Indio, Calif. -

Don Bateman, like plenty of movie goers in Indio, always have a tough decision when they want to go to the movies. "If I want a romantic type of outing, then I'll go with my wife, take her to The River," Bateman said. "If I just want to hang out and run into people I see every day, then I go right over the bridge and go to the movie theatre." Now Bateman and company will get the best of both worlds, as Fantasy Springs Resort Casino is using its empty space to build a brand-new 16-screen Maya Cinemas movie theatre.

Maya Cinemas has enriched city locations where they have planted theatres, and believes Indio will continue the trend. The 70,000 square-foot facility will bring Dolby Atmos Sound, the first sound system of its kind in the county, as well as plush leather, super-wide recliner and rocker seats. Businesses around the area will benefit from the extra foot traffic, including the nearby Holiday Inn Express, right next to Fantasy Springs. General manager Charlie Robles said it's been a long time coming. "We're excited. It's going to be more business for the hotel, more business for Indio, more business for the (Fantasy Springs) casino as well."

The movie theatre is expected to be completed in the fall of 2015, and that won't be the only thing Fantasy Springs is adding. A 130,000 square-foot retail shopping center is in the works, set to break ground once the major theatre equipment is in place. According to documents obtained by News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2, Phase Two has Fantasy Springs adding more retail, expanding their existing parking garage, and adding a new sky-scraping hotel building. The hotel will also revamp their golf clubhouse and add casitas to a fitness and spa area. But the movie theatre and shopping center are the big draws and should impact the Indio community as a whole. "I think it is excellent because it gives business owners a chance to be able to target that audience," Bateman said. He went on, adding, "it also gives people that live here and invested in this area places to go and spend their money and don't have to go elsewhere."


More business for the city that keeps residents right where they should be; a win-win scenario for Indio and its community.