Another business bites the dust at the River in Rancho Mirage. Starbucks is officially closing its doors this Sunday and likely won’t be the last to leave.
Employees said the location is closing due to the opening of a new drive-thru Starbucks across the street. Still, history shows that location at the River and its rent, isn’t ideal.
The River has been a revolving door for stores over the past few years but some visitors and store owners said that trend is speeding up.
Heidi McArthur’s business, Jadabugs Kids Boutique, used to have two locations: La Quinta and Rancho Mirage at the River. After a busy year in 2017 which she attributes to the ice rink, she resigned a contract. The next year, her business tanked and she decided to pull out of her contract.
“It was really, really slow I think because of parking,” she said. “People coming to the River were going to the restaurants or to the movies and not stopping on their way out.”
The situation was not great for retail and not kid friendly, McArthur said.
Apong’s Philly Cheese Steak opened up four months ago and said they’re already feeling pressure on their pocket.
“Yeah, it’s kind of difficult,” Ernie Espiribu, the manager of the restaurant, said. “It’s our goal to stay as long as possible and to stay successful in this business.”
NBC Palm Springs reached out the River several times, left voicemails and even went to the office but did not receive any further information on why businesses are closing down.
While the cash flow continues to thrive for big businesses at the River, several small business are forced to move, hope for the best or close for good.
McArthur said the best way to keep these small businesses and restaurants afloat, is to shop local.
Suggestions have been made to improve business at the River but some store owners said a lack of change could be a stalling. A new ownership group is set to take over in the near future.
PHOTO COURTESY: THE RIVER AT RANCHO MIRAGE FACEBOOK