Opening of Cathedral City Community Amphitheater Park Enhances Arts & Entertainment District
CATHEDRAL CITY — The long-awaited opening of the $4.5 million Cathedral City Community Amphitheater Park will serve as a magnet for residents and visitors alike to the revitalized downtown district and commons area.
Amenities in the 2.5 acre park include a Tot Lot which has a jungle gym for the children, outdoor picnic seating, lush green grass, walking paths, and single-stall restrooms. The park will be open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week.
Mayor Raymond Gregory called it a “major jewel” of the city.
“Long before I was on the City Council the city has been trying to develop and put all of the desirable components in place for an arts and entertainment district,” Gregory told Uken Report,
Among the many projects that have been brought to the downtown are the new civic center complex and town square. This area includes city government offices, the police department, a cinema complex, a repertory theatre, casino, restaurants, a parking structure, and recreational amenities such as the Gregory S. Pettis Fountain of Life, and the Cathedral City Commons festival lawn, which provides grass areas for outdoor enjoyment and festival events.
To further enhance the downtown, the City dedicated vacant land next to the Civic Center for what is now called Cathedral City Community Amphitheater Park.
“With a venue of that size, the Amphitheater is a cornerstone of that,” Gregory said. “The city is very proud of its festivals and this gives us a more permanent location of our own other than the festival lawn, which has been great, but this gives us a more permanent location to hold those.”
In April 2019, the City Council voted to award a $1.675 million contract to GKK Works/Cannon Design to construct the stage structure for the Amphitheater.
The park, which is located at 68526 Avenida Lalo Guerrero near City Hall, has a seating capacity of 2,909 people for concerts.
The city received a $2.8 million California State Parks Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant to create a new and interactive outdoor amphitheater space for cultural, entertainment and recreation events and activities. This grant must cover the cost to design and construct the theater and amenities, as well as all City costs for project and grant administration.
Although the park just opened Friday, March 5, staff continues to look at the park, and make evaluations on what should be added over time, Gregory said.
“While I’m certainly for any improvements to that park, all of those have to be evaluated,” Gregory said. “Frankly I also realize that there are needs for improvements at other parks. Some of the funding needs to be spent in the downtown area but there is funding that should be spent elsewhere.”
Before any other improvements are made, Gregory said he would like to take a wait-and-see approach.
“Personally I’m of the opinion that we may actually want to hold a few events before we make any more expensive improvements,” Gregory said. “That will kind of tell us what is really needed and not needed. I don’t think it’s been fully evaluated.”
Maintenance is an issue because once you build things you need to maintain it, the mayor added.
The venue is available to rent, Gregory said.
- Amphitheater Park: Bruce Howell