History

History of Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel

The Desert Hot Springs Spa started life as a day spa with no hotel rooms. It was built in 1963 by the Palm Village Land Company and Ernie Hahn, who also built the Palm Desert Town Center (now Westfield Shoppingtown), as an attraction to sell the surrounding lots to spa goers.

In 1970, John, Tony and Kermit Arnds purchased the day spa and built the 50 room hotel around the mineral spring pools. The Arnds’ father founded Sparkletts Water and employed his eight sons in the business. Upon his death, Sparkletts was sold to Foremost McKesson and each of the sons received a trust fund. John, Tony and Kermit used their trust funds to buy the Desert Hot Springs Spa.

The Arnds brothers were an adventurous lot who loved big game hunting, gambling, partying and overnight gin rummy games. They decorated the bar, then called the International Lounge, with two full size stuffed brown bears, one polar bear, an elephant head and lion and tiger heads.

The brothers sold the hotel in the late 70′s to the John Jacobs family. Mike Bickford purchased the property shortly thereafter, in September 1979, and has operated it ever since.