Produced by Kendall & Mark • 12/14/22

🕎 Happy Wednesday, again, and an early Happy Hanukkah to all who will be celebrating starting at sundown this Sunday. Chag Urim Sameach! 

🥶 Outlook: Expect highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s this coming week. Don't let those numbers fool you, though, it honestly seems like a "feels like" temperature of -20 in the morning. Brrrrrr.

🎶 Setting the Mood: "Two Weeks" by Grizzly Bear

First things first: An 'Airbnbust'? Not quite, but owners beware

This residence in Palm Desert, listed on Airbnb, is typical of what visitors are looking for in the Coachella Valley when they look for short-term vacation rentals.

Local vacation rental owners were the catalyst of a national discussion about the decline in bookings after their social media posts went viral.

Driving the news: Data shows occupancy per unit is way down across the country. The phenomenon even comes with its own hashtag — #airbnbust. But it all has to do with the math. Thanks to a flood of new property listings increasing the supply, some vacation rental owners are simply not seeing the results they expected. 

  • “Not a single booking in September or October,” said Ryan Babakhani, a local host. “It’s supposed to be the high season in [the California] desert. I’m considering cutting my losses and selling the house.”
What they're saying: “The number of bookings is not down. But we have 23% more listings in the U.S. today than we had last year,” said Jamie Lane, the vice president of research for AirDNA, a short-term rental analytics firm. “That means the number of bookings per available listing, or occupancy, is down pretty strongly off 2021 highs.”

In the Coachella Valley, occupancy is down as expected from the traditional festival season peak. Still, even with a year-over-year increase in new listings, the valley-wide occupancy rate remained steady at 55.5% — within 1% of the average occupancy rate in November 2021. 
  • That's the opposite of what's happening in most other markets in the country.
  • Even the average daily rate has increased 5% from $408 last year to $430 this year.
Yes, but: Bruce Hoban, co-founder and board member of an organization of local vacation rental owners, is wary of some of the data from AirDNA. He prefers to measure the health of the market by analyzing the revenue cities get from transient occupancy tax, which remains in good shape.
  • “Our demand still seems to be high,” Hoban said. “Hotels are sold out every weekend. Vacation rentals aren’t at 100% occupancy like that, but spring looks really good. We’ll do very [well] once we hit high season again.”
Bottom line: Katie Kay Mead, a local “superhost ambassador” for Airbnb, said when she looks at the short-term rental market, she sees a correction on the horizon, not a bubble about to burst. 
  • Great properties with great hosts are always going to do well, she said, but, “The people who bought a house for cheap and filled it with IKEA furniture and called it a day? They’re going to be in trouble.”
Read Kendall Balchan's full report here.

Next up: Indio wants to get creative with new outdoor library

Nature inspired this stunning street library in Bulgaria. Indio officials are using it for inspiration. 

Indio is looking for an artist or team of artists to create a sculptural outdoor library that will be installed within Shields Park.

How it’s done: City leaders are looking to the city of Varna, Bulgaria, and its outdoor library of 1,500 books for inspiration.

  • The budget for the project is $65,000.

  • The park is located in a residential area near the intersection of Avenue 46 and Shields Road.

Details: Indio officials envision a large shaded structure that houses people and books. Specifically, the city wants the artist to encourage reading and “celebrate the rich character and history of Indio” using things like local history.  

  • The park connects to the CV Link bike path, and the site of the outdoor library is one of the entrances to the city from the path.

The deadline for the proposal is 5 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2023. Click here to read more about the application.


This holiday season you can relax knowing your real estate team is working for you!


At TTK, we have been helping people buy and sell homes for over 20 years. Our local knowledge, integrity, and 100% dedication to our client's needs are just part of the experience working with TTK. 

Click through to meet the team! 

🗞️ In other news ...

🃏 The 'Sweet Spot Club' in Palm Desert is under scrutiny for offering services other than what it's licensed for, including massages and a cigar lounge. (KESQ)

🏗️ Desert Hot Springs officials approved plans for two hotels, retail shops and a 1 million-square-foot warehouse and distribution center on city land near Interstate 10. There's no guarantee it will all be built, however. (Desert Sun)

💗 Salem, a 19-year-old mountain lion who first came to The Living Desert in 2004, is being mourned after being compassionately euthanized earlier this week. (The Living Desert)

📅 See & do

Join the Rancho Mirage Observatory on Saturday for one of its regularly scheduled "public exploration" nights — in other words: your very own portal to the universe. 

What you'll experience: Visitors will be able to peer into the observatory's PlaneWave Instruments CDK 700 telescope, ask questions and learn fun facts from astronomers and volunteer docents. If the weather is good, you'll likely be able to see 100 to 350-times magnified views of planets, nebulae, star clusters and more. 

Details: The drop-in, open house-style event runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. No registration is necessary. You might have a short wait due to the observatory's capacity limits, but everyone will have a chance to get in. All details can be found here

📌 Also coming up

TED Talk Hangout 
Today | 1 p.m. | La Quinta Museum
At this event, you'll watch a TED Talk and then discuss. This month the topic is "How to discover your authentic self — at any age!" by Bevy Smith. 

Community Input & Education Session
Today | 3:30 p.m. | Desert Hot Springs Library
In this library event, the public is invited to participate and provide input on homelessness in Desert Hot Springs.

Santa Photo Meet-Up
Today | 4 p.m. | Cathedral City Library
Celebrate the holiday season by taking a photo with Santa. 

Desert Holiday III
This week | Desert International Horse Park, Thermal
Head out to the horse park in Thermal to watch their holiday competitions. Find the full schedule and prize list here

LifeStream Blood Drive
Friday | 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Rancho Mirage Public Library
Support the community by being a part of the library's blood drive. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and bring photo ID.

Cookies with Mrs. Claus
Friday | 5:30 p.m. | Bagdouma Park Community Center, Coachella
Make sweet holiday treats, like Christmas cookies, with Mrs. Claus.

Breakfast with Santa
Saturday | 8 a.m. | Miracle Springs Resort & Spa
The event includes pancakes, two eggs, potatoes and coffee / tea / lemonade. The proceeds will benefit a toy drive for local families in need. ($10)

Gingerbread Lane
Saturday | Noon | Old Town Artisan Studio, La Quinta
Old Town Artisan Studios has converted their art campus into a winter wonderland with dazzling displays, trimmed garland, twinkling lights and a 17-foot tree. 

Merry Movie Night: "The Santa Clause 2"
Saturday | 5 p.m. | The Gardens on El Paseo
Bring your own blankets and dress warmly for a Saturday night screening of "The Santa Clause 2." Make sure to purchase tickets before you go. 

Toy drive benefitting foster children
Sunday | 9 a.m. | Indio Certified Farmers' Market
Support the effort to make children happy this holiday season by bringing a new, unwrapped toy to the Indio farmers' market. 

Kings Club Barbershop Toy Drive
Sunday | 10 a.m. | The Kings Club Barber Shop, Cathedral City
Support the barbershop's toy drive at an event that runs until 2 p.m. 

WildLights at The Living Desert
Select dates in December | The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
It's that time of year again — the holiday lights are back at The Living Desert. Visitors can enjoy the zoo's annual "magical winter wonderland" on select dates throughout the month. 

And finally ...

From left, Charlotte Wallace, Blake Kevin Dwyer and Cecily Dowd show the right moves in the CVRep production of “Fun Home.”

If you're looking to attend one of the numerous staged productions in the valley, longtime entertainment writer and editor Bruce Fessier has a recommendation.

On tap: Fessier attended the CVRep production of "Fun Home" recently. And while he doesn't write many reviews these days, he was moved to write one this time. 

What he said: "It’s not a tear-jerker, but my wife and I cried. Because it’s so good. The audience (about two-thirds full for the Thursday opening) gave it a standing ovation.

  • Fessier specifically called out the music, the storyline, and the cast, and gave credit to director Adam Karsten and music director Michael Reno and their ability to move their pieces on the boards like chess masters.

Details: Catch this show through Dec. 18. Get tickets online here, via, or by calling 760-296-2966. Then prepare for the surprises Broadway director Phil McKinley has in store for the next CVRep show, “Dirty Blonde,” starting Jan. 17.

🥰 For Christmas this year, Kendall bought herself the comfiest sweatshirt/sweat pant set from Costco. It's the little things!

😤 Mark is dreaming of a Hawaiian Christmas, but sees that the airlines are playing the role of Scrooge with their prices.

📝 Miss a week? Read past newsletters here.

📣 Want to reach thousands with your message? Email us here.

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