Downtown Palm Springs Businesses Struggling on Eve of Modified Openings

Downtown Palm Springs Businesses Struggling on Eve of Modified Openings

Kitty Alvarado Connect

Downtown Palm Springs should be bustling, but if it weren’t for a statue in the middle of the sidewalk on South Palm Canyon Drive the area would be nearly empty. 

“Born and raised here lived here all my life and over the 60 years that I’ve been here I’ve never seen it like this,” says Sue Hoffman Lyle, a partner and property manager of Oasis Plaza adding adding that it’s heartbreaking to see her tenants struggling, “we’re very sad to see what has happened to the downtown area and the closure of our retail tenants and they are suffering terribly.”

But on Thursday Governor Gavin Newsom issued guidelines to enter “Stage Two” that allows shops and non essential manufacturing to reopen on Friday with COVD-19 modifications like curbside pickup, delivery and social distancing. 

“All with an eye on turning the page and moving into a new phase in terms of economic recovery,” says Newsom. 

One of Sue’s tenants Alex Gonzales of El Patron restaurant says he just opened back up for pick up and  delivery orders. He’s had to cut 29 employees.

“It’s been tough,” says Alex.

According to the governor, dine in for restaurants and full retail may be weeks away.

Alex says dine in customers are their bread and butter, “It’s huge, I mean it probably knocks down 85, 90 percent of our business hopefully, you know reopening and trying to gain some orders and we’ll see how it works out.”

Sue says that economic recovery the governor spoke about won’t be possible for many of her tenants even though they’ve slashed rents by 50 percent, this modified opening won’t generate enough sales, “Very little, probably 25 percent of what they normally make.”

When asked if businesses are going to survive this Sue answers, “We’re going to probably see some closures.”

For more on the plan click here: California Resilience Roadmap