DSRT Surf Resort in Palm Desert to premiere in 2026

Last week marked a significant milestone for wave-seekers and surf enthusiasts as construction began on the highly anticipated DSRT Surf Resort. This 17-acre AO-designed destination in Palm Desert, Calif., developed by Beach Street Development & Operations, will be California’s first facility to offer man-made surf waves open to the public. The resort's features include a cutting-edge surf lagoon, four-story hotel, surf center, restaurant, boardwalk, and beaches, with construction expected to be completed in the spring of 2026.

AO, renowned for their expertise in architecture, planning, landscape and interiors, is at the forefront of design for innovative surf-anchored resorts and active destinations like DSRT Surf. The groundbreaking event on May 23 was attended by AO leaders Rob Budetti, Bruce Greenfield, Diego Alessi and Jim Glina.

“We are excited to celebrate the groundbreaking of DSRT Surf and participate in this major milestone,” Greenfield said in a statement. “The entire team has collaborated to create a unique, 360-degree experience that redefines surf culture in the Inland Empire, and we can’t wait to see it come to life.”

AO’s involvement from the early visioning stages ensured a cohesive, well-organized design. The team focused on creative placemaking, positioning the surf lagoon as the property's central attraction, while also ensuring efficient and functional operations.

At the heart of DSRT Surf Resort lies the expansive five-acre surf lagoon, characterized by its distinctive triangular shape and powered by Wavegarden Cove technology. This surf lagoon, the first of its kind in California, can accommodate up to 80 surfers simultaneously and offers consistent, customizable waves suitable for all skill levels.

Inspired by the desert surroundings, the resort's design features a blend of contemporary and mid-century modern elements, highlighted by wave-inspired roofs and clean lines. Stone, metal panels and wood accents add texture and color, while extensive glazing provides panoramic views of the lagoon and the desert landscape.

The four-story, 92-key hotel will be the vibrant hub of DSRT Surf Resort, featuring a surf center, dining options and amenities. Guests can enjoy the energy of the surf lagoon from various vantage points, including a multi-level indoor-outdoor deck and meandering boardwalks and paseos.

With sustainability as a key focus of the development, Beach Street’s proprietary “Turf for Surf” initiative repurposes turf areas from Desert Willow’s golf courses. The lagoon will achieve net zero water use, effectively maintaining the lagoon’s vitality and offsetting water usage, saving over 10 million gallons of water annually. A significant portion of the lagoon’s water will be used to responsibly irrigate the surrounding greenery and courses, demonstrating the team’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

DSRT Surf Resort is one of several surf-anchored destinations designed by AO, with additional projects underway in California, Arizona, Georgia, Texas, Virginia, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Florida.