The Desert Sun

Since August 2019, I’ve worked at The Desert Sun, an award-winning daily newspaper that serves California’s Coachella Valley.

As the business reporter, I aim to write stories that inform readers about the local economy, and hold public and private institutions accountable. I love chasing down answers to reader’s questions about developments in their cities, and sharing the stories of the entrepreneurs who call the desert home.


Hospitality & local entrepreneurs

Bigger isn’t always better
Before the 2020 spring tourist season, I explained the rising popularity of small, boutique hotels opening up in the Coachella Valley.
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Litigation tangles
I’ve uncovered the truth behind delays of major projects in the valley, like a lawsuit stalling progress on Coachella’s first hotel.
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A watchdog for travelers
I aim to look out for consumers — that’s why I collated what resort fees cover at some of the valley’s hottest travel spots.
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AsiaSF in Palm Springs
A transgender performance venue landed with a splash in Palm Springs, bringing its legendary Bay Area experience to the desert.
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Palm Springs Vintage Market
The Palm Springs Vintage Market is one of my favorite places to hang out, and I loved creating this multi-media package on a few vendors!
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The onset of coronavirus
As soon as the coronavirus pandemic started, the valley’s hospitality industry took a major hit that will be felt for years to come.
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Cannabis industry

Harborside DHS
Southern California got its first drive-thru dispensary when Harborside figured out a way around a state ban.
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Cannabis and coronavirus
In California, cannabis companies are “essential” during the pandemic, but they can’t get the same aid as other small businesses.
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Development on hold
Sunniva promised a state-of-the-art cultivation facility in Cathedral City, but the company ran into legal issues that put plans on hold.
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Real estate, architecture & development

Surf club proposals
I broke the story of a luxury surf club planned for an unincorporated area in the east valley. As of early 2020. the plans had not yet been approved by Riverside County.
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Aluminare House
As a newbie to the architecture reporting beat, I loved breaking the story on plans to relocate Albert Frey’s groundbreaking Aluminaire House somewhere in Palm Springs.
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Monitoring the market
The Coachella Valley is one of the few places in southern California where median home prices are attainable, but many are still priced out with sky-high home prices.
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Email me at melissa.daniels@desertsun.com with story ideas

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