The Coachella Valley is booming. It’s got Palm Springs, the warmest winter temperatures in the US, a music festival where people can go and sweat and do drugs, and damn it, it even had the Salton Sea before that turned into a poisonous, arid dust bowl that blows huge amounts of toxic agricultural dust all over the place. So what else could it possibly need? A wave pool, of course! And it looks like it’s getting one, courtesy of Hawaiian legend Brian Keaulana and Honokea Surf Villages & Resorts.
“We would be truly honored to bring Honokea to the Coachella Valley,” says Keaulana. “Southern California has a great surf culture that has always been tied very closely to Hawaii, and the desert is such a special place. We are excited to combine these cultures into something authentic and truly unique.”
According to a press release that fell into my inbox last night, “Hawaii-based real estate development company, Honokea Surf Villages & Resorts, is looking to add a new ‘surf village’ concept to the Coachella Valley’s growing list of attractions.”
As one might expect, a “surf village” includes far more than just a wave pool. Let’s get it over with quick, though, because the other stuff is far less interesting. The press release says there’ll be “an adventure sports park, large events space, an organic farm, dining and shopping areas overlooking the surfing lake, and even a water-oriented boutique hotel.”
The pool, like NLand in Austin and pretty much all the other ones aside from Kelly’s, is going to use Wavegarden technology. While the Coors beer fortune footed the bill for NLand, Honokea found the site, drew up the conceptual design, the environmental systems, and did all the government and community relations, so they’re pretty well versed.
“But Alex,” you say, wringing your hands with worry. “All that water in the middle of a desert surely can’t be a good thing!” Well, you’re probably right, but Honokea Surf Village Coachella is trying its very hardest to make the smallest imprint possible while still essentially building a giant pool in the middle of a desert.
“The Honokea Surf Village Coachella will use approximately one-eighth the water currently consumed by each of the 124 golf courses in the valley,” reads the release. [We] will use non-potable water whenever possible and will apply to become one of the first aquifer recharge sites in the area.”
Apparently, this has been in the works for a while–two years, at least, and if the press release is to be believed, would generate upwards of a billion dollars over the next decade. If it goes through, the Surf Village will add somewhere around 400 jobs to the area for the construction and around 600 when it’s open. And, with any luck, will have a hand in emptying lineups to the west.
So, like they say: “go back to the valley, man.” It’s looking likely that you’ll be able to surf there, too.