Coachella festival promoter Goldenvoice buys Eldorado Polo Club
Indio city leaders tout 280-acre deal, say it promises greener fields, more improvements
INDIO Goldenvoice, the promoter of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach Country Music Festival, announced Sunday the purchase of 280 acres of land that includes Eldorado Polo Club.
Paul Tollett, president of Goldenvoice, declined to say what the property would be used for, but it is land all around the festivals' site at the Empire Polo Club.
The sale was summed up as a win-win for Eldorado, Goldenvoice, the city of Indio and the Coachella Valley.
This is definitely cause for celebration. We could not be happier, Eldorado general manager Jan Hart said Sunday.
Coachella and Stagecoach festivals, both of which were quick sell-outs this year, are held on Empire Polo Club grounds. Neighboring Eldorado is used for attendees' parking and camping.
We have had a nice relationship with Goldenvoice over the years, Hart said.
She said polo will continue and that players and spectators can expect improvements, including greener fields.
The 200 acres the 55-year-old polo club sits on had been owned by Lake Farms, she said, which consisted of 19 owners, including president Michael Ward.
I, along with Goldenvoice, initiated the deal and made it happen, Ward said.
They have a need for our space, and we have owners who are older and not participating in polo anymore, Ward said. We can now have polo for a long time to come.
Every year, the club hosts about 80 polo players from all over the world, Ward said.
The change in ownership means the polo club will now be run more like a private golf course in that the paying members will have a say in what goes on.
Under Lake Farms, which leased the land to Eldorado, the board was made up of the 19 property owners plus five representatives from the polo club, Hart said.
This is the first land purchase Goldenvoice has made in the Coachella Valley. Goldenvoice executive Skip Paige has purchased a home in La Quinta, and Tollett has said he intends to buy a home here.
Other properties included in the 280-acre purchase are Triangle Bar Farms, Fish Creek and former Ambassador Glen Holden's property.
The land sold is along Avenue 50 and Madison Street, said Indio Mayor Glenn Miller, who was at Eldorado on Sunday.
I come here every Sunday, either Eldorado or Empire, for breakfast, he said.
The sale gives Goldenvoice the opportunity to bring in three or four more events each year, such as a jazz and wine festival, drawing much smaller crowds than Coachella and Stagecoach, Miller said.
They're looking to build on the opportunity to be a year-round destination, Miller said. That's not just good for Indio but the whole Coachella Valley, he said.
In October, the city of Indio entered into a two-year agreement with Goldenvoice to hold the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals at the Empire Polo Club.
Representatives of Empire couldn't be reached for comment Sunday.
The Coachella music festival started in 1999, while Stagecoach is in its sixth year. Each draws from 50,000 to 75,000 concert-goers per weekend.
Coachella music fest is being held on two consecutive weekends this year for the first time, April 13-15 and April 20-22. Headliners are The Black Keys, Radiohead and Dr. Dre with Snoop Dogg.
Stagecoach will be held April 27-29, headlined by Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Jason Aldean.
Both events sold out quickly this year.