Desert Hot Springs, CA.- What’s left of the Flamingo Hotel in Desert Hot Springs is smoldering, firefighters from Cal Fire dousing its still burning bits. The whirr of chain saws cutting through what’s left of the roof to release heat has replaced the sound of crackling flames first reported at 7:16 a.m. this morning.
The Flamingo, located at 67221 Pierson Blvd, was once a Desert Hot Springs landmark but has sat empty since 2008 as it went through a couple of owners attempting extensive renovations to to bring back the luster of what was once one of Desert Hot Springs most notable hotels.
As recently as 2007 and just a year before closing, reviews posted to trip advisor by guests of the hotel gave the Flamingo high marks.
In 2008, the Flamingo Hotel was the beneficiary of $500,000 in economic development assistance by the Desert Hot Springs Redevelopment Agency. City funding provided to a new owner was to find the Flamingo Hotel reopened in December 2009. That deal fell through when a bank that was also to provide $1.5 million towards the renovation backed out of the deal. The new owner subsequently left town, leaving the hotel in an unfinished state.
In late 2011 the stalled project became the source of intensive scrutiny when the The Desert Sun newspaper reported that $250,000 of the funds provided by the city for the renovation project could not be recovered. That reporting was followed by local media that put the city under intensive criticism despite repeated explanations by city officials to explain the Flamingo Hotel would reopen.
After a four year delay, The Flamingo Hotel was on the way to a reopening. New owners set in to pick up the pieces of the renovation project in early 2012. As of this writing the Flamingo Hotel continues to smolder, its future uncertain. What is certain is that the Flamingo Hotel was heavily damaged by the fire this morning.