Young Hollywood this is not.
A collection of local celebrities — “icons of the desert” — will help introduce Palm Springs’ free shuttle bus through the main parts of town Friday, but the youngest of the group will be 68-year-old Suzanne Somers, the former co-star of TV’s “Three’s Company.”
Lily Tomlin, 75, will be the next youngest. She shot to fame on “Laugh- In” in the 1960s. Crooner Jack Jones, best recalled for his hits in that same era of “Lollipops and Roses” and “Wives and Lovers,” is 76, turning 77 next month. Producer Jerry Weintraub, already 77, is the former head of United Artists. And Gavin MacLeod, 83, is best remembered for his role as the captain in TV’s “Love Boat” and for his role as a TV writer on “The Mary Tyler Moore” show.
But beating them all out will be 93-year-old singer and actress Carol Channing. She’ll be 94 next month. Jones will be the only scheduled singer at the party, performing a new tune on behalf of the “Palm Springs Buzz” shuttle bus.
The party for the shuttle — which the city is calling a trolley — is scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday at Tahquitz Canyon Way and Palm Canyon Drive. The first 30 riders will receive a free “BUZZ” T-shirt, city spokeswoman Amy
Blaisdell said. She said all of the celebrities at the party “are icons of the desert who live here” full- or part-time and who people see in the various communities on a regular basis.
Palm Springs and the nearby desert communities in the Coachella Valley are often cited as an attractive location for people of retirement age. At the same time, Palm Springs has become a “hipster” destination for younger travelers, with attractions such as the Hard Rock Hotel, film events and nearby giant music festivals.
The shuttle will run every 15 minutes from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Sunday, stopping between the Riviera hotel near the north end of Palm Springs and Smoketree Lane to the south. A frequent riders program will be announced soon, according to Blaisdell.
Last July, the Palm Springs City Council unanimously approved the compressed natural gas-powered vehicle shuttle service, which is funded by the voter-approved Measure J tax increase and PS Resorts, a group of local hotels that promotes tourism.
The shuttle will be operated as a one-year pilot project at a cost of $918,000. PS Resorts is contributing $100,000 and Measure J is funding the rest, Blaisdell said.
For more information about the route, go to www.buzzps.com.
— City News Service
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