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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Caliente Tropics, Palm Springs, CA (hotel)
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Caliente Tropics, Palm Springs, CA (hotel)
SBJiminyC
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 30, 2012
Posts: 31
Posted: 2013-01-03 2:40 pm   Permalink

I came across this Ash Tray recently at a local Yard Sale. It was in a box with a few other Ash Trays and many match books.




 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4074
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2013-01-03 4:52 pm   Permalink

Nice ashtray! Here is an old postcard I just got showing the pool area.



DC


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11003
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-01-05 10:19 am   Permalink

Love those "Sundrella" umbrellas! I looked through the previous pages, and noticed that some good images are not posted in this thread (though elsewhere). Here's a shot I took not too long ago:



The Tropics (now Caliente Tropics) being one of my earliest Tiki-loves this must be rectified. With the upcoming Modernism Week next month, let's walk down memory lane a bit:

In 1989, when I was still pretty Tiki-ignorant, right at the beginning of my quest, I managed to document the fabled Tiki saloon doors to the Reef bar, carved by Leroy Schmaltz (as well as the signage):



The other side:



It can safely be said that these kind of discoveries solidified my conviction that this curious art form deserved to be documented. They disappeared sometime in the 90s, nobody knows what happened to them. I forgot what the interior of the Reef looked like then, all I remember is it was dark, and certainly did not look like THIS any more, when it was the Congo Room:



Over a decade later, after the Book of Tiki had convinced new proprietor Casey Jones to keep the Tiki theme, he found the two Witco street lamps that can be seen way in the back corner of the bar shot above. They had been stuffed behind a vending machine in the hall way to the Reef, and he gave them to me:



Now these poor fellas must be the most unloved Witcos ever, because after having them up in my bed room for a few years, they were replaced by the more appropriate Witco "Primitic Man and Woman", and languished in my basement for a long time. Until, after offering them to a few friends with no takers, I liquidated them during my recent vending ventures

Now here is a fun Before And After: When I photographed the iconic pool Tiki in 1992, it still had a gas line running up its back to what used to be a Tiki torch:



I thought it was amazing then, but little did I know what it once looked like in all its tall, palm root glory!:



This Tiki....



...had its own little plaque,



...which, a rare occurrence, gave credit to O.A.' s Ed Crissman, with "Carvings by Crissman" stamped in small type on the bottom. It has disappeared since I photographed it. Here's Ed's business card:



And last not least, to explain the matchbook DC posted on the previous page and the ashtray above...



...here are some shots of the original sign in its "outrigger sail" shape, one of the coolest sign concepts in Tikidom in my opinion:



...which of course was long gone by the time I found the place.



And on goes the saga of the Tropics, with its many twisted turns and ups and downs of not only one but THREE dedicated Tiki event organizers being chased away by the hard-ass majority owner, the most recent one being yet another grave disappointment. The place lingers on, and is still, in spite of all the misgivings, one of THE sites to see for the Tikiphile in Palm Springs.



[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2013-01-05 10:23 ]


 
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Or Got Rum?
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 29, 2009
Posts: 318
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2013-01-05 11:05 am   Permalink

Thanks Sven, I love the Saturday "Locating Tiki" class! Also DC, thanks for keeping LT moving along. OGR

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4074
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2013-01-08 12:42 pm   Permalink

Bigrbo,

Thanks for posting all of those photos. GREAT shots of the old Outrigger sign! I don't remember seeing those before. That explains the sail logo on the front of this old brochure.



The A-Frame


The amenities



The sail logo was also used in this ad.


Some more postcards from my collection.

The classic painting.


A frames




The pool and Tikis






The lanai lawn and cabanas


This was one of the first Tiki places I explored with my kids.

DC


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11003
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-01-09 10:00 am   Permalink

Aaahhh, completing the "Locating Tiki" thread on the Tropics!

Something I did not see here yet and belongs here is the weird story of the builder and owner of the Tropics Motel chain, Ken Kimes (here his logo on a tile still in each shower of each Motel room):



...and his pathological criminal wife and son, Sante and Kenneth:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sante_Kimes

This relationship was Ken Kimes' downfall:

"She frequently offered young, homeless illegal immigrants housing and employment, then kept them virtual prisoners by threatening to report them to the authorities if they didn't follow her orders.[4] As a result, she and her second husband, alcoholic motel tycoon Kenneth Kimes, spent years squandering his fortune on lawyers' fees, defending themselves against charges of slavery."

...but he wasn't exactly an innocent either:

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/women/kimes/7.html


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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 5469
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2013-01-09 12:40 pm   Permalink

That is some history,Sven..Thanks!
Has anyone stayed at the motel recently? what is it like today?


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4074
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2013-01-11 4:57 pm   Permalink

The thread would not be complete without the crazy Kimes story!

I picked up another Tropics brochure from the not to distant past when it embraced its Tiki heritage. Given the references to TIki Oasis 4, this would have been from 2004-2005.


One of the pages inside.


The Reef Bar with some Derrik art, a photo from Tiki Oasis 4, and a Bamboo Ben celebrity sighting!


Bow Wow Hukilau and a nice looking room.


The full brochure.


Some Close ups.

Here is a little nod to the history of the place.


The A-Frame


Classic Car show.


Another photo of Tiki Oasis 4.


The grounds and the Outrigger conference room.


It's too bad that the ownership decided to go in a different direction.

DC











 
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tikikim
Member

Joined: Mar 14, 2009
Posts: 5
Posted: 2013-02-23 9:42 pm   Permalink

Txtikigirl, hilarious! And spot on. Been there a few times. Count me in on the 5 o'clock free Mai Tai and opening up that restaurant/bar.
_________________


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3769
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2013-02-28 07:36 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-02-23 21:42, tikikim wrote:
Txtikigirl, hilarious! And spot on. Been there a few times. Count me in on the 5 o'clock free Mai Tai and opening up that restaurant/bar.




Are you referring to the Reef bar?


 
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