The role that community leaders and government agencies have in promoting the Coachella Valley to tourists was highlighted during CVAG's 2016 General Assembly.
 
Nearly 200 people attended Monday's dinner event, which was held at the newly renovated Doubletree Golf Resort in Cathedral City.
 
It featured keynote speaker John Kaatz, a principal with Conventions, Sports & Leisure International, which is an advisory and planning firm that provides consulting services to the convention, sport, entertainment and visitor industries. Mr. Kaatz has provided expertise for more than 500 convention, hospitality, destination planning and public assembly facility projects.

Most recently, he worked with the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) to develop a Development Destination Plan that identifies short-term and long-term ways to increase visitation to the Coachella Valley.

As Mr. Kaatz noted in his presentation, the CVB's plan highlighted a number of projects that government leaders can support to create additional benefits for visitors to the area. Those projects include better wayfinding signs; investments in trail heads; coordinated social media strategies; valley-wide conservation efforts; as well as transportation improvements such as passenger rail and year-round air service.  

The CVB report also praised CV Link. 

"Based on our research and discussion, CV Link can be a 'game changer' for the destination, and we are hopeful it will become a reality and a catalyst to build upon," the CVB report states. 
 
The CVAG General Assembly is the agency's largest event of the year. The gathering, which is held every June, provides for the final vote on the fiscal year budget and the election of the Executive Committee chairman.
 
Executive Director Tom Kirk presents a parting gift to Mayor Stan Henry.
Outgoing Chairman, Cathedral City Mayor Stan Henry, handed off the gavel to Indian Wells Mayor Dana Reed, who was unanimously elected to lead the Executive Committee in the 2016-17 fiscal year. Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley was chosen as the Vice Chairman.

CVAG is a busy agency, helping coordinate the region's transportation plans, green energy programs, conservation efforts and social services. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow @CVAGnews on Twitter.  

CVAG has finalized an update to the to-do list of regional transportation projects.
 
The Transportation Project Prioritization Study (TPPS) is updated roughly every five years. It involves taking stock of every regional road, bridge and transportation project that needs to be constructed, evaluates them based on criteria that's been used since 2005 and ranking them.
 
The top project in the 2010 TPPS was the Interstate 10/ Jefferson Street Interchange, which is now under construction. The top-ranked project in this year's TPPS is a segment of Avenue 50 in the City of Coachella. The other top projects span across four other cities and unincorporated Riverside County.
 
There are more than $3.4 billion worth of projects in the TPPS and the two companion documents - the Regional Arterial Cost Estimate and the Active Transportation Plan. 
 
The Coachella Valley Conservation Commission is working on an environmental study of a possible barrier in La Quinta, where the Peninsular bighorn sheep interact with the urban environment. 

For more on the project, check out the Valley Voice from The Desert Sun that was co-authored by Rancho Mirage Councilman Richard W. Kite, who is Chairman of the CVCC, and La Quinta Mayor Linda Evans, who is a member of the Commission.