This week, in addition to our regular broadcast of Eye on Travel, we’re happy to give you a bonus — a repeat of the show we broadcast from the Agua Caliente Resort in Rancho Mirage earlier this year as Covid-19 was suddenly on our radar. As airlines were just starting to park more and more of their planes, we traveled to Southern California. Peter spoke with Geoff Kors, Mayor of Palm Springs, who discussed a new national park in California and the longtime celebrity history and mythology of Joshua Tree and Palm Springs. And a look at the history of the entire region, with editors and writers Derrick Lang, Brian de los Santos and Kristen Scharkey. He also chatted with Kani Neves, who tells the story of the evolution of gaming in the desert and the Indian heritage. There’s all this and more on this special repeat edition of Eye on Travel, from the Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa in Rancho Mirage, California.
Click here to listen to Eye on Travel from the Agua Caliente Resort in Rancho Mirage, California.
Geoff Kors, Mayor of Palm Springs, helps Peter open the program with remarks about the city’s small town vibe and stress-free airport. He speaks about the city’s huge environmental commitment. By April of this year, it’s going 100% carbon footprint free. And did you know you can get a windmill tour in the region? The Mayor also chats about invasive species, reclaimed water usage and what brought him to the desert from New York. He speaks about the unique places that inhabit the area and how the mid-century movement and architecture changed the region. Geoff also shares his favorite food recommendations.
Derrik J. Lang, Deputy Editor at Palm Springs Life, has been coming to Palm Springs for the last 10 years, and now that he lives here, he speaks to the changes that the area has seen as well as what hasn’t changed. He discusses local chilled and salt water pools and traveling in the off-season to experience a location in an unconventional way. He talks about dates and date-infused bourbon in addition to other incredible ingredients that grow in the desert that most people don’t know about. Derrik then shares his favorite breakfast spot and the unique offering there.
Brian De Los Santos, Digital Editor at The Desert Sun, discusses the balance between the new developments and the mom-and-pop shops in the area. He also addresses how the young culture has changed the scene. He speaks about the snowbird season, the new seasonality of Palm Springs and where he escapes in the summer because he lives in the “escape” city. Brian then chats about his favorite places to eat around town.
Kani Neves, Director of Hotel Operations at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa, talks about the evolution of the gaming operation, specifically in Southern California, and how the hotel has become a one-stop-shop with its spa. It’s a big part of the community, and Kani speaks about the challenges that come with a resort of this size and how it’s striving to overcome them on a daily basis. Kani also speaks about the amenities and putting luxury first.
Kristin Scharkey, Editor at Desert Magazine, joins Peter to chat about all things Palm Springs, including what surprised her about moving to the area after she used to come there as a young kid on holiday. She explains the Palm Springs legacy and how the younger inhabitants of the area are contributing to a myriad of changes. She chats about celebrities flocking to the desert and enjoying the summer in the desert. Kristin argues that you shouldn’t be afraid of the heat. She then reveals her hidden gems for food, drinks and local desert beer.
Ken Williams, Executive Chef at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage, says that never in 1,000 years would he have been in the desert. The New Jersey native speaks about living in Palm Springs, sourcing and his pleasant surprises regarding the culinary scene in the region. He reveals a recent dish that he put on the menu that he thought would fly off the shelves but did not as well as a surprise menu item that people are really enjoying. The chef also speaks about some of the more challenging ingredients and the arctic salmon.
Daniel Spencer, Director of Spa Operations at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage, shares the true resort experience that the spa brings to the property and how he defines wellness. He explains all of the ways that Agua Caliente’s spa goes beyond the traditional spa in terms of purification, environment and relaxation. Then, Daniel talks about essential oils, including its effects on the immune system, enhanced aromatherapy and indigenous ingredients. Then, he explains the treatments that make this spa a cut above the rest.
Jenna Blough, Writer & Author of Moon Joshua Tree & Palm Springs, discusses what drew her to Southern California and the desert from the East Coast. She further explains exactly what a Joshua tree is and how this tree looks like people waving at you. She reveals a new national park in California, her biggest surprise when she first started exploring the eastern part of the state and the sense of freedom that comes with being out there. Palm Springs has weathered all eras of tourism extremely well, Jenna argues. She explains that it has the highest concentration of mid-century architecture in the world, and it’s being preserved.