New Hotel Project Stalled By Reputation of Former Rowdy Hot Spot

New Hotel Project Stalled By Reputation of Former Rowdy Hot Spot

Martín Di Felice

Palm Springs, CA

The Hacienda Cantina in Palm Springs created a lot of complaints by nearby residents. The pool party no longer exists, but its reputation is impacting how the city looks at similar venues. And that means trouble for one project in particular.

The project is called Infusion Beach and it’s a re-branding of the Monroe Hotel in Palm Springs. Project managers have tried since 2016 to get the new hotel off the ground, but before they can move forward, they need the planning commission to sign off. And they say that is proving to be difficult.

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"It was a music and pool venue and the music bounced off the mountains into residential neighborhoods and people couldn’t enjoy their homes," said Kathy Weremiuk, Chair of the Palm Springs Planning Commission. 

"Comparing us to the Hacienda really doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. This project doesn’t even have subwoofer. It has sound mitigators in place. It can’t make the noise that the Hacienda made," said Jim Hollenbeck, spokesperson for Infusion Beach.

Once the sound issue was addressed, the planning commission voiced concern over parking. So Infusion Beach leased the former Dinks parking lot to accommodate their guests. 

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"The project is more delicate because of the noise and the parking variance. Both of those are serious issues for the city," said Weremiuk.

"I’ve been to all the hearing and they did an actual study of the project and the Infusion group seemed to meet everyone of their needs and maybe even go a step further than that. So I honestly don’t understand the hold up," said Hollenbeck.

The hold up now has to do with the architecture of the project.

"I think whoever the architect is RSHA, they really need to provide much stronger documentation," said planning commissioner Douglas Hudson.

"There is nothing interesting or elegant or architectural or welcoming about that facade," said planning commissioner Michael Hirschbein.

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"If the architectural issues can be resolved and we come to an agreement on what the appropriate level of community benefit is, yes, I think we will be at a point where we can make a final decision on the project," said Weremiuk.

Infusion Beach project managers will meet with the planning commission for an official hearing on February 28th.