Incorporated on July 14, 1967, Indian Wells was the 400th incorporated city in California and the 16th in Riverside County. At the time, it was one of the state's smallest communities with just 285 registered voters.
In 1986, the city took a major step toward becoming the international resort destination it's known as today. Two 18-hole championship Ted Robinson-designed golf courses opened at the city-owned Golf Resort at Indian Wells, as did the adjacent Hyatt Grand Champions Resort. Three years later, the seven-story Renaissance Esmeralda Resort opened on the east side of the golf resort. Together with the Miramonte and Indian Wells Resort hotel, the Indian Wells resort properties are fabulous for vacations and group functions.
During the 1980s, the city also took major steps to beautify the former stage trail. Overhead utility lines were under-grounded, frontage roads were removed, and sidewalks, grassy mounds and date palms were installed. In 1990, the Master Plan for Indian Wells' Highway 111 corridor won a national Citation for Excellence in Urban Design from the American Institute of Architects. The plan recommended land use, circulation, development and landscape as part of an integrated project.
Aptly named, Indian Wells began some 150 years ago as an Indian village located near one of three hand-built wells spread throughout the Coachella Valley. The story of how this Indian well, an oasis in the parched desert for countless dwellers and travelers, became known as an oasis of affluence ? or as an LA Times writer once put it, "a sequined sand pile for the golf elite" ? is at once typical of the western migration in America and yet unique to Indian Wells.
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