El Paseo, Palm Desert’s snoozfest of a shopping and entertainment district, has finally come to grips with the fact that, without some big time changes, the street will slowly fade away into obscurity.
While last year, everyone rejoiced at the city allowing balloons (Yeah, my people – balloons!) on the street, that has not made much of a difference. So, as the Desert Sun reports, the city had a study session with a planning consultant, Gibbs Planning, to figure out just why nearly 20 percent of its storefronts now sit empty. You would think for how much our tax dollars are paying city management, they could figure it out themselves, but here we are.
“Millennials aren’t shopping these luxury or mid-luxury stores,” Gibbs said during the presentation. “I think you need to be more walkable. I do know for a fact that better retailers are looking for highly walkable areas, wider sidewalks and lots of shade. The industry is getting very competitive.”
Gibbs Planning also recommended narrowing the road to one traffic lane in each direction, creating more gathering areas, encouraging restaurants to have more patio dining, and putting public art somewhere other than the middle of the damn road.
Suggestions not made, but probably should have, would be to stop making everything on the street and, let’s be honest here, everything in the city about the snow birds and old people. They should also do something about the terrifying four-way stops, feature live music that is literally anything but jazz, and ask for the stores to stay open more than just 11 am to 4 pm Tuesday through Saturday (closed from noon to 1 for lunch).