7 Images

Borrego Springs

Palm Canyon Drive descends through a mirage to the park at Christmas Circle, the center of Borrego Springs. The desert outpost in San Diego County is the site of a multimillion-dollar development, led by an investor based in Sherman Oaks, that has raised hopes and apprehensions among longtime residents. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
When his mechanics left town, the owner of Village Food and Fuel let his neighbor sell nursery plants in the garage bay. Borrego Springs resident Joe Sewall, left, and friend Joe Angelo swap stories in the shade. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Gregory Perlman, a 42-year-old real estate investor from the San Fernando Valley, chats with locals dining at his Montesoro Golf & Social Club. He and his partners have bought up thousands of acres in Borrego Springs since 2004. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Custom homes under construction at Montesoro offer views of the Borrego Valley in San Diego County. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
The Casa del Zorro, among the properties bought by Perlman’s GH Capital, is Borrego Springs’ marquee hotel and a local institution. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
The fairways and greens at Montesoro offer sweeping views of the small town in the distant valley. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
The Red Ocotillo restaurant on Palm Canyon Drive serves home-style food and what one regular says is the best coffee in town. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)