Vacation rental hotline calls, citations down compared with 2020 surge

Roughly six percent of the housing units in the city are currently used as vacation rentals, a figure mostly unchanged for the past four years.

Vacation rental hotline calls, citations down compared with 2020 surge

An increase in vacation rental hotline activity in Palm Springs that accompanied the pandemic lockdowns of 2020 appears to have crested.

For the three months ended June 30, city code enforcement data shows the volume of calls to the city’s vacation rental hotline fell approximately 60 percent compared with the same time last year.

In the second quarter of 2020, there were 664 calls to the hotline, of which 364 were qualified. This year during the second quarter, there were 367 hotline calls, of which 198 were qualified. Nonqualified calls include simple inquiries from the public, disconnected calls, and calls regarding properties that are not registered as vacation rentals.

Citations for code violations have also been down, although at a slightly lower percentage. In the second quarter of 2020, there were 36 citations issued for alleged code enforcement violations. In the second quarter of this year, 33 were issued. Most of those citations were for alleged noise violations due to music heard beyond property lines.

Also notable is the total volume of citations issued for everything from failure to register a vacation rental to failure to post a permit number online. Last summer saw a spike in those types of citations. A similar spike has not repeated so far this summer. Data shows there was an average of 52 total citations issued per month between June and August 2020. In June and July 2021, there has been an average of 28 total citations per month.

While hotline and citation activity is decreasing, the total number of registered vacation rentals in the city increased 9.5 percent year-over-year. The latest figures show 2,225 registered vacation rentals in the city, including homes, condominiums, and other dwellings. This time last year, there were 2,024. Roughly six percent of the housing units in the city are currently used as vacation rentals, a figure mostly unchanged for the past four years.

The increase in calls and citations last summer was most likely a byproduct of the pandemic. Due to international travel restrictions, Palm Springs became a hotspot for Southern Californians and others from nearby states who flocked to vacation rentals and hotels. The increase in visitors helped bolster coffers, as Palm Springs averaged 12 percent more occupancy tax revenue in July, August, and September 2020 compared with the year prior.

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Retired Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes. (Photo courtesy City of Palm Springs)

END OF AN ERA: Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes has officially retired, ending a 27-year career in law enforcement in the city. Reyes, a United States Marine Corps veteran, was first hired as a patrol officer in 1993. He served as a detective, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain before being appointed police chief in February 2016. “There aren’t enough words to describe the rewards and sacrifices made during a career that started at the bottom and went all the way to the top,” the police department wrote. “Chief Reyes, you’re clear 10-7 sir. Enjoy your retirement.” Capt. Melissa Desmarais will serve as the department’s acting chief until a permanent replacement for Reyes is hired. Want to thank the chief? Beginning Monday, August 23 and lasting through Friday, September 3, a large “Thank You” card will be placed in front of the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce headquarters, 190 W. Amado Road, from 9 AM until 4 PM, for the community to sign.

SCHOOL COVID: As of this morning, the Palm Springs Unified School District is reporting 88 cases of COVID-19 among students and staff. Schools in Palm Springs account for 20 of those cases, including 14 cases among students and six among staff. The most cases in a city school were reported at Palm Springs High School, where 11 students and two staff members are reportedly infected.


MIZELL EVENTS: Painting, Wii bowling, and fitness classes are offered today at the Mizell Center, 480 S. Sunrise Way, starting at 8 AM. Today’s complete schedule can be found here.


COMMUNITY CLEANUP: A member of the community is encouraging others to meet her Saturday morning in front of the fountain on the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Alejo Road at 8 AM to clean trash from city streets. The city is supplying trash grabbers, trash bags, and sharps disposal containers. Ariana Cuttone, who is organizing the event, said she will be provide gloves and water for anyone who comes to help.

INDOOR MARKET: The Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 8 AM until 12:30 PM and has moved indoors for the summer. The market is located inside the Palm Springs Pavilion, 401 S. Pavilion Way. This weekend will see the return of mangoes to the market, courtesy of Wong Farm. Both Valencia Pride and Keitt varieties will be available, and they always go fast. The farmers will also be bringing some mango trees for shoppers to see.

SING-ALONG: The Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 East Baristo Rd., and Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus are collaborating for nine weeks on “The All Summer Long Snazzy Sassy Songsational Summerific Sing-A-Long” every Saturday through September 11. A social hour is held at 6 PM and screenings start at 7 PM. Tickets are available here. Rosemary Galore is the mistress of ceremonies each week, encouraging the audience to sing and join in the fun.

MEET-UP: The Palm Springs Sunshine Sisters will be riding the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway on Sunday afternoon to enjoy cocktails at the top of the tram and cool off. All females who want to meet new friends are eligible to join the event. It begins at 4:45 PM near the parking lot, located at 1 Tram Way. Registration is required by going here.


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