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Palm Springs Riviera, from Rat Pack to Buffett

The Riviera hotel sits on the corner of Indian Canyon Drive and Vista Chino. The hotel opened in 1959. (Photo: Vickie Connor/The Desert Sun)

The Riviera, a Palm Springs hotel that once was a choice hangout for members of the Rat Pack, is being transformed into a Margaritaville resort.

The historic property is set to open under the new concept in the fall, remaining closed for renovations until then.

The Margaritaville brand, inspired by singer Jimmy Buffett’s laid-back and beachy ethos, has more than 20 properties including locations in the U.S. and Mexico.

The Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs will be the first West Coast location for the hospitality brand, which Buffett partly owns and which also includes casinos and restaurants. Two properties in San Diego are planned for 2021.

While the coronavirus pandemic has upended leisure travel and the hospitality industry, officials with the Riviera’s new operating company, Davidson Hotels & Resorts, say they anticipate demand for a new spin on a storied property. Davidson operates more than 50 other properties and was brought in by the Riviera’s owner earlier this year.  

Balconies at the Riviera hotel are renovated on Wednesday, August 5, 2020. The hotel sits on the…

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