Desert Real Estate Is Booming

Pioneertown Land Office photo
PIONEERTOWN–A Typical Sunday crowd. The theme here as can be seen is strictly horsemanship.

Victorville, Cal. March 30.––(CP)––In them thar hills of the Mojave desert thar’s gold all right, but a different sort than the old-time prospectors were looking for.

The era of the burro, the grubstake, and the diamond hitch is gone, superseded now by a wave of smooth-talking men in shiny cars, pitching camp in flamboyant real estate offices with billboards to the right and billboards to the left.

The land of the cactus and the yucca is for sale–in a big way.

A swarm of newcomers to these parts, mostly promoters from Hollywood, are beating the sage brush here–making out lots, surveying roads and drawing up glamorous plans for proposed clubhouses, airports, swimming pools, apartment hotels and the like.

It is the vacation-minded people these entrepreneurs are after. For added color, the sales men affect western gear–wide-brimmed hats and flashy colored shirts, even high-heeled boots. In place of the .44, the tote blueprints of things to come.

THE MAN talking to you, of course maybe just in from Chicago… But no matter he has a great big banana around his neck and he is chewing gum like it was t’bbaccy.

He says there will be nothing but hoss-drawn carriages on the main street. Nothing so crude allowed as there here modern motorized contraptions. Liable to run down, after you have just left the proposed Likker barn. He may tell you all this while sitting in his sleep making 1948 model fresh from Detroit.

One subdivision has a few log cabins grouped about Nell’s Ice Cream Palace and such. They can show you on a map where the swimming pool will be.

In most of these promotions the lots are, for a fact, selling like hotcakes. The first structure that goes up, usually, is the cocktail bar. After that, like as not the general store and land office.

One realtor states that 40 per cent of his sales are made to easterners looking for sunshine and a healthy place to retire to. Buyers are paying out cash in the amounts of $500 to $15,000 an acre. Prices are up well over 1000 per cent from prewar days when the tax collector owns a good portion of land.

THIS WINTER they are oiling the roads to beat the band. Crews are working steadily on all kinds of new buildings, motor courts, apartment hotels and houses. Over 100 new homes have been finished in one development seven miles east of here known as Apple Valley Rancho.

Other nearby tracts include Desert Knolls and Desert Mesa Estates. Incidentally, these places are situated conveniently for winter sports recreation in addition to the much touted healthful desert sunshine. It is only a few hours drive up to the Big Bear and Arrowhead lake regions.

Reminisent of Swiss tourist attractions, a new tramway lift from the desert floor to the top of San Jacinto peak is planned. Costing an estimated $4,000,000, it will carry passengers in cable suspended cars from Palm Springs up 8500 feet to the winter sports area in a matter of 20 minutes.

While the dude ranch country around Victorville is suitable for all year vacationing because of the altitude, near Palm Springs the season is limited. In summer temperatures, as at Needles and Blythe and Yuma, run over 100 degrees and the resorts close down.

The first great trek of vacationers into the desert began 10 years ago, interrupted during the war period. And early in development is the town of Twenty-Nine Palms.

Now a new subdivision Pioneertown, is going up about half way between Palm Springs in Twentynine Palms at a 4000 foot elevation on the rim of the Mojave. The theme here is strictly horsemanship. The draft is being promoted in the western way, with movie singers “the Sons of the Pioneers,” on hand for the recent dedication day.

Resort subdivisions are available for every type of person and budget, from the rich night clubber to the horseman, the flyer, the sportsman and retired couple.

March 30, 1948 - Lancaster New Era clipping