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The Salton Riviera Apocalypse

There is a place where beaches are made not of sand, but of the skeletons of millions of fish. Luxury yacht clubs are now frequented only by pigeons, vacation homes lay open to the elements and RV campgrounds look more like burial grounds.

Not 60 miles from the fresh golf courses and glitzy hotels of Palm Springs, in California, lies the shell of a once-booming resort town. From a distance, like a mirage in the desert, Salton Riviera still appears to be a beautiful place, but close up, it is a foul and petulant place.

Conceived as a resort paradise in the ’60s and ’70s for boaters, water skiers and vacationers, the Salton Seaside was once called the next Palm Springs, hailed as the American Riviera and a “miracle in the desert.” Vacation homes popped up like cactus blossoms, holidaymakers flooded the beaches and yacht clubs served martinis with views of the sunset… read more >

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