Cathedral City, California

City of Cathedral City
—  City  —
City of Cathedral City
Cathedral City Hall
Location in Riverside County and the state of California
Coordinates: 33°48′28″N 116°27′53″W / 33.80778°N °W / 33.80778; -116.46472
Country United States
State California
County Riverside
 - mayor Kathleen J. DeRosa
 - Total  dunams (50.4 km2 / 19.5 sq mi)
 - Land
 - Water
Population (2000)
 - Total 42647
 - Urban density
 - Rural density
 - Metro density
 -  Density
 -  Density
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 92234-92235
Area code(s) 760
FIPS code 06-12048
GNIS feature ID 1656454
Website Cathedral City

Cathedral City is a city in Riverside County, California, United States. The population is 52,432 according to the 2009 US census estimates[1]. Sandwiched between Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, it is one of the cities in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area) of southern California. Cathedral City is the second largest in population in the Coachella Valley, second only to Indio[2].

The town's name derives from "Cathedral Canyon" to the south of the town, so named in 1850 by Colonel Henry Washington because its rock formations were reminiscent of a cathedral. The city itself started as a housing subdivision in 1925, but was not incorporated until 1981. The city grew 4-5 times in two decades, as the 2006 population estimate is 48,000.

Locals gave it the nickname "Cat City", short for Cathedral. Others like historians claim that came from the reputation as a slinger gaming gulch in the late 19th century, and a safe haven for bars or saloons during prohibition of the 1920s.



Cathedral City is located at (33.807761, -116.464731).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.5 square miles (50.4 km²), of which, 19.2 square miles (49.7 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km²) of it (1.44%) is water.


Although full results of the 2010 census are not yet available for this city, according to the 2009 US census estimates[3] 52,432 people resided in Cathedral City, making it larger than neighboring Palm Springs and the second largest city based on population in the entire Coachella Valley, second only to Indio. As of the census of 2000, there were 42,647 people, 14,027 households, and 9,622 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,224.0 people per square mile (858.5/km²). There were 17,893 housing units at an average density of 933.1/sq mi (360.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 65.3% White, 2.7% Black or African American, 1.0% Native American, 3.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 23.1% from other races, and 4.1% from two or more races. Half (50.0%) of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. A 2006 study by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce puts the city's Latino percentage at over 60%.

According to the 2000 Census, Cathedral City had a total of 14,027 households, 39.3% of which had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.7% of which were married couples living together, 11.9% of which had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% of which were non-families. Approximately 23% of all households were made up of individuals with 11.0% of them consisting of single individuals 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03 people and the average family size was roughly three and a half people (3.63), which puts Cathedral City above both the California and U.S. averages in those categories.

As reported in the most recent census, the city's population was distributed across all age groups, with 31.1% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 17.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 102.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.0 males. Cathedral City has many senior citizen communities and mobile home parks.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,887, and the median income for a family was $42,461. Men had a median income of $29,598, and the median income for women was $25,289. The per capita income for the city was $16,215. About 10.2% of families and 13.6% of the total population had incomes below the poverty line, including 16.3% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over (this despite the fact that many consider Cathedral City a retirement haven).


The current Cathedral City Mayor is Kathleen DeRosa[4], who was elected to her first term in 2004, second in 2006, third in 2008, and fourth in 2010. As of Dec. 1st, 2010 the current City Council Members are Sam Toles[5], Greg Pettis[6], Bud England[7], and mayor pro-tem Chuck Vasquez[8]. Non-incumbent Sam Toles took first place in the Nov. 2nd, 2010 election receiving 3,909 votes[9]. Incumbent Chuck Vasquez was re-elected in second place with 3,533 votes, ousting the other incumbent by 365 votes[10]. In November 2008, Cathedral City voters chose Barack Obama over John McCain in the Presidential election. In the state legislature Cathedral City is located in the 40th Senate District, represented by Democrat Denise Moreno Ducheny, and in the 80th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Manuel Perez. Federally, Cathedral City is located in California's 45th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +3[11] and is represented by Republican Mary Bono Mack.


The city's several local golf resorts and tourism attractions provide a key element of the local economy for Cathedral City.[12] It is the site of Lawrence Welk's Desert Oasis Hotel/resort located in the Cathedral Canyon Country Club. Other golf courses are the De Anza Palm Springs Country Club and Mobile Home Park, the Outdoor Resorts RV Golf Club Palm Springs, and the Doral Desert Princess Resort and Golf Club.

There is a large automotive mega-dealership known as the Palm Springs Auto Mall based on the city limits with Palm Springs, except the dealership lies in the Cathedral City side of State route 111 and Perez Road.

Since the 1970s, Cathedral City has been through economic struggles.

History and environs

Cathedral City had a downtown revitalization program started in the late 1990s, with much completed by 2005. A new City Hall was built as was the IMAX/ Mary Pickford movie theater complex, and a total of of new or remodeled stores.

The Big League Dreams Sports Park softball complex is on the corner of Date Palm and Dinah Shore drives, made up of four softball fields designed as replicas of four major league ballparks. The Pepsi All-Star Softball Game was held there since 1998. Cathedral City Soccer Park is a new sports facility. Cathedral City High School, opened in 1991, is a major educational and recreational center to the city. The varsity football, basketball and soccer teams had earned CIF-southern California championship runs in the late 1990s and early 21st century.

Date Palm Country Club and golf course, designed in 1967 and opened in 1971, has an 18-hole "executive style" facility designed by Ted Robinson, ASCCA. It features of golf from the longest tees for a par of 58. The course rating is 54.9/57.2 and it has a slope rating of 90/93. It is landscaped in Bermuda Greens and includes lakes and sand traps. The most memorable tee is the 175 yard 8th hole, which has an accurate tee shot over a lake. The Phil Harris Golf Classic was held there for many year from the 1940s to his death in 1994. Though built on part of the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation, an exclusive retirement community of manufactured homes lines the greens. The course is walkable and quiet.

Forest Lawn - Cathedral City Cemetery and Desert Memorial Park are located in Cathedral City. These parks are across Ramon Boulevard from each other. These cemeteries are visited by many tourists because of those who are buried there. Among them are Frank Sinatra, Congressman Sonny Bono, Alice Faye, Phil Harris, "Papa" John Phillips, Jane Wyman, Dinah Shore, George Montgomery, Cameron Mitchell, Harold Robbins, Busby Berkeley, William Powell, Betty Hutton, Guy Madison, Buddy Rogers and many more.

The city was the teenage home of actress Suzanne Somers (she still maintains a second home in nearby Palm Desert), and a winter residence for actors Robert Duvall and Martin Landau in the 1960s, and TV show host Monty Hall in the 1990s.

Cathedral City hosts an annual Mexican Independence Day festival on every third weekend of September, also has an "el Grito de Dolores" to commemorate the event at the city hall/movie theater complex. The city has an economic partnership with the Mexican state of Jalisco, a large source of local immigration. Chicano folk musician Lalo Guerrero lived in Cathedral City in his final years. But these festivals have been canceled due to gang related activity.


  11. . Campaign Legal Center Blog. Retrieved 2008-02-10.