PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - More than 90,000 music lovers will soon arrive in the valley. The first weekend of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival begins Friday in Indio. It means big business for places near the venue and all the way to Palm Springs.
The most recent economic impact report released by concert promoter Goldenvoice shows the two weekends of Coachella produced more than $254 million for the valley in 2012. A large portion of that comes from hotels selling out and also making sure they reach out to the concert audience.
The sounds of the Coachella festival already began pumping through the valley, but the speakers aren't at the concert grounds in Indio, they're at the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs. Crews began setting up for a weekend full of DJ's, dancing and pool parties. The Hard Rock sold out for the first weekend of Coachella in January. "Any hotel here in the city will tell you they could sell another 200 to 300 rooms for these next couple of weekends," said Therese Everett, the director of market and public relations for the hotel. "Palm Springs is on the map."
Enough for concert-goers like Nicole Anderson to stay nearly 30 miles away from the venue to soak in what downtown has to offer. "It's really cool to be here," said Anderson. "It's got a really fun atmosphere plus all the young cool people are staying here, so that's where the party's at."
Several hotels in Palm Springs plan to host Coachella pool parties, including the Viceroy, which becomes the Guess hotel for the weekend. Again, every room's booked. "We spend pretty much all year talking about Coachella, it's the most profitable time of the year for hotels and resorts," said Olivia Prescott, the director of sales and catering for the hotel.
Down the street, the Saguaro hosts its Desert Weekender. Event organizer Caroline Hoste says the key is adding to people's concert experience not competing with it. "To connect as people, to hear great music and to rehydrate before going to the festival because as I said we are just a stepping stone before people go to the festival," said Hoste.
Hoste says the Coachella crowd in Palm Springs continues to grow every year and that's music to hotelier's ears. "We're just happy to have the business and happy to have a party!" said Everett.