La Quinta, CA’s Fritz Burns Park Was Once The Site Of A Posh Club

The now famous La Quinta Resort & Club was known many years ago as the La Quinta Hotel, which was founded in 1926.

The history of the land where Fritz Burns Park sits in La Quinta, CA is quite interesting.

In 1932, Harry Kiener bought several thousand acres of land around the La Quinta Hotel (now the La Quinta Resort & Club) and south into the cove.  He built “weekend homes” in the La Quinta area for $2,500 on 50 foot by 100 foot lots. There, he also built the Desert Club, which was opened on Thanksgiving Day 1937. The Desert Club offered a restaurant and swimming complex for members. S. Charles Lee designed the clubhouse to resemble a riverboat, with smokestacks and a curving stairway at each end.

According to a memoir by Julie Scott Hirsch, building the pool was a challenging experience. When the excavation reached what they expected to be the bottom of the pool, they ran into tops of an orchard. The amount of silt deposited on the orchard was testimony to the severity of flooding experienced by very early residents of the La Quinta area.

Membership in the Desert Club was offered as an incentive to those who bought homes and lots in La Quinta. The pool at The Desert Club was a real sanctuary for families who remained in La Quinta during the summer. Club activities also included tennis, horseshoes, archery, volleyball, shuffleboard and year-round theme parties.

Among some of the celebrities that were welcomed by the club include – Greer Garson, Irene Dunne, Rhonda Fleming, Virginia Mayo, Kirk Douglas, Shirley Booth, James Drury and General George S. Patton.

With change of ownership and unstable management, Desert Club hit a rocky road in the 1960’s. It suffered fire damage in 1965 and was completely repaired in 1966.

In March 1972, Desert Club was bought by Fritz Burns, a developer and owner of the Erawan Gardens Hotel in Indian Wells (now the Miramonte Resort and Spa).

Interest in Desert Club memberships waned as the desert communities grew. More people had swimming pools and country clubs developed.

The Desert Club closed in the mid-1980’s and the buildings were burned to the ground by the Riverside County Fire Department.

About the Author
Brad Schmett is La Quinta’s Real Estate Market Specialist. Brad and his team provide sellers with information and resources that help them best position their real estate for sale and they work with buyers to maximize their residential real estate investment. Brad can be reached at (760) 880-5845 or www.LaQuintaRealEstateInfo.com.

La Quinta’s Humana Challenge Golf Tournament Tickets On Sale Now!

PGA West Palmer Private Golf Course In La Quinta, CA.

La Quinta, CA’s Humana Challenge is now selling tickets for its PGA Tour event scheduled for January 19-22 – on the tournament’s website.

Tickets begin at $20. Volunteer information and registration, as well as other tournament data, can now be obtained at www.HumanaChallenge.com.

The 2012 Humana Challenge is a four-round, 72-hole event that will be played on the Palmer and Nicklaus Private courses at PGA West and La Quinta Country Club.

Online tickets range from one-day grounds tickets to full-week tickets, including clubhouse access. Tickets purchased before January 1 receive a discounted price.

Tickets can also be ordered by calling (888) 672-4673.

About the Author
Brad Schmett is La Quinta’s Real Estate Market Specialist. Brad and his team provide sellers with information and resources that help them best position their real estate for sale and they work with buyers to maximize their residential real estate investment. Brad can be reached at (760) 880-5845 or www.LaQuintaRealEstateInfo.com.

La Quinta’s Art Under The Umbrellas Kicks Off New Season

"Art Under The Umbrellas" Shows, Held In Charming Old Town La Quinta, Are Extremely Popular Events.

La Quinta Arts Foundation launched its 30th Anniversary season with the return of Art Under The Umbrellas on Saturday, October 29 set along the streets and lawn of Old Town La Quinta. Musician Steve Madaio & Friends entertained art patrons throughout the day as they strolled art-lined streets, and visited the many boutique shops and restaurants offered by Old Town La Quinta.

The seventh season opener hosted a total of 77 artists presenting newly created works in painting, glass, ceramic, jewelry, wood, sculpture, photography, fiber, and mixed media, including seventeen new artists selected to be introduced to patrons this season. This is a giant leap from the first “Umbrella” show that included only 24 exhibitors. Seven more events in the 2011/12 series are planned for select Saturdays, including November 26, and December 3, 2011; January 14, February 11 & 18, March 24, and  March 31, 2012.

“The growth of Art Under The Umbrellas has been one of La Quinta Arts Foundation’s most remarkable success stories,” stated La Quinta Arts Foundation Executive Director Christi Salamone. “Initiated with the intent to offer local and emerging artists a viable venue to professionally exhibit their art work, while honing community partnerships, this event has been a major stepping stone in many artists’ careers.”

La Quinta Arts Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization founded in 1982 driven by its mission of “Promoting and Cultivating the Arts.” In alliance with its Premier Sponsor, the City of La Quinta, La Quinta Arts Foundation provides a year round schedule of cultural events and programs benefiting students, artists, residents, and visitors in La Quinta and the greater Palm Springs area.

About the Author
Brad Schmett is La Quinta’s Real Estate Market Specialist. Brad and his team provide sellers with information and resources that help them best position their real estate for sale and they work with buyers to maximize their residential real estate investment. Brad can be reached at (760) 880-5845 or www.LaQuintaRealEstateInfo.com.

Al Geiberger To Be Golf Ambassador For La Quinta Resort & PGA West

La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA West announced an exclusive partnership with Al Geiberger – a golfing powerhouse with more than 20 victories on the PGA and PGA Senior Tours. He will serve as the official “Golf Ambassador”.

Along with his sons Bryan and Allen, Jr., Al Geiberger will be involved in special programs and speaking engagements for La Quinta Resort groups and guests, and PGA West club members.

Al, who is better known as “Mr. 59” and his sons have formed one of the most talented golf teaching teams in the industry today. In 1999, they were named “Golf Family of the Year” by the Golf Writers Association.

About the Author
Brad Schmett is La Quinta’s Real Estate Market Specialist. Brad and his team provide sellers with information and resources that help them best position their real estate for sale and they work with buyers to maximize their residential real estate investment. Brad can be reached at (760) 880-5845 or www.LaQuintaRealEstateInfo.com.

La Quinta / Palm Springs CA Area Home & Condo Sales Up Over 2010

The dog days of summer saw a slight uptick in the sales of existing homes and condos in the La Quinta / Palm Springs, California area in August over August 2010, the California Desert Association of REALTORS® recently reported.

Sales of existing homes in nine Coachella Valley cities totaled 597, up from 520 a year ago, while condominium sales totaled 167 in August, up from 155 in August 2010.

Fifty-four percent of the existing home sales were banked owned or from short sales in August, compared to 62 percent in August 2010.

“Single family median sales price fell but the condo median sales price was up slightly August over August. In both cases this has more to do with the mix of price categories that are selling and the number of sales in each category,” said Greg Berkemer, executive vice president of the California Desert Association of REALTORS®.

“It is a matter of what you buy where you buy,” Berkemer said of the local real estate market. “Even in the same city, what you buy price-wise and where you buy can make a difference.”

The median price for a single family home in August was $177,000, a drop from $209,000 in August 2010.

Condominiums, meanwhile, saw a median price of $144,000 in August, up from $141,000 in August 2010.

The August statistics, including median and average sale prices, are based on the industry standard Multiple Listing Service in tracking sales for buyers and sellers. This report reflects sales in La Quinta, Palm Springs, Bermuda Dunes, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, Indian Wells, Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage.

“The desert summer is not necessarily a good gauge for the future in any market – good or bad,” Berkemer said. “The “season” is working itself into place. As the weather cools and the seasonal population begins to reappear there is cause to be hopeful. For desert dwellers and businesses of all types, this is our time.”

About the Author
Brad Schmett is La Quinta’s Real Estate Market Specialist. Brad and his team provide sellers with information and resources that help them best position their real estate for sale and they work with buyers to maximize their residential real estate investment. Brad can be reached at (760) 880-5845 or www.LaQuintaRealEstateInfo.com.

La Quinta Mayor’s Cup Golf Tournament Set For September 16

The La Quinta Chamber of Commerce’s 14th Annual Mayor’s Cup Golf Challenge is scheduled for Friday, September 16. Classic competition includes: out-drive-the-Mayor (Don Adolph), closest-to-the-pin, hole-in-one, drive-for-dough, and putt-for-show. The format is a 4-person scramble. Check-in is at 7 a.m. with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. at Mountain View Country Club in La Quinta. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Martha’s Village & Kitchen.

Visit La Quinta Chamber of Commerce for more details and registration information.

About the Author
Brad Schmett is La Quinta’s Real Estate Market Specialist. Brad and his team provide sellers with information and resources that help them best position their real estate for sale and they work with buyers to maximize their residential real estate investment. Brad can be reached at (760) 880-5845 or www.LaQuintaRealEstateInfo.com.

CARETS Database Consolidates California Real Estate Listings

California real estate agents representing home buyers and sellers will now have greater access for house-searching or listing their homes for sale with a comprehensive real estate database  connecting more than 50 real estate associations, 93,000 real estate agents and 108,000 active listings from Ventura County to and including Orange County, it was announced today.

California Real Estate Technology Services, better known as CARETS, is the first ever consolidated database that allows real estate brokers and agents to obtain details on every property listing for sale or sold in most of Southern California and expanding into parts of Northern California.

This is the first real estate database of it kind in the nation. It is a ‘one-stop shop’ for brokers and agents and the buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants they represent, said Mike DeLeon, chairman, CARETS board of directors.

CARETS members automatically gain additional marketing of their non-residential properties on the commercial real estate listing platform and marketplace, CARETS Commercial,” he said.

Home sellers can now ask their real estate agents to extend the reach of their listings to potential buyers in several counties in the greater Southern California area. For buyers CARETS means their agents won’t have to contact several Multiple Listing Services to effectively search for properties.

About the Author
Brad Schmett is La Quinta’s Real Estate Market Specialist. Brad and his team provide sellers with information and resources that help them best position their real estate for sale and they work with buyers to maximize their residential real estate investment. Brad can be reached at (760) 880-5845 or www.LaQuintaRealEstateInfo.com.

La Quinta Area Bank Owned Home Sales Drop – Market In Recovery?

The percentage of single-family, bank owned and short sales compared to fair market sales fell by 7% in July 2011 while condominium distressed sales were one percent higher in July 2011 over July 2010, the California Desert Association of REALTORS® recently reported.

Sales of existing homes in nine Coachella Valley cities totaled 556, down from 632 a year ago, while condominium sales totaled 171 in July, down from 176 in July 2010. 51% of the existing home sales were bank owned or from short sales in July, compared to 58% in July 2010.

“Although distressed sales remain a major player, the trend line indicates that each month was a little less affected that the same month the prior year. The percentage of distressed sales may bounce up and down some: but an improving market recovery depends to a large degree upon this trend of fewer distressed sales to continue over the next several months,” said Greg Berkemer, executive vice president of the California Desert Association of REALTORS®.

Condominiums, meanwhile, saw a slight decrease in sales in July at 171 with a median price of $168,000, from July 2010 with sales at 176 and a median price of $190,350.

The July statistics, including median and average sale prices, are based on the industry standard Multiple Listing Service in tracking sales for buyers and sellers. This report reflects sales in Bermuda Dunes, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage.

“It is summer in the desert and the market continues to be both up and down depending on which city you’re looking at and mix of properties and prices that sold in a given month,” said Berkemer.

About the Author
Brad Schmett is La Quinta’s Real Estate Market Specialist. Brad and his team provide sellers with information and resources that help them best position their real estate for sale and they work with buyers to maximize their residential real estate investment. Brad can be reached at (760) 880-5845 or www.LaQuintaRealEstateInfo.com.

La Quinta Short Sales Get More Protection From New California Law

On July 18, 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 458. This new California law will further protect homeowners pursuing short sales by barring first and second lien holders from going after sellers for money owed after the short sale closes.

A short sale is a transaction in which the homeowner owes more on the loan than what the property is worth. Because the amount owed to the lien holder(s) will be “short” of what is currently owed by the borrower, the lien holder(s) must first approve the sale of property.

SB 458 builds on the protections offered by a previous law, SB 931, which required the first lien holder in a short sale to accept an agreed-upon payment as the full payment for the outstanding loan balance.

The previous law did not address junior lien holders. SB 458 brings certainty to the short sale process, ensuring that once a lender has agreed to accept a short sale payment on a property, all lien holders – including those in first position and junior positions – must consider the outstanding balance as paid in full. The homeowner will no longer be held responsible for any additional payments on the property.

About the Author
Brad Schmett is La Quinta’s Real Estate Market Specialist. Brad and his team provide sellers with information and resources that help them best position their real estate for sale and they work with buyers to maximize their residential real estate investment. Brad can be reached at (760) 880-5845 or www.LaQuintaRealEstateInfo.com.

“Humana Challenge” New Name For Golf Event In La Quinta, CA

There’s exciting news regarding the La Quinta, CA based golf tournament formerly known as The Bob Hope Classic. The popular tournament has a new name, a new format, a new trophy and an innovative new focus on health and well-being. The “Humana Challenge” has been announced as the new name of the event and will feature several changes to the format beginning in 2012.

Just recently the PGA TOUR and tournament host organization Desert Classic Charities unveiled an eight-year agreement with new title sponsor Humana and the William J. Clinton Foundation. While taking on a new focus on healthy lifestyle practices, the Humana Challenge will honor and celebrate the legacy of Bob Hope and his longtime role as tournament host, including the awarding of a newly created Bob Hope Trophy to the winner. Next year’s tournament will be held the week of January 16-22 with live and replay tournament coverage on the Golf Channel.

Besides the name change and new strategic direction, the tournament’s professional and amateur format will include the following changes:

  • A four day tournament, beginning Thursday of tournament week, with the first three rounds played in a pro-am format.
  • The pro-am teams will consist of one professional and one amateur playing in groups of four.
  • For each day of the three round pro-am competition, the professional will have a different amateur partner. Amateurs will compete in daily competitions as well as an overall, three day competition.
  • Round 4 will be professionals only with a normal 70+ ties cut.
  • The field size for the tournament will be 144 professionals, an increase of 16 professional spots from the previous format, and 144 amateurs.

Also, the number of courses being used in the rotation is being reduced from four to three. La Quinta Country Club, a tournament host since 1965, PGA West – Nicklaus Private and PGA West – Palmer Private. PGA West has been in the rotation since 1986. The city-owned SilverRock Resort course will no longer be utilized for the tournament.

About the Author
Brad Schmett is La Quinta’s Real Estate Market Specialist. Brad and his team provide sellers with information and resources that help them best position their real estate for sale and they work with buyers to maximize their residential real estate investment. Brad can be reached at (760) 880-5845 or www.LaQuintaRealEstateInfo.com.

Brad Schmett
Brad Schmett Real Estate Group
Luxury Homes by Keller Williams
47100 Washington Street, Suite 204
La Quinta CA 92263
760-880-5845 (Direct)
Brad@BradSchmett.com (E-Mail)
CalBRE License # 01275226

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