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New Wave Pool DSRT Surf Breaks Ground in Palm Desert

New Wave Pool DSRT Surf Breaks Ground in Palm Desert

By Bob Marra / GPSBusinessInsider.com

In a significant milestone for the Southern California surfing community and the city of Palm Desert, developers recently broke ground on the highly anticipated DSRT Surf project in Palm Desert. This innovative development, situated adjacent to the Desert Willow Golf Resort, aims to establish a premier inland surfing destination, with a state-of-the-art Wavegarden Cove wave pool as its centerpiece. The project signifies not only a recreational boon for the region but also a substantial economic and environmental commitment.


A Long Journey to Groundbreaking

The DSRT Surf project has been years in the making. Initially announced in 2019 with a projected cost of $200 million, the development faced several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent logistical challenges. In early 2022, the Palm Desert City Council approved the final plans, paving the way for the groundbreaking ceremony held on May 24. Construction is now officially underway, with completion slated for the spring or summer of 2026.

John Luff, Managing Member of Beach Street Development and Operations, expressed his enthusiasm during the ceremony, stating, “Today marks an exciting moment for the Southern California surfing community and for the city of Palm Desert. DSRT Surf is introducing the largest Wavegarden Cove in the United States. The five-and-a-half-acre surf lagoon will offer world-class waves for both experienced veterans and first-time surfers.”

Economic Impact and Investment

DSRT Surf represents a significant investment in Palm Desert, both in terms of capital and economic potential. The project is expected to infuse over $100 million into the local economy. According to Eric Ceja, Director of Economic Development for Palm Desert, the development will generate approximately $26.9 million in tax revenue over the next 20 years and create around 400 jobs upon its completion. This influx of jobs and revenue is anticipated to bolster the local economy and provide new opportunities for residents.

Environmental Sustainability Initiatives

One of the standout features of DSRT Surf is its commitment to environmental sustainability. The developers have introduced the “Turf for Surf” program, which involves removing over one million square feet of turf from the Desert Willow Golf Resort to offset the water usage of the surf lagoon. This initiative is projected to yield water savings of 106.75 acre-feet per year, significantly more than the lagoon’s annual water demand of 73 acre-feet.

Doug Sheres, a managing member of the development group, highlighted these efforts during the groundbreaking ceremony. He noted that the surf lagoon’s water usage would be comparable to that of a single golf course hole, emphasizing the project’s minimal environmental footprint.

A Comprehensive Recreational Destination

Spanning 18 acres, DSRT Surf will offer a diverse array of amenities designed to create a comprehensive recreational experience. In addition to the 5.5-acre surf lagoon, the development will feature a four-story, 92-room hotel, 83 residential units including villas and stacked flats, pickleball courts, a skate park, a pool, and various dining and entertainment options. The surrounding Desert Willow Golf Resort will also benefit from landscaping enhancements, with 20 acres of turf being replaced by drought-tolerant plants.

The wave pool itself, powered by Wavegarden Cove technology, will cater to surfers of all skill levels. With different bays designed to produce waves suitable for beginners to experts, the lagoon will accommodate up to 70 surfers simultaneously. This versatility is expected to attract a wide range of surfing enthusiasts, that is likely to result in Palm Desert becoming known as a premier inland surfing destination.

Community Engagement and Future Prospects

DSRT Surf is more than just a recreational facility; it is a community-centric project designed to engage and benefit local residents. The development team has already begun partnering with local schools and youth organizations to promote surfing and water sports. Blake Hess, a partner with Beach Street Development and Operations, mentioned plans to involve local schools in DSRT Surf activities, building on existing relationships with coastal surfing events.

Mayor Pro Tem Jan Harnik lauded the project, emphasizing its potential to provide wholesome activities for local residents and attract tourists year-round. “We look forward to seeing all the healthy activities, all the great people who come here to enjoy it, our community members who now have something great to do, and our students, our young people who have something great to do during the summer,” Harnik said.

Context and Regional Significance

DSRT Surf is poised to significantly impact Greater Palm Springs’ recreational landscape. DSRT Surf’s advanced Wavegarden Cove technology is touted as a reliable and versatile surfing experience.


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