Surf's Up in Palm Desert

Kimberly Heaton

The Palm Desert City Council approved a $200 million artificial wave resort project on November 18th, DSRT SURF, which will feature a 5.5-acre wave lagoon with unique waves powered by the “Wavegarden Cove”.  Phase one of the project will be built on nearly 18 acres at the Desert Willow Golf Resort; other components will include a 4-story hotel, cabanas, restaurants, a sand beach area, sports courts, and a stage/amphitheater.  A second phase will include for-sale residential villas.

Keyser Marston Associates was the City’s economic advisor and in this role reviewed the project’s development costs and operating projections.  While KMA’s analysis did quantify a feasibility gap, the city had bond funds set aside for the purpose of public infrastructure improvements. Other funding sources include TOT rebates and a city land contribution, resulting in no impact on the general fund.   KMA projected the surf resort to generate nearly $30 million in tax revenues to the city over 20 years.

The developers, Desert Wave Ventures, expect to break ground early next year and open by the end of 2021.