“The city council in their reasoning referenced BeachGrit articles three times!"
Three months ago, a bold plan to build a Kelly Slater wavepool surrounded by “hundreds of houses” in Palm Springs was unanimously shut down by La Quinta’s city council, “citing community concerns that the surf club would bring ‘the wrong element’ i.e. people still alive.”
“Concerns about building a wave tank during a historic drought were raised, though the developers promised it would take less water than neighboring golf courses,” reported BeachGrit. “The footprint was shrunk to alleviate stress but there was no alleviating the stress of ‘surfers’ coming to town.”
Now, it can be revealed that it was a raft of stories from shock jock Chas Smith that caused the project to be shelved.
In a podcast broadcast three days ago, the show’s host David Scales tells the story of one of the principal architects of the scheme texting Smith and writing,
“The city council in their reasoning referenced BeachGrit articles three times, articles that you had written talking crap about the wavepool and the Slater technology. The city council is referencing your work and that’s part of the reason we got shut down!”
Another anecdote from Scales, however, suggests the BeachGrit excuse is a red herring to cover for a plan that was unlikely to succeed in the first place.
“A friend of mine, a potential investor,” says Scales, “sat through meetings, saw pitches, saw the financials, all the plans, said this thing is a pipe dream. The numbers are ridiculous. There’s no way they’re getting this funded. And, even if they do, no one sees a return. What they’re asking, the prices the homes need to sell for, and the fee people need to pay, are insane.”
Chas Smith, who has fled to Park City, Utah, following the revelation, has been approached for comment.
My fav story from the series is BeachGrit commenter Hippy’s take on the project, “Palm Springs wedding planner reveals tragic flaw in Kelly Slater’s $250 million La Quinta wavepool and real estate gamble.”