Posted: Monday, May 15, 2017 – 11:21 AM
It’s over. The Desert’s de facto 2016-’17 social season has ended. But don’t despair, the formal gatherings of dinner jackets and sequined dresses will resume in October, with the traditional al fresco dining experience, Dinner in the Canyon, just a few heat-filled months away.
However, while social activities may be on hiatus, change continues to come to the Desert, with the purchase of the Desert Island Golf and Country Club, located on the southwest corner of Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope drives in Rancho Mirage. The club’s new name: The Sinatra Resort and Country Club.
The change in ownership will turn the equity private club into a resort property with a high-end hotel and other resort amenities. It’s a change that recognizes the fact that golf has lost some of its cache over the past decade, suffering a reduction in club-membership and finally, in its revenue stream.
Excuse me if I’m being skeptical, but local resident Tim Martin, the new owner of the Sinatra Resort and Country Club, will be the first to tell you that the club is named after the street (Frank Sinatra Drive) on which the main entrance to the club is situated, not the person. Others will tell you the Brooklyn Bridge will sell faster than that line. After all, the footage of Desert Island is far greater on Bob Hope Drive than it is on Frank Sinatra Drive. So why not change the name from Rancho Mirage Country Club to the Hope Resort and Country Club, (located on the southeast corner of Bob Hope Drive and Frank Sinatra Drive), it would be more indicative of the homeowners’ feelings? After all, golf is a game of hope.
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Sometimes even a celebrity name like Frank Sinatra can fail to ignite a buzz around an event. Take for example the celebrity filled, people-friendly, three-day weekend known as the Frank Sinatra Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament that up to now has been celebrated in the month of February. It was an event where you could eat, drink and socialize to your heart’s content, all backed by headliner entertainment.
Let’s face it; despite the yeoman’s work by Barbara Sinatra in keeping the flame alive, the celebrity star-power has become too old, or too feeble, to attend. It has also become extremely expensive to have them attend.
In a drastic move aimed at prolonging the event, there will be no more February invitational. Instead, The Barbara and Frank Sinatra Classic at Bighorn is scheduled for Dec. 10-12, to be held at the Bighorn Golf Club beginning Sunday, Dec. 10, with a Welcoming Party in the Vault at Bighorn. Then its golf and lunch on Monday at Bighorn Golf Club with cocktails, dinner and holiday concert on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at the McCallum Theatre.
More information is available at 760-773-1636.