73–84 °F (23–29 °C). Under 5 inches (130 mm) of annual precipitation are average, with over 348 days of sunshine per year.

Climate data for Boyd Deep Canyon Campground (1982–2012)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 69.8
(21)
72.1
(22.28)
78.6
(25.89)
85.3
(29.61)
93.4
(34.11)
101.7
(38.72)
105.6
(40.89)
104.5
(40.28)
99.5
(37.5)
89.4
(31.89)
77.4
(25.22)
68.2
(20.11)
87.1
(30.61)
Average low °F (°C) 49.5
(9.72)
51.3
(10.72)
54.7
(12.61)
58.8
(14.89)
64.8
(18.22)
71.6
(22)
79.0
(26.11)
78.6
(25.89)
74.3
(23.5)
66.4
(19.11)
56.1
(13.39)
48.4
(9.11)
62.8
(17.11)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.68
(17.3)
0.80
(20.3)
0.40
(10.2)
0.07
(1.8)
0.04
(1)
0.01
(0.3)
0.29
(7.4)
0.48
(12.2)
0.37
(9.4)
0.21
(5.3)
0.29
(7.4)
0.61
(15.5)
4.20
(106.7)
Source: deepcanyon.ucnrs.org

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1970 1,298
1980 6,281 383.9%
1990 9,778 55.7%
2000 13,249 35.5%
2010 17,218 30.0%
2019 (est.) 18,528 7.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010

The 2010 United States Census reported that Rancho Mirage had a population of 17,218. The population density was 693.3 people per square mile (267.7/km2). The racial makeup of Rancho Mirage was 15,267 (88.7%) White (81.7% Non-Hispanic White), 256 (1.5%) African American, 94 (0.5%) Native American, 651 (3.8%) Asian, 14 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 598 (3.5%) from other races, and 338 (2.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,964 persons (11.4%).

The census reported that 17,154 people (99.6% of the population) lived in households, 16 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 48 (0.3%) were institutionalized.

There were 8,829 households, 1,031 (11.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 4,159 (47.1%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 453 (5.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 213 (2.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 316 (3.6%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 454 (5.1%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,055 households (34.6%) were one person and 1,961 (22.2%) had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 1.94. There were 4,825 families (54.6% of households); the average family size was 2.46.

The age distribution was 1,828 people (10.6%) under the age of 18, 508 people (3.0%) aged 18 to 24, 1,885 people (10.9%) aged 25 to 44, 5,415 people (31.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 7,582 people (44.0%) who were 65 or older. The median age was 62.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.2 males.

There were 14,243 housing units at an average density of 573.5 per square mile; of the occupied units 7,089 (80.3%) were owner-occupied and 1,740 (19.7%) were rented. The homeowner vacancy rate was 5.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 17.2%. 13,845 people (80.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 3,309 people (19.2%) lived in rental housing units.

Between 2009 and 2013, Rancho Mirage had a median household income of $77,526, with 13.6% of the population living below the federal poverty line.

2000

As of the census of 2000, there were 13,249 people in 6,813 households, including 4,074 families, in the city. The population density was 544.9 people per square mile (210.4/km2). There were 11,816 housing units at an average density of 486.0 per square mile (187.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.7% White, 0.9% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.6% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.4% of the population.

Of the 6,813 households 10.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.9% were married couples living together, 5.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.2% were non-families. 32.3% of households were one person and 19.8% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 1.9 and the average family size was 2.4.

The age distribution was 10.3% under the age of 18, 2.7% from 18 to 24, 14.0% from 25 to 44, 30.0% from 45 to 64, and 43.0% 65 or older. The median age was 61 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males. Rancho Mirage owes its legacy to being a retirement haven for senior citizens since the 1950s. The notion of building a new airport 30 minutes away (the Desert Cities Regional Airport in Coachella) from Rancho Mirage is still under debate.

The median household income was $59,826 and the median family income was $78,384. Males had a median income of $50,027 versus $36,529 for females. The per capita income for the city was $58,603. About 4.4% of families and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.4% of those under age 18 and 3.2% of those age 65 or over.

Setting for books

At least two novels are set in Rancho Mirage. The first was Love Child by Andrew Neiderman (1986) and the second is Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture by Douglas Coupland (1991). Both have references to both Rancho Mirage and Palm Springs, as well the Mojave Desert. A third book, Rancho Mirage: an American Tragedy of Manners, Madness, and Murder by Aram Saroyan (2002) concerns a murder that occurred in the city.

Economy

The river at rancho mirage cheesecake factory
The River at Rancho Mirage
Rancho Mirage CA
California State Route 111 in Rancho Mirage

The Rancho Mirage City Council has adopted a $28.8 million budget for fiscal year 2021–22. Sales and hotel taxes are the two biggest sources of revenue for the city, making up 51 percent of Rancho Mirage’s annual revenue. Transient occupancy taxes (TOT) provides 31 percent of the revenue, while sales taxes, Rancho Mirage’s second-biggest revenue source, make up nearly 20 percent of city revenue. About 43 percent of city expenditures are allocated to public safety, the city’s biggest annual expense. Most of this expense is allocated to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

The River at Rancho Mirage is an outdoor venue, which is a destination for entertainment, dining, and shopping. It is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, an amphitheater, a gallery, and a multiscreen movie theater. The surrounding area has been named Downtown Rancho Mirage.

Top employers

According to Rancho Mirage Economic Development, 10,000 people are employed by 1,700 different business organizations. According to Rancho Mirage's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city were:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Eisenhower Medical Center 2,480
2 Agua Caliente Casino 1,300
3 Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa 500
4 Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa 470
5 Betty Ford Center 269
6 Mission Hills Country Club 211
7 The Cheesecake Factory 180
8 The Home Depot 149
9 P. F. Chang's China Bistro 75

Notable hotels and resorts include The Ritz-Carlton, The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort and Spa, The Omni Las Palmas, Hilton Garden Inn, and the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa. The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage (formerly The Lodge at Rancho Mirage) is a five-star resort situated at a secluded location in the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains. This luxury resort has 244 rooms, a 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) spa, and three swimming pools. It is situated on 24 acres (9.7 ha) of land on a 650 ft (200 m) plateau in the Santa Rosa Mountains.

The Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has over 1,000 slot machines and video games, 49 gaming tables, and regular live entertainment. There are also several bars, pools, lounges, a 1,000-seat showroom, and six restaurants at the casino resort. It is a $205 million casino resort with 340 rooms and sixteen stories.

The 18-hole golf course at The S at Rancho Mirage, which was formerly known as the Sinatra Resort & Country Club and Desert Island Golf & Country Club, was designed by British-American golfer Desmond Muirhead. Located on 160 acres (65 ha), the country club has 226 units and three separate condo buildings. A seven-story building is located on an island in the club's 25-acre (0.10 km2) artificial lake. It is located across Frank Sinatra Dr. from Sunnylands.

Sports

Tamarisk Country Club has hosted the Bob Hope Classic nineteen times. Thunderbird Country Club has hosted the Ryder Cup and the Desert Classic of the PGA Tour. It also held a PGA Tour event from 1952–59 and was one of the original golf courses in the tournament that later became the Bob Hope Classic. Mission Hills Country Club hosted the Davis Cup finals in 1978. The ANA Inspiration is also held at Mission Hills Country Club, one of five major championships in women’s professional golf (LPGA).

The Dinah Shore Golf Classic is held in Rancho Mirage every March and draws an estimated 15,000 lesbian visitors to the area. It is part of the Kraft Nabisco Championship tournament which is held at the Mission Hills Country Club. In women’s golf, the tournament ranks second only to the U.S. Women's Open.

Rancho Mirage has 12 or 13 golf courses, also known as country clubs or golf resorts. The city's first resort was the Thunderbird Guest Ranch, opened in 1946 for entertainers and business clientele. Other golf resorts are The S at Rancho Mirage, Tamarisk, Mission Hills, Thunderbird, The Springs, Sunrise, Omni Resorts Rancho Las Palmas hotel (opened in 1979 to replace the Desert Air golf and private airport from 1954 to 1978), Morningside, Mission Hills North Course, Westin Hotels Mission Hills resort and Tuscania by Sunrise Company opened in 2006.

Education

There is one elementary school (Rancho Mirage Elementary) and one high school Rancho Mirage High School in the city limits which are part of the Palm Springs Unified School District, the newly renovated Nellie Coffman Middle School is on the city line with Cathedral City. There is one private school, Palm Valley School, which covers grades preschool-12th. The PSUSD is building a new grade-middle school complex on the lands of the former Walter Annenberg estate donated to the PSUSD. The complex has yet to be constructed. Rancho Mirage is also home to a campus of Santa Barbara Business College, a private college that offers academic degrees and career training.

Notable people

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