Volume 33 | December 2019
Mayor Pro Tem
Happy Holidays to all of our Indio friends!
I want to start off by inviting each of you and your families to two upcoming City of Indio events.
We kick off the Holidays on Thursday, December 5 with the Community Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at City Hall. The event features musical performances by Indio school groups, Desert TheatreWorks cast members—and an appearance by none other than Santa himself!
Then on December 7 and 8, you don’t want to miss the world’s biggest and best Tamale Festival in Downtown Indio! More than 100,000 people attend this annual celebration of food, family and Indio’s cultural heritage. Details on the Tamale Festival are provided in this newsletter. 
2019 has been good to Indio. We thank Mayor Lupe Ramos Amith for her leadership this year, and we look forward to another big year in 2020, with Mayor Glenn Miller taking over the gavel at the December 4 City Council meeting. Councilmember Elaine Holmes steps into the Mayor Pro Tem role. Councilmember Waymond Fermon and Oscar Ortiz are completing their first busy year in office. Serving on the City Council in Indio is a major commitment. These 5 leaders work extraordinarily hard, seven days per week. Each of them served on at least 5 or 6 regional, intergovernmental working committees representing Indio. 
So come Downtown this month and join us, or catch a performance of the award-winning Desert TheatreWorks at either IPAC Theater or the Old Fashioned Christmas at the Coachella Valley History Museum.
Things are really starting to pick up in Downtown Indio, but I think the best is yet to come! Stay tuned!
All of us at City Hall wish you and your families the Happiest of Holidays.
Mark Scott
More Retail Coming for Indio Towne Center

Clothing retailer Old Navy has confirmed they will join the list of new businesses moving in to the Indio Towne Center. City planners are reviewing building plans right now, with the goal of helping Old Navy open in early 2020. The building will go up between the existing Home Depot and the newly constructed Five Below and ULTA locations. This 14,000 square foot store will add a significant retail option for Indio Towne Center, which is on Jackson Street, north of the I-10 freeway. In addition, the nearby Chevron and Extra Mile convenience store should open in the next couple of weeks.
College of the Desert Invites the Community to Attend Family Night

College of the Desert is inviting families from around the community to attend their Family Night (Noche de Familia) on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 from 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. This free open house inside the gymnasium at the campus in Palm Desert is a chance for parents, families and students to learn more about attending C.O.D.

Faculty, counselors, staff and current students will provide participants with information on applying to College of the Desert, applying for financial aid, and how high school seniors can qualify for free tuition. Presentations will be in English and Spanish. 

“Family Night is an innovative program that focuses on bringing prospective students and their families to visit our community college,” said Dr. Oscar Espinoza-Parra, Dean of Enrollment Services.
RSVP online by completing the  Family Night Participation Form . Guests who RSVP will also be provided free dinner. SunLine bus passes for the event are available on request at  familynight@collegeofthedesert.edu

Para información en Español, visite nuestro sitio web  Noche de Familia
Water Tower Projector Back Up and Running

Thirty minutes after dusk, and after the last visitor leaves the Coachella Valley History Museum, the 60 foot water tower on the property lights up. The process to re-illuminate the water tower after a broken projector system, truly tested the capabilities of the city. But in late November, Public Arts and Historic Preservation staff enlisted the help of the original installer.

Because of the technical complexity of the equipment, and some unusual rainy weather, it took Los Angeles based Paintscaping two days to repair. But if you take a moment to detour past this important public art piece, you will once again be rewarded with an incredible 3-D lights and picture show every evening.
Free Home Repair and Neighborhood Cleanup Assistance

The Community Development’s Housing and Neighborhood Services staff has officially launched two new housing and neighborhood programs to assist low-income residents in repairing both their homes and their neighborhoods. The Minor Home Repair Program is for residents who live in a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) eligible area within the City of Indio, own their home, and the total gross annual household income falls below the income limit for your household size. This program allows for repairs that include plumbing, electrical, HVAC unit, water heaters, minor roofing repairs, and more. There is no cost to apply for the program. Qualified contractors will conduct the work, and a professional inspector will oversee the process.

The Neighborhood Cleanup Assistance Program provides materials and supplies to community and volunteer groups that want to improve the appearance of their neighborhoods by organizing and conducting community/resident driven neighborhood cleanups. Cleanup events must be conducted within CDBG eligible areas of Indio. The available items provided in the cleanup range from brooms, dust masks, dust pans, shovels, rakes, dollies, wagons, gloves, and trash bags for neighborhood clean-ups. If needed, a large trash container will also be provided. 

Information and applications for both programs and to see if your neighborhood is eligible can be found here or by contacting Juan Rodriguez, Development Analyst, at 760-541-4028 or  jrodriguez@indio.org .
Become a Certified Tourism Ambassador

The Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau is pleased to present the internationally recognized Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) program to the Coachella Valley. With accreditation offered through the Tourism Ambassador Institute, this program defines a new standard of excellence in our region’s growing hospitality sector. 
You can become a Greater Palm Springs Tourism Ambassador if you:
·     Live or work in one of our nine desert cities
·     Interact with visitors to our destination
·     Love our destination
·     Want to be a part of setting the new standard of tourism service excellence in our region
Earning a Greater Palm Springs Tourism Ambassador certification is an easy three-step process:
Step 1. Register online and receive your very own content-rich handbook to read before the training session and to keep as an ongoing resource.
Step 2. Participate in a four-hour interactive session with your hospitality peers and complete an open-book test on what you have learned.
Step 3. Receive your Award Certificate and CTA lapel pin that identifies you as a Greater Palm Springs Tourism Ambassador. You can then proudly add the CTA designation initials to your name badge and business cards.
Interested? Email the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau Partnership Manager, Erica Abarca, CTA at  eabarca@gpscvb.com  or call 760-969-1322 with your questions.
2019 Arbor Day Celebration

The City of Indio will celebrate its 13th Annual Arbor Day Celebration on Saturday, December 14, 2019, at 9 a.m. at North Jackson Park located at 43200 Towne Street, Indio, California 92201. Indio is the only Tree City USA Community in the Coachella Valley as recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation. Trees not only provide shade, cut cooling/heating costs, and cleanse the air, but they also increase property values and help beautify neighborhoods.

Arbor Day was founded nearly 150 years ago and is now observed across the nation and the world. The Arbor Day Foundation is the largest non-profit conservation and education organization dedicated to tree planting. Its Tree City USA program was founded in 1976 and cities can only achieve such status by meeting its core standards of sound urban forestry management.

The community is invited to serve as volunteers as well as donate and plant trees during the celebration to help improve the environment and beautify the community. To donate trees or participate at the event, please contact Paul Stalma at (760) 625-1806 or  pstalma@indio.org , or Sergio Maduena at (442) 300-4121 or  smaduena@indio.org .
Beehive: The 60's Musical Presented
by DTW

"This is a walk down memory lane for those of us who grew up singing along with Tina Turner, Mama Cass, Aretha Franklin – and many others," says Timm McBride, Director of Beehive: The 60’s Musical.

Support Desert Theatreworks from January 10 – January 26, 2020, as they present this high energy stage show at the Indio Performing Arts Center on 45175 Fargo Street.

From solo powerhouses like Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin to glamorous girl groups such as The Supremes and The Shirelles, Beehive: The '60s Musical pays tribute to a time on the charts when women artists were all the buzz. This retro revue is packed with timeless tunes like "My Boyfriend's Back" and "One Fine Day," as well as authentic costumes, and plenty of wigs, as it recreates that revolutionary era in popular music when songs like "Respect" blasted from jukeboxes and car radios. 

Tickets are $32 for general admission, $30 for seniors/military, and $25 for those 18 and under. They are available  online , by phone (760) 980-1455, or in person Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the IPAC.
Queen Scheherazade and Her Court

On the Saturday, November 23, 2019 the Riverside County Fairground’s Taj Mahal Building was transformed into a scene out of 1,001 Arabian Nights. The coronation process began six weeks ago with 41 contestants from across Riverside County. Judges narrowed it down to twelve talented and accomplished young ladies who competed in three question and answer rounds for the crowns of Queen Scheherazade, Princess Dunyazade and Princess Jasmine. 
Crowned Queen Scheherazade was Kayley Serrano. Serrano is an alumni of La Quinta High School and Riverside Community College, and is currently a junior at California State University San Bernardino. Princess Dunyazade Alexandria Gooray is a senior at Centennial High School in Corona. She has over 950 hours of community service with Maranatha International, Key Club and International Baccalaureate. Crowned Princess Jasmine was Analise Ortega who is a senior at Shadow Hills High School in Indio. Analise volunteers in the community and serves as her school’s class president. She is also captain of her school’s varsity soccer team. 
Congratulations to all who participated! The Queen & her Court will act as goodwill ambassadors for the 2020 Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival that runs February 14-23, 2020. 
Awards Finalist

Recognizing that "Innovation is not enough," and that creating a successful business enterprise includes equal measures of passion, drive, commitment, determination, and risk taking, the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards celebrated and honored the Inland Empire region's best entrepreneurs on Wednesday, November 13, 2019. The 17th annual gala event was presented by the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) at Cal State San Bernardino who recognized 33 entrepreneurs selected as finalists from a pool of over 200 nominees. Indio’s buzzbox premium cocktails was recognized with the coveted Spirit of the Entrepreneur Award for 2019 in the area of Food & Beverage Entrepreneurship. 
Founded by Rod Vandenbos in 2012, buzzbox beverages, inc. is the producer and manufacturer of the buzzbox premium cocktails product line of premium single-serve, ready-to-drink cocktails in a recyclable box. And this was all founded and grown right here in Riverside County, and the company now operates from the heart of Indio.
Indio Resort Named
"Best in the Country"

Upscale RV resort Motorcoach Country Club was just named the  Best Luxury RV Resort in the Country , in the USA Today 10 Best Reader's Choice Awards for 2019.

This property near Jefferson St. and Ave. 48, offers panoramic views and many amenities for members including bocce ball, billiards, crafting, yoga and stretching. The resort has two miles of navigable waterways, along with slips for small boats at the Yacht Club.

Just east of Motorcoach Country Club, Desert Shores Motorcoach Resort also earned the #4 spot in the 10 Best Awards. This property boasts of lakeside lots with private pools and covered patios. Desert Shores also features a dog park and a 10,000 square foot clubhouse.

Congratulations to both properties for showcasing some of what makes Indio such a great place to live and visit.
Golf Season in Full Swing at The Lights at Indio Golf Course

Seasons greetings to everyone, from Landmark Golf Management Company and The Lights at Indio Golf Course.
Hopefully many of you have already experienced the golf course improvements. The Lights will continue to make improvements to the golf course along with continued improvements to customer service.

Don't forget to stop by the Golf Shop as a part of your Christmas shopping. Cami Kennedy, the Golf Shop’s Merchandiser, has purchased some stylish women's clothing with a large assortment of FootJoy golf shoes. Along with our wide range of golf ball brands The Lights at Indio Golf Course is an excellent source for holiday shopping. For last minute shoppers we have gift certificates that are available and valid all year round.
Come on by and visit The Lights at Indio Golf Course. It is the only place in the Coachella Valley where you can play golf under the lights throughout the year!
The City of Indio is the largest and fastest growing city in the Coachella Valley with more than with more than 89,000 residents. Nearly 1.4 million people visit Indio every year to attend its world famous arts, food, and music festivals. With nationally recognized public safety services, exceptional schools, great parks and senior and teen centers, no wonder more than 2,700 new housing units are in construction or being planned throughout the city in addition to new hotels, restaurants and retailers. Indio was the first city incorporated in the Coachella Valley on May 16, 1930, and is governed by an elected City Council that employs a City Manager. The City of Indio embraces its diversity and provides outstanding municipal services to enhance the quality of life for its residents, visitors and business community.
City of Indio |100 Civic Center Drive | (760) 391-4000
information@indio.org | www.indio.org