RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -

The River in Rancho Mirage will run dry, again.  The popular dining and shopping center began the process of draining its main water feature.  The "river" provides the backdrop for patio seating at Acqua Pazza.  Manager Michelle Gernand says it's one of the best seats in the house.   "Not only do you have a great view of the mountains, but you have a great view of the river," said Gernand.

The property owners at the River began draining the water to perform preventative maintenance.  Blue pumps can be seen in the main feature between Babe's and Cheesecake Factory, moving the water to another area.  When that is complete, the water near the Yard House will be drained and tested.  Last October, the area had a pipe break and lifted the concrete.  They again drained the water to fix the area.  This year, they want to make sure it never happens again.  "It's been running with no problems for the last 8 months, but we want to get ahead of it," said the property's controller, Tyler Ingle.  "Make sure everything's working properly before we get into our main season."

It could take several months to complete the process.  Gernand says Acqua Pazza's business may take a hit from the dry river, but it's better now before people start flooding back into the valley.  "You still have a beautiful view of the mountains," said Gernand.  "Considering it is very hot in the desert, it is a good time that they're doing this."

Management at the River says they can't discuss the cost of the project, but it's certain to be worth getting back its main attraction.  

 All of the stores and restaurants will remain open during the project.