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La Quinta is a resort city in Riverside County, California, USA, specifically in the Coachella Valley between Indian Wells and Indio. The population was 23,694 at the 2000 census. The Robb Report credits La Quinta as the nation's leading golf destination. Among those destinations is the La Quinta Resort and Club, a resort dating to 1926 and famous as the spot in which director Frank Capra penned the screenplay of Lost Horizon. The Tom Fazio-designed golf course at The Quarry at La Quinta is ranked among the top 100 golf courses in the United States. In January 2008, the Arnold Palmer Classic Course at the city's SilverRock Golf Resort, became one of the four host golf courses for the annual Bob Hope Chrysler Classic PGA golf tournament.
The area of La Quinta was first established in the early 18th century by Spanish conquistadores under the command of Captain Juan Bautista De Anza, as the fifth resting point for travellers along the route from present-day Mexico to the San Gabriel Missions of Los Angeles and present-day Riverside and San Bernardino 60–100 miles away. The words "la quinta" are Spanish, translating to "the fifth". More specifically, the word "quinta" is known in Mexico as a type of hacienda. Spanish and later Mexican settlement in the "East Valley" (Eastern Coachella Valley) was sparse, most residents were members of the indigenous Cahuilla tribe. The earliest records of any inhabitation of La Quinta and other communities was in 1823, after Mexico declared independence from Spain, prior to California's annexation by the United States in 1848.
In the late-19th century and early-20th century (1880–1920), agriculture developed in present-day La Quinta and "East Valley" by pre-modern (mountain water runoff or open water springs) and modern irrigation techniques. At the time, California and federal land surveyors declared the sand dunes uninhabitable, only the hard rock ground of the "Marshall Cove" held potential farming and residential development.
In 1927, Walter Morgan established the La Quinta Resort at the northern section of "Marshall Cove", as a type of secluded hideaway for nearby Hollywood's celebrities and socialites. The Resort was the site for the Coachella Valley's first golf course, coinciding with the construction and pavement of State Route 111 in the 1930s. Further expansion of Washington Street in the 1950s and 1960s connected La Quinta with US Highways 60 and 99 (became Interstate 10 in the 1970s).
As nearby desert cities grew to capacity, La Quinta's growth rose dramatically by the mid-1990s, which led to its incorporation as a city in Riverside County in 1982.[dead link] In the 1980 census, La Quinta had 4,200 residents, then increased to 11,215 by 1990 in the city's early phases of residential area growth. Once predominantly a part-time community until the early-1990s, more full-time residents live in La Quinta to make it possibly more populous than Palm Springs by 2006, according to some demographers.
La Quinta is located at  According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 32.2 square miles (83.4 km²), of which, 31.8 square miles (82.2 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.1 km²) of it (1.37%) is water. The city's elevation is 56 feet (20 m) above sea level.(33.675373, -116.297391).
The most prominent feature of the La Quinta area is its Santa Rosa Mountains. Visitors to Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim, California can be treated to a brief glimpse of the foothills in one of the park's attractions: Soarin' Over California. The "Palm Springs" segment of Soarin' Over California was actually shot at the world-famous PGA West golf complex in La Quinta. The Santa Rosa Mountains (California) are nestled against the golf course and can be seen easily in the segment.
The area is very close to the earthquake-causing San Andreas Fault, with some companies offering jeep tours to the fault line.
La Quinta has a warm winter/hot summer climate: Its average annual high temperature is 89 °F (32 °C) and average annual low is 60 °F (16 °C) but summer highs above 108 °F (42 °C) are common and sometimes exceed 120 °F (49 °C), while summer night lows often stay above 82 °F (28 °C). Winters are warm with daytime highs between 72–85 °F (22–29 °C). Under 5 inches (130 mm) of annual precipitation are average, with over 348 days of sunshine per year. The hottest temperature ever recorded there was 126 °F (52 °C) on August 20, 1995.
La Quinta is in the Coachella Valley and is relatively close to all major cities in that valley, including:
The city enjoys a healthy tourism industry, especially during the cooler winter months in which "snowbird" tourists arrive. The most prominent industry is golfing with more than twenty golf courses, including the world-famous PGA West, which has hosted prestigious tournaments such as The Skins Game, Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, The Grand Slam of Golf, The Legends of Golf, as well as the PGA Tour Qualifying School. La Quinta has increased the number of retail shopping centers, both discount (Target and Home Depot), and high-end retailers (Kohl's and Stein Mart) brought millions of revenue dollars to the city, and the city council hopes for La Quinta to share a reputation for shoppers like Palm Desert (El Paseo) and Palm Springs (the Village and Palm Canyon) by the end of the decade.
In addition to standard service industries, La Quinta is the site of the first Wal-Mart Supercenter in California. Moreover many residents work for the tourist industries in hotels, resorts, golf courses, and nearby Vegas-style casinos, such as: Spa Resort Casino, Agua Caliente Casino, Spotlight 29, Fantasy Springs and Augustine Casino. There are many service industry jobs related to the construction, hotel, landscaping, and retail industries. La Quinta has sought to bring in high-paying professional businesses to the city and has benefited from neighboring cities' growth (Indio, Palm Desert and Palm Springs). The city's downtown commercial district is officially known as "The Village." The Village District includes private commercial developments such as "Old Town" and "Plaza Calle Tampico," and contains many professional offices, the City museum, small tourist-oriented shops and boutiques, and several restaurants.
As of the census of 2000, there were 23,694 people, 8,445 households, and 6,553 families residing in the city. The population density was 746.2 people per square mile (288.1/km²). There were 11,812 housing units at an average density of 372.0/sq mi (143.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.51% White, 1.42% African American, 0.72% Native American, 1.88% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 13.85% from other races, and 3.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 32.01% of the population.
There were 8,445 households out of which 38.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.6% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.4% were non-families. 17.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.16, above national average of 2.35 according to the 2000 United States Census.
In the city the population was spread out with 29.1% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $54,552, and the median income for a family was $56,848 (these figures had risen to $72,452 and $82,168 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $40,553 versus $31,627 for females. The per capita income for the city was $27,284. About 5.0% of families and 7.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.1% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.
In the state legislature La Quinta is located in the 37th Senate District, represented by Republican Bill Emmerson, and in the 80th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Manuel Perez. Federally, La Quinta is located in California's 45th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +3 and is represented by Republican Mary Bono Mack.
The city of La Quinta is under contract with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department for law enforcement. It has a station in Indio, as well as two substation located within the city of La Quinta itself.
The city also has a contract for fire and emergency services with the Riverside County Fire Department through a cooperative agreement with CAL FIRE (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection). It is currently served by three fire stations.
The city is part of the SunBus line, which services much of the Coachella Valley.
The city has a public library that began operations in 2005.
The Desert Sands Unified School District services the entire city of La Quinta, and maintains the following public schools:
The city has been home to a number of celebrity residents, including the late Merv Griffin. Griffin was the driving force behind the annual La Quinta Arts Festival, one of the country's leading plein air art shows, and was instrumental in the development of Griffin Ranch, La Quinta's first equestrian-oriented resort residential neighborhood. Three city restaurants are owned by notable residents including professional golfer Arnold Palmer, The Arnold Palmer Restaurant, one co-owned by actor Clint Eastwood, The Hog's Breath Inn, and Devane's Old Town, owned and operated by actor William Devane. All three restaurants are located in the La Quinta Village.
Additionally, the musician/actor Tyler Hilton was a former resident of La Quinta, and attended La Quinta High School. La Quinta is said to be the hometown of actress Vanessa Marcil, but her official web site states Indio is her birthplace and attended Indio High School. Colonel Mitchell Paige is a World War II Medal of Honor veteran resided in nearby Palm Desert had a middle school in La Quinta named for his honor. Actress Samantha Lockwood was born in La Quinta and went to Palm Valley High School. NFL Football player Jeff Webb went to La Quinta High School, though he lived in Indio. Singer Jack Jones now lives in La Quinta. Olympic ice figure skater Dorothy Hamill lived in La Quinta. Other famous seasonal residents include motivational speaker Tony Robbins, 1970's-80's singing couple Captain and Tennille (Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille), and a number of professional golfers including Arnold Palmer.
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