Incorporated in 1973, Rancho Mirage was actually founded 58 years earlier by rancher R.P. "Bert" Davie and E.E. McIntyre. Recognizing the potential for land development, several area pioneers began to build luxury sites to entice wealthy city dwellers into the desert. Among the first were the "Wonder Palms" Date Ranch, Magnesia Falls Cove , the "Desert Air Hotel" and airstrip (now the Rancho Las Palmas Country Club), The White Sun Guest Ranch and Thunderbird Ranch and Country Club. Ford Motor Company named one of its prestigious automobiles after the Thunderbird Country Club. Celebrities flocked to Rancho Mirage and the development of luxury resorts and high-end residential communities continued.
Today, Rancho Mirage is the home of world-class resorts such as The Omni Rancho Las Palmas, The Westin Mission Hills, and the newly updated and reopened Ritz Carlton Hotel located on the hill above Frank Sinatra Drive.
Special annual events include the Rancho Mirage Art Affaire, National Date Festival, Coachella Music Festival, Stage Coach, La Quinta Arts Festival, BNP Paribas Tennis Open, U.S. Polo Open and the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
While tourism remains the area's top industry, agriculture and the production of table grapes, dates, grapefruit, lemons and oranges are a close second. The area is also known for its fine restaurants, professional services, financial institutions and home furnishing centers.
The River at Rancho Mirage is a retail complex featuring world-class shopping, gaming, entertainment, and dining. After a day on the links, residents and visitors alike will enjoy such cultural venues as the McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts, Annenberg Theatre, Children's Discovery Museum, Palm Springs Desert Museum and the Living Desert Reserve. The Rancho Mirage Library is a special event center, as well as a computer center. Incidentally, it is the busiest library in the state of California.
Hikers from around the world flock to the Bighorn Overlook Trail, Butler-Abrams Trail and Clancy Lane Trail, which takes them into the Coachella Valley and Santa Rosa Mountains. Whitewater Park, Michael S. Wolfson Park and Blixseth Mountain Park are just a few of the well-maintained parks and public areas in Rancho Mirage.