If you’ve ever wondered what 1.5 million gallons of H2O looks like, simply drive down Route 111 and take a peek at the huge aquatic display in front of The River—Rancho Mirage’s premiere shopping, dining, and entertainment complex. The venue’s five water features (which also include a babbling brook and various other pools and fountains), comprise a total of more than 2.5 million gallons, and help make this spot one of the most inviting places in the desert to eat, shop, and be refreshed.
Of course, keeping this center in pristine working order doesn’t just happen by magic. Often I’ve noticed a lone figure working in the coolness of the morning to maintain the waters, and just recently had the opportunity to meet this man. For the past five years, the personable Libano Fajardo has been the River employee charged with keeping the waters crystal clear year-round—from crisp wintertime to withering summer. To do so, Libano often dons waist-high waders and ventures into the waters—which are over five feet deep in places—in order to spread the chemicals used to prevent algae.
He and his supervisor, The River’s operations manager, David Sachs, also work hard daily and nightly to make sure that all the behind-the-scenes mechanics—including seven powerful pumps and dozens of bubblers and fountains—are all in tip-top shape and up for the challenge of creating a virtual oasis in the heart of the Palm Springs Valley. Whether it’s dining at the wide variety of fine and family restaurants, shopping at unique boutiques and stores, enjoying a night at the movies, walking the dog, or just sitting in the shade and enjoying the reflected mountain views, The River offers a beautiful environment to do it all waterside without getting an inch of you wet.