Here is How to Really Fix the River at Rancho Mirage


River Rancho Mirage

The entertainment center that is The River at Rancho Mirage has not been a go-to spot in The Coachella Valley for some time – but, with one big change, it could be.

Earlier this week, The Desert Sun noted the changes coming the River in Rancho Mirage. They are:

  • A new water pump and drought friendly landscaping
  • Live jazz
  • Some social media accounts
  • 1 new store that sell a hodge podge of merchandise
  • A few covered parking spots
  • A fresh paint job

This announcement was met with a collective

Sorry if we all do not get too excited about some paint, shaded parking that will never be available, and yet another opportunity to fall asleep to live jazz (seriously though, enough with the live jazz already Coachella Valley!).

The issue here is that The River is not really addressing the big problems it is facing, including:

  1. The movie theater, which used to be the best in town, is facing huge competition from an upgraded Rancho 16 and the new La Quinta theater that will have a bar!  A bar!!!  Not to mention it is much easier to park at the other theaters.
  2. There is zero charm or friendliness to the center
  3. The city of Rancho Mirage treats anyone who goes there like a terrorist
  4. Parking at The River fucking blows
  5. The site plan is beyond terrible

Ahh yes, the site plan.  Here is where there needs to be a big change.

Below is a map from the River’s website.

River Rancho Mirage Site

Notice something that doesn’t belong there?  Something the screws up any sort of normal traffic flow for people at The River?

post office Rancho Mirage arrow

Yup, that damn post office!

The post office is something that should exist in every town, but should it really be right in the middle of your biggest entertainment, dining. and retail center?

So move it.

I do not care what you have to do or how much it costs to do it – just move them damn thing.  Hell, the old people who go to the post office every day will be happier with it in a place with less traffic anyway.

And once you are rid of it, you can put something else in its place (more on that in a moment) and, voila, walking AROUND the place  would actually make sense!!!!

Circle at the river

So now that the layout is fixed, what goes into where the post office was?

2 things:

  • A Dave and Busters or something Dave and Busters-like
  • A Bowling alley

Think about it.  The River has loads of restaurants and a movie theater, but needs something else for tourists, people on date night, or really anyone at all to do to stick around the place.

Dave and Busters would offer a fun place to hang and grab a beer and a bite – while a mid-Valley, modern bowling alley would be a huge addition for locals and tourists.

Parking would probably become more of an issue – so you might need to throw in a parking garage or two (hey, it is not my money I am spending on this idea) – the added bonus being spots in the lower levels would be shaded parking.

Would this be amazing for the center’s visitors, retailers, stores, owner, and tax revenues?  Most likely.

Would the city of Rancho Mirage ever let it happen?  Not in a million years.