Indio (the Spanish word for Indian) is a city in Riverside County, located in the Coachella Valley 23 miles east of Palm Springs, and 127 miles east of Los Angeles. The City of Indio grew into existence, starting in 1876, because of the need for a halfway point between Yuma, Arizona and Los Angeles where the Southern Pacific Railroad could refill its engines with water. The first permanent building in Indio was the Southern Pacific Depot station and hotel.
Although Indio started as a railroad town, the local economy later revolved around agriculture. Today, real estate is among the largest of Indio’s industries. #indio #homes #forsale
Indio developments and neighborhoods include: Bella Vida, Desert Collection, Desert Trace, Foxstone, Fred Waring, Generations, Haciendas, Indio Blvd, Indio Blvd / Jackson Street, Las Brisas, Miles-Clinton, Montecello II, Mountain Estates, North Indio, Pallazo, Paradiso, RCB Resort, Regency Park, Sandhurst Cove, Shadow Hills, Shadow Hills Villas, Shadow Ranch, Silverwood, Sonora Wells, Sun City, Sun Gold, Sun Gold Park, Talavera andTerralago,
The USDA built the “Date Station” in Indio in 1907 and performed scientific research on the fruit that grew to be a major part of Indio culture. This research helped turn the Coachella Valley into the leader of date production with exports shipped all the way to the middle east- the County Fair became known for its theme featuring dates and Middle Eastern styles.
Coachella and Thermal became larger cities than Indio for a time, but Indio retained the name as the “Hub of the Valley”, and by the 1930’s it was a thriving city which outpaced its neighbors and incorporated. On September 6, 1930, storekeeper Fred Kohler received the first official business license from the city. Visiting soldiers from Patton’s training grounds in Chiriaco Summit located 30 miles to the east also helped the city to grow. After the recession of the late 2000s, the local economy has rebounded and wealthier residents have moved in fueling something of a real estate boom.
High mountain ranges on three sides of the Coachella Valley contribute to its year-round warm climate, with some of warmest winters west of the Rockies. Indio has a warm winter and hot summer climate. Low temperatures in the winter average a mild 62°F, but summer highs can reach 120°F during the day time and night lows often stay above 82°F. Average annual precipitation is under 4 inches with at least 348 days of sunshine per year.
Indio has its own police department. The city contracts for fire and paramedic services with the Riverside County Fire Department through a cooperative agreement. Indio has 4 fire stations housing 4 engine companies, 3 paramedic ambulances and 1 truck company.
Year-round agriculture and tourism are the two major sources of revenue for the city with the majority of tourism between October and May. Indio is one of Southern California’s most important agricultural regions, and still grows most of the nation’s crop of dates. The area has seen some decline in agriculture however, as new residential development has pushed the date and citrus groves and vegetable fields to the south and southeast of the city. Travelers from around the world still can stop by Shields Date Gardens though, where a large retail store is still maintained next to State Highway 111 in Indio. Over the past decade, most new jobs have been in the retail and hospitality industries with many hotel and golf resorts being built in the area. There is some light industry in the city dating back to the 1960’s with companies producing ammunition for the U.S. military, train engines for Southern Pacific, and even moon rover and computer parts for the Apollo moon landing program.
Many corporations have also located offices in indio because of the low cost and easy access to major transportation routes. Some of the businesses include fruit packing and shipping firms, United States Filter Corporation, Guy Evans Inc., Dimare Fruit Co., West Coast Turf, Sun World Inc.; and move-in companies such as Borden, Coca-Cola, Ernie Ball, Ernst and Young, Ferguson, Fulton Distributors, Guthy-Renker, Pulte Homes, Sunrise Company, SunScape Tech and Tala Industries.
There are two Native American owned casinos in and near Indio: the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, owned by the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, and the Spotlight 29 Casino, owned by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band.
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Arts and culture
The Indio Chamber of Commerce has made the city’s official nickname “The City of Festivals” because of the many festivals and special events held there annually. Two major annual festivals held here are the National Date Festival and the Indio International Tamale Festival.
The Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival are held each February at the fairgrounds, located on Highway 111 in the heart of Indio. Since 1947, this festival has celebrated the the Coachella Valley date fruit crop because of its importance to the regions economy and culture.
The Tamale Festival is held each December on the streets of Old Town Indio and is one of the world’s largest tamale festivals with 120,000 in attendance for the Dec. 2000 event. The festival also once held the record for the world’s largest tamale, over 1 foot in diameter and 40 feet in length!
The Riverside County Fairgrounds also hosts various events year round such as music concerts, 4×4 monster truck rallies, rodeos or other special events.
In 1993, Pearl Jam performed a concert at the Empire Polo Club in Indio and six years later the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was born. Coachella has become an annual event that brings bands and musicians known around the world to the desert, including: AC/DC, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns N’ Roses, Prince, Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Radiohead, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Pixies, The Cure, The White Stripes, Jay-Z, Tool, Beastie Boys, Jane’s Addiction, Roger Waters and hundreds more. In May 2007, the promoters of Coachella started Stagecoach, a two-day country music festival held the weekend following the Coachella. Performers have included George Strait, Kenny Chesney, the Eagles, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Kid Rock.
Indio is also the site of the annual Southwest Arts Festival, the Cabazon Indian National Pow Wow, the Heritage Festival at the Coachella Valley History Museum, and many more.
Some other points of interest are the Coachella Valley History Museum on Miles Avenue in Indio which has a two-acre campus, that includes the Smiley-Tyler House, built in 1926, the 1909 Schoolhouse, and the Date Museum dedicated to the history and development of the fruit (the only date museum in the world), plus gardens and archives preserving historical artifacts of the Coachella Valley. Visitors can also find 10 murals around the city, painted on the sides of various buildings in old town and a water reservoir tank on Monroe Street depicting the city’s history and cultural roots.
Indio is served by two public school districts: Desert Sands Unified and on the city’s south eastern corner, Coachella Valley Unified. Indio’s six elementary and two middle schools are highly rated under the California Distinguished Schools program. Because of Indio’s growing population and above-average number of young people with families, the two school districts are expanding, with plans on building more schools, along with remodeling the older ones with new buildings and designs.
Indio Middle School is one of 18 high-performing schools in California recognized as academically excellent, developmentally responsive, socially equitable, and structured for success.
Desert Sands Unified School District
ELEMENTARY: Carrillo Ranch, Dr. Reynaldo J. Carreon Jr. Academy, Amelia Earhart International Studies, John Adams, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Herbert Hoover, Andrew Jackson, Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, James Madison, James Monroe, Theodore Roosevelt, Martin Van Buren, and Horizon Elementary (independent studies).
MIDDLE/JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLS: Colonel Mitchell Paige Middle School; La Quinta Middle; Desert Ridge Academy; Thomas Jefferson; Indio Middle; John Glenn ; and Horizon Middle (independent studies).
HIGH SCHOOLS: Indio High; La Quinta High; Shadow Hills; Amistad High, a continuation school; and Horizon High (independent studies).
ADULT SCHOOL: GED TEST preparation, ESL Beg/Int/Adv classes, Citizenship classes, a Language lab, and more.
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Coachella Valley Unified schools
ELEMENTARY: Mountain Vista Elementary.
MIDDLE/JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLS: Cahuilla Desert Academy.
HIGH SCHOOLS: Coachella Valley High and Desert Mirage High School, both in Thermal.
Grace Academy (K-8), Indio Christian Center (1-12), River Springs Charter School (K-12), Our Lady of Perpetual Help (PK-8), Trinity Lutheran Child Development Center (PK, K) and Christian School of the Desert (PK-12), located in nearby Bermuda Dunes.
College of the Desert commonly referred to by its initials C.O.D, is the Coachella Valley’s community college. Riverside County has a Regional Occupational Program facility in Indio that provides vocational educational courses in the Coachella valley’s job market.
The California Desert Trial Academy School of Law was approved by the California State Bar as an unaccredited fixed facility law school in Indio and is currently holding classes in the County Law Library in Indio while plans move forward on the school constructing its own campus buildings in downtown Indio.
Bermuda Dunes Airport is on the north-western border of Indio, along I-10 just west of Jefferson Street. It serves small private planes, air carriers and commuter jets. The Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal just a few minutes from Indio is used for cargo planes to ship agricultural products. There is also on the four-lane California State Route 86S expressway for international traffic. The closest airport with regularly scheduled commercial passenger service is Palm Springs International Airport, about 20 miles away.
The Greyhound and Amtrak passenger buses have a highly used bus depot in downtown Indio, where buses stop by regularly on the way to stops in Southern California, Arizona and the Mexican border. A recently approved plan for a new transportation center for Greyhound and Amtrak will provide upgraded facilities and services. The city is served by the local bus line SunLine Transit Agency (“SunBus”), which also services much of the Coachella Valley. Highway 111 runs through the city which connects the northern end with the I-10 in Whitewater, CA to the southern end in Mexicali.
John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital is a General Acute Care Hospital in Indio with Basic Emergency Services. One of three hospitals in the Coachella Valley, JFK expanded services in 2005 adding more surgical rooms, intensive care units and a new concrete emergency heliport.
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Parks and recreation
The city of Indio operates 20 public parks, a community recreation center, a senior center located one block from the new teen center, and a Desert Park wildlife refuge north of 40th and 42nd Avenues.
- City of Indio Park
- Miles Avenue Park
- Doug York Plaza
- Downtown Indio Park
- Fiesta Tamale Park
- Indio Teen Center and Park
- South Jackson Park with Pawley Pool facility, a soccer field, a little league baseball stadium and a YMCA/Boys & Girls club
- North Jackson Park
- Tingman Park
- Dominguez Park
- DrCarreon-Nobles Ranch Park-Playground with water tower arts mural
- Yucca Park-Playground
- Cahuilla Park
- Shields/Westside Park-Playground
- George S Patton Park
- Hjorth Park-Playground
- Mulligan Dog park
Golf Clubs / Courses
The Landmark Golf Club now known as Terra Lago, Plantation, Heritage Palms, Sun City Shadow Hills, Indian Springs, Indian Palms, and the Indio (municipal) Golf Club.
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