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S

I noticed several Tiki-themed motels in Wildwood NJ last winter, none open. Has anyone explored this haven of Tiki? Any recommendations? The Singapore and the Kona Kai looked lovely (in that 60's way). Any recommendations?

T

Buy the new book "Tiki Road Trip". Wildwood is covered in there.

T

Was there last 4th of July. I didn't see much. Here is the thread from last summer there were a few responses.
http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=401&forum=1

T

I'm not sure if there is a mistake in Tiki Road Trip: The sites in Wildwood are all listed under "New Jersey Sites Permanently Closed" but the text describing each site reads like they still exist.

Those motels still exist. Unfortunately, they are best enjoyed from the outside. Not sure if the tiki theme was on the interior of these places back in the late 50's when they were built, but they have been genericized now. Still, it is nice to see the tribute to polynesian fantasy culture highlighted in neon. And, the Waikiki is worth visiting just to check out its lobby..all done up in palms and bamboo. One motel that wasn't mentioned in the list is the Singapore...excellent architecture with some tiki theme carried throughout the motel.

T

On 2003-04-26 11:43, thejab wrote:
I'm not sure if there is a mistake in Tiki Road Trip: The sites in Wildwood are all listed under "New Jersey Sites Permanently Closed" but the text describing each site reads like they still exist.

Dean

This is indeed a confusing design descision.

I'll see if it can be fixed in the second printing.

Thanks for pointing that out.

M

I have heard that the Wildwood motels are great. I hope I can go there before they are all gone!! :(
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20060522/ap_tr_ge/travel_brief_endangered_places

A friend of mine did her Masters thesis for Historic Preservation on the googie architecture in Wildwood. It's a fun place, and the last time I was there, I went to a tiki miniature golf course.

My friend interned with these folks - http://www.doowopusa.org/
They are leading the fight to preserve Wildwood.

--sbim

I'm afraid a lot of the great, so-called "Doo-Wop" (don't like that name) motels in the Wildwoods are gone or on the way out. A lot of demolition/destruction/devastation in the last 2-3 years. What's going up in their place? Cookie-cutter condos... so many that the Wildwoods are becoming oversaturated and realtors/developers are now having a hard time selling some of these condos.

A few motels have received decent "doo wop" make-overs but many motels and other businesses are getting what I call the Happy Days Theme Park treatment... trying to cash in on a generic mid-century, rock n roll theme that is not at all authentic.

I've been a big supporter of Wildwood over the years, and a lot has been written about the Wildwoods in my Mai Tai newsletter. A few of the earlier articles, as well as a video, can be found online at http://www.maitaionline.com. But my last article (and I think it will be my final article on the Wildwoods, given that I don't think there's much left to write about) is only available in print for the time being.

Check out the Bamboo Blog at maitaionline.com for a sad photo of the demo of the Kona Kai (my home base in Wildwood Crest).

Sad, sad, sad...

T

It is very sad what's happening. The real thing is being bulldozed for some new ugly, phony crap. It doesn't make much sense to me. I hate that "doo wop" term too, whether it is used to describe googie motels, or 1950s group vocal rhythm and blues.

[ Edited by: thejab 2006-05-23 11:18 ]

On 2006-05-23 11:16, thejab wrote:
It is very sad what's happening. The real thing is being bulldozed for some new ugly, phony crap. It doesn't make much sense to me. I hate that "doo wop" term too, whether it is used to describe googie motels, or 1950s group vocal rhythm and blues.

"Streetcorner Serenaders" was the preferred term before anyone had an "Official" label for it. what an original genesis for a Genre: crossing Barbershop Quartet/4-part Harmonies with other multipart harmony Pop vocal styles (a'la the Mills Brothers) with popular R&B to create a beast that's neither Fish nor Fowl, but with the staying power to still have a large fanbase nearly 50 years later.

D

Those motels still exist. Unfortunately, they are best enjoyed from the outside.

Totally true. I stayed in Wildwood for a weekend two or three summers ago, and the Tiki hotels as well as all of the other hotels are exactly that; cool looking on the outside, generic (as hell) on the inside. I stayed at the Kona Kai and it was no big deal. The lobby I think had one or two tikis in it and our room, which was kind of old-ish looking but nice, had a sort of small half assed tiki on the wall. But with all of the tiki-ish looking places there isn't a real Tiki bar or any cool tiki souvenirs to be found anywhere. Trust me...I LOOKED. The closest I came, at least to a Tropical drink was at a seafood restaurant called Shellenger's. Sorta fun place with an exterior that is shaped and decorated like a fishing boat. The menu was on par with maybe a Red Lobster. They had a drink there kind of like a Mai Tai called the 'Captain's Special' that was served in a souvenir glass with the restaurant logo on it. Okay..but....YAWN.

There are definitely alot of cool neon motel signs everywhere. You could do a calendar of photos with them. There is also that Tiki mini golf place, but for me if there is tiki there should be a tiki bar. So at the end of my stay I walked away thinking Wildwood was okay, but definitely not on my top ten list of vacation spots. If you're thinking of going there, I would advise you look at your other options in the area. For as wierd and depressing as Atlantic City can be, I think I'd rather go there than Wildwood...but then again...maybe not. You know what? Just go to Ft. Lauderdale, visit the Mai Kai a few times when you're there and be done with it.

[ Edited by: donhonyc 2006-05-23 15:08 ]

S

Ok, this is a project I've had up my sleeve since February. These pages aren't full blown completed yet, but it may take a while before I find time to get them all the way up to where I want them, so I'm making them live as a special treat- http://www.sevenpleasures.org/gallery/Wildwood-NJ. There's plenty there to spend a chunk of time on, just keep clicking through the individual galleries, each hotel has its own page, there may not be a lot on it, but it will begin to give you a feel for the place.

Forgive me in advance, this post is going to be a bit image intensive because while the Wildwoods have come up on TC from time to time, pictures of what remains really haven't hit TC consciousness yet, and I really want to drive home what folks are missing. Sure, there have been occasional mentions here of the Wildwoods, and yes, as James already noted, TRT lists them as over and done with. But what remains while a shadow of it's former self, is still really interesting.

I've met some of you in our travels and you know, we've been around the country and REALLY looked at place after place with an eye towards Tiki and midcentury architecture. Let me just say this as simply as I can- the Wildwoods being along a long thin stretch of island are the single most densely packed incredible collection of exterior (and the interiors have already been touched on in this thread) Googie goodies all in one place I've ever seen.

The problem is, that density is getting lost incredibly quickly. And, there is no dripping with top to bottom Tiki-ness. If you make that your criteria for a Wildwoods trip you will come away disappointed. That said, though, if you can squint your eyes a little, and find some of the areas where the old hotels make up the visual setting in all four directions, you can really begin to get a feel for what the Wildwoods were.

But that's the point- "were" they aren't any more. Even on the blocks where treasures remain intact, one need only look at the back of the building, or up the street, or at the cranes that are part of the wintertime/construction season skyline to understand that what was is being ripped out incredibly quickly- only to replaced by Beigeville USA. In a real sense, it's already too late to REALLY save the Wildwoods, as one need only look out their window to have the midcentury fantasy shattered by the ugly condos next door. The masterpieces that remain are rapidly becoming islands in a sea of beige.

No, I've definitely not given up on saving what we can. What remains is all the more vital, as even the 'plain ole boring' little hotels are a vital link to a time and way of life that is unappreciated until after it's gone.

That said though, saving what's left is going to be incredibly difficult, as what we're really seeing is an economic transition from mom and pops who owned properties to development corporations. If you're a mom or pop getting up in years, sitting on a pile of otherwise unremarkable bricks and peeling paint, and you're being offered a multi-million dollar 'retirement' for your property, well, you know how this is going.

By the time we finally made it to the gem mere hours from home (despite all our wild travels across North America) more than 70 hotels had already been torn down, including the Kona Kai and the Tahitian. John in Montreal in the Mai Tai magazine and the website passed along to us all vital pieces of the Kona Kai history, for which I can't begin to thank him enough. Be forewarned, there are two pictures of the blasted Kona Kai condos in an unimpressive neuvo- 'DooWop' style on my Wildwood page. A look at John documenting what we lost, vs. what it's about to be replaced with should have any Tikiphile marching down to their local Tiki establishment and supporting it!

There are still a fair number of remnants of Tiki hotels still functioning in the Wildwoods, to name only 4 (and yes, there are more, hotels and even mid-century condos)

The Royal Hawaiian-

The Ala Moana-

The Ala Kai (now missing the Hula girl from its signage)-

and the Waikiki-

All that said, there's still a lot to see left, and it's worth a trip. Nowhere else will you see block after block, building after building (now disrupted by condos scattered throughout) quite like this. Southern CA has many gems, but the Wildwoods are unique. And yes, tucked in the middle of the ruins and the condos and the construction are a few rare amazing examples that are just beyond words, small hotels like the Carribean-

or the Beach Colony-

or Wildwood's Eden Roc-

Now what you're looking at are pictures of the hotels in February, the off season, the construction season- and 'in the winter, everything's for sale in Wildwood'. Just because it has a for sale doesn't mean it's condos now. Nor does it mean that preservationists can just buy them up and save them. The asking prices on these babies are often not the price of the existing hotel (and ability to keep it a hotel) the prices are condo-high, because that's what the developer who pays the high price is going to build on that lot, and particularly those beachfront lots, once they tear down the treasures. Mom and Pops don't want to sell their hotels for hotel prices, only to have someone promise to keep it a hotel and sell out later for the big condo bucks. Mom and Pop want to condo price for their retirement. Thus preservation becomes all the less likely. Even as preservationists fight to save the few, the immersive feeling of the place, seeing midcentury gems in all directions as far as the eye could see is already gone.

Most of all though, I have dreamed, and lusted, and longed to put together even a small weekend event supporting what Tiki hotels remain. I understand they're not particularly Tiki on the inside, and I know the financial realities for these places are what they are. But if only for one or two nights, imagine the possibilities. Some of the Tiki that remains in the Wildwoods has incredible character. These were the summertime beach haunts of Tikiphiles from elsewhere. There's still lava rock to be found, murals, and yes, even at least one solitary Tiki I spotted on a cold February (construction season) day.

We are after all, talking about a place whose official tree is the Palmus plasticus wildwoodii (or Plastic Palms of Wildwood!) But event or no- go to Wildwood, support wildwood, and work to build awareness of our national treasure being wrecked one potential condo site at a time.

One last thing to add, the Hawaiian Rumble mini-golf and pancake house is there as well, although the Tikis were plastic covered when we were there due to it being winter.


"You're getting more interesting by the drink!" -Pepe le Tiki

[ Edited by: Sabina 2006-05-24 08:37 ]

P

The same process is happening in Panama City Beach right now. All the quaint mom & pop hotels are selling out, and high-rises are going in. You won't even be able to see the ocean (or even the sky?) from the beach road when these concrete canyons are complete.

I was too much a late-comer to be able to really tell if any of these small hotels were of any architectural interest. My impression was that a lot of them were dilapidated places with sand (and God knows what else, it was a spring break mecca...) in the carpets. I suspect this is happening just about everwhere where people have traditionally gone down to the shore.

T

On 2006-05-24 10:28, Philot wrote:
The same process is happening in Panama City Beach right now. All the quaint mom & pop hotels are selling out, and high-rises are going in.

And also in Fort Lauderdale. At the last Hukilau I noticed way fewer mom and pop motels near the beach than the last time I was there 3 or so years before, and lots of high rises going up (even a Trump luxury apartment building was planned).

Sabina,

Thanks for your interest in my writing about the Wildwoods... and thanks for posting the great pictures of a few of the remaining motels. (Have a look here for some of my pictures of vintage Wildwood neon signs: http://web.mac.com/jtbcmac/iWeb/JandB/Wildwood%20Neon.html)

I'm sorry to say that, after my last trip to Wildwood Crest last summer, I think I've given up on the Wildwoods. It seems to me that folks went a long way in building up a resurgence in popularity for the area over the past decade but then blew it when it came to real preservation efforts.

As great as it has been to see so much media coverage of the Wildwoods in the past few years, why have so few of the articles focused on actual, real preservation efforts... or on the architects who had a hand in designing Wildwoods' motels and commercial architecture... or on neon artists...? I've seen more articles mention Chubby Checker's introduction of The Twist in a Wildwood nightclub than I care to remember but features on the original architects of Wildwood are few and far between. Working class Wildwood was never upper crust Palm Springs and the anonymous architects who designed the motels in these NJ shore communities were not necessarily high profile folks like Frey, Neutra, Wexler et al... but a little respect and recognition may have helped foster a bit more appreciation of their work. It seems that those pushing to get Wildwood back on the map were more interested in creating a generic-50s-fun-rock-n-roll theme town rather than in fostering an appreciation for real mid-20th century design and architecture.

I also take exception with the whole "neo-Doo Wop" realm of thinking. Having guidelines to help folks build a new diner or motel in a "1950s style" does nothing to foster preservation of actual vintage design, in my opinion.

Anyway, just my thoughts and opinions... The Wildwoods (and the Kona Kai) meant a lot to me but I think, from now on, I will have to content myself with reminiscing about the ghosts of a neon past.

D

And also in Fort Lauderdale. At the last Hukilau I noticed way fewer mom and pop motels near the beach than the last time I was there 3 or so years before, and lots of high rises going up (even a Trump luxury apartment building was planned).

I noticed a little of that too on El Mar Drive. About a block south there was a hotel that was frequented alot by the Canadian snow-birds down for the winter. Not the most remarkable looking place, but nonetheless, nice and sort of a staple on that block for years. When I was down in December, the place was completely bulldozed for redevelopment.

On the flip-side about a block north on El Mar is a really great place called the High Noon. It's been family owned and operated since the early 60s. I've stayed there a few times, and let me tell ya....it's pretty frickin' nice. Right on the beach, with a pool, nice patio..the whole deal AND a few Tikis and small thatched huts in the yard as well. Melllloww. I get relaxed just thinking of the place. Doesn't look like it's going anywhere soon, but you never know.

Across the board here in New York and from what I have been hearing in Miami as well, alot of the classic hotels are being shut down and turned into condos. The Plaza here, and the Fountainbleau in Miami. First...who the hell has the money for this property, and second why these hotels? I mean where do the tourists go? I'm sure someone here with some education in economics has an answer, but...I don't get it.

[ Edited by: donhonyc 2006-05-24 14:24 ]

T

I mean where do the tourists go? I'm sure someone here with some education in economics has an answer, but...I don't get it.

Chain hotels are taking over. Robot tourists are going to the same hotel in every city, eating at Red Lobsters and Marie Callendar's (where they eat at home), gambling (it's in almost every city now) or going to the mall (that has the same stores as the mall at home) for entertainment. It's like an epidemic - Stepford, USA. Scary, huh?

Economically, chains have an advantage over mom and pop motels and independent hotels as long as people stay there.

Chain hotels are taking over. Robot tourists are going to the same hotel in every city, eating at Red Lobsters and Marie Callendar's (where they eat at home), gambling (it's in almost every city now) or going to the mall (that has the same stores as the mall at home) for entertainment. It's like an epidemic - Stepford, USA. Scary, huh?

Economically, chains have an advantage over mom and pop motels and independent hotels as long as people stay there.

There has definitely been alot of that here in NYC in the last ten years. I never thought it would happen, but they have opened a Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and a Home Depot within blocks of each other in Manhattan. When I came here in the mid 80s, I thought I was getting away from all of that, and I did up until about 1995-96. Why in the hell would anyone want to come to New York City and eat at a Red Lobster is beyond me,

[ Edited by: donhonyc 2006-05-24 23:28 ]

T

On 2006-05-24 23:27, donhonyc wrote:

There has definitely been alot of that here in NYC in the last ten years.

I know! I went to NYC a few times in the 70s (as a teenager) and into the early 80s (in my early 20s) and didn't go back until 1999. What a change! It seemed safer but more generic. I remember the old Times Square / 42nd. Street and how sketchy it was, but very exciting! Last time I was so bored with the Disney version of Times Square and didn't stay long.

Also, in the 80s the Village and Soho still had many old coffee houses and artists but they were starting to change. The East Village was full of punk rockers and students. Now Soho is full of chain stores like the Gap and the East Village is yuppie central.

I'm not knocking New York - it's still the best city for the arts, architecture, and cuisine in the U.S. And I've been hearing great things about the bars lately. But it's too bad when some of the things that typify New York disappear (like the Checker cabs).

D

The East Village was full of punk rockers and students. Now Soho is full of chain stores like the Gap and the East Village is yuppie central.

But it's too bad when some of the things that typify New York disappear (like the Checker cabs).

As a 20 year resident of New York City, 13 of those years being in the East Village where I still currently reside, I always cringe when I hear people talk about the East Village as some yuppie enclave. I can tell you that it's not totally true but unfortunately it's not totally false either. The East Village hasn't quiet yet morphed into what the Upper East & West sides are like, at least not yet. Those are definitely kingdoms of yuppiedom, no question about it. When I moved to this area in '93, it was still a bit sketchy but definitely in a transition stage. Although it was cleaned up a bit around here during the Giuliani years, there was still the air of street freakiness that there always was, the only change was that there was more sidewalk cafes then there were in the 80s. Back then (the 80s) this neighborhood was pretty damn scary. But that was the attraction. The East Village was druggie-freak-ville. I remember it well and in some ways wish it was still like that. Only in the last 5 or so years has there been a dramatic change where you're really starting to see different faces ie, upwardly mobile (white) youth, moving into the area and paying about $2000 a month for the same apartment that was about $850 a month around 1997. Shame.

Here's a great example of change in the area: For years there was a warehouse of some kind, maybe it was a garage, that was next to the Hell's Angels New York Headquarters on 3rd St. between 1 & 2 Ave. The Angels have been there at least 20 years or more and occupy the entire building. Just this past year the garage or whatever it was next door to them was torn down and in it's place was built a NYU Law School Dorm! On some level that kinda makes sense, on another you just look at it and go 'you hafta be kidding'. I can just hear it...."Hello Mom...thanks for getting me into NYU but...I think I wanna come home. There's a guy with a motorcycle named 'Fuzzy' that lives next door and he wants to kick my ass."

The bars around here these days are a bit on the stale side, attracting mostly people that to me look like cosmopolitan versions of Spring Break partiers. But, as long as they keep the Avenue A. Flea Market in business this place will still maintain it's street cred. But as I read somewhere recently, the East Village these days is more a 'state of mind' than an actual place that physically exists.

As far as Checker Cabs, wow...they were long gone, jeez..about 15 years ago (?). I'm glad I got a few years of those before they were extinct!

T

I didn't mean to knock your neighborhood donhonyc, and I know I would much rather live in a neighborhood where you can go for a walk at night without fear of getting mugged. I was a bit extreme in calling the East Village "yuppie central". Perhaps I'm wrong, but isn't Alphabet City the new East Village? Or was that in the late 90s? And I have heard a lot of hipsters are living in Brooklyn these days.

On 2006-05-26 10:07, thejab wrote:
I didn't mean to knock your neighborhood donhonyc, and I know I would much rather live in a neighborhood where you can go for a walk at night without fear of getting mugged. I was a bit extreme in calling the East Village "yuppie central". Perhaps I'm wrong, but isn't Alphabet City the new East Village? Or was that in the late 90s? And I have heard a lot of hipsters are living in Brooklyn these days.

No offense taken at all jab. Sorry if my tone sounded like I was mad, I totally wasn't. You're totally right, on some level this neighborhood is getting a bit yuppified. Yes, Alphabet City (Avenues A thru D) is part of the East Village. As far as I know that term kinda came around in the late 70s when it was still a scary neighborhood and the gangs and (the real-original) punk rock people were here.You also heard right about Brooklyn. About 6 or so years ago Williamsburg became THE cool place to be. However, it suffers and still continues to suffer a sort of 'Haight-Ashbury' syndrome. Like it was really 'underground cool' for a minute and suddenly the word was out and it suddenly became yesterday's mainstream news. A total parody of itself. My impression is that there's alot of hipster 20 something people out there that think they're living on the edge of society, but it's just not that way now. Williamsburg is being redeveloped in the same way the East Village is with condos and the whole deal. If you walked down Bedford Ave., the main drag there, about 6 years ago it was virtually empty. A bodega here, a bar over there. Not now. It's jam packed with boutiques,restaurants, etc. Don't get me wrong, it's a fun place, and like the East Village has a few bonified freaks and so forth here and there, but it's by no means the Boho-paradise that people may want to think it is. If it was, they wouldn't be writing about it in the papers.

A

For years there was a warehouse of some kind, maybe it was a garage, that was next to the Hell's Angels New York Headquarters on 3rd St. between 1 & 2 Ave. The Angels have been there at least 20 years or more and occupy the entire building. Just this past year the garage or whatever it was next door to them was torn down and in it's place was built a NYU Law School Dorm!

My sister used to live across the street from the Angels' HQ around '90 or '91. Contrary to first expectations, they were a great crowd to have nearby, and actually added to the sense of community. One of the safest blocks in the area, and they would host open block parties on the street in the summer. I met a couple of em one time and they were just cool cats, digging on sickles, beer, and fun. Since a few of them were always hanging out outside, if they knew you they'd be real friendly, or even do things like watch your car while you doubleparked to run in and get something. I was afraid you were gonna say their place got torn down! But anyway, it actually does seem like a sensible spot for a dorm.

Apologies for extending a tangent from the topic.

-Randy

My sister used to live across the street from the Angels' HQ around '90 or '91. Contrary to first expectations, they were a great crowd to have nearby, and actually added to the sense of community. One of the safest blocks in the area.

I have heard the exact same. They do keep the block safe. I'll never forget one night, maybe about 16 or 17 years ago my friend and I were walking home late on a Saturday night about 4 AM and some guy was taking a leak on the sidewalk directly across the street from the HA-HQ steps away from another spot where they parked their bikes. Wrong place, wrong time. As the guy was in mid-stream one of the Angels happened to be coming around the corner on his bike and without even stopping the engine he jumped off the bike, chased the guy down the block and even managed to nail him once in the head with his bike helmet. The urine guy got away with only that but it was like...whoa dude...watch where you're peeing!

S

In 2003 the folks from doowop contacted me about having Hukilau there in New Jersey. I looked into it, but basically, I didn't have the ability to go up there and research what places would work and get it all taken care of, so the idea was scrapped.

I don't think Wildwood would have been the place for the Hukilau, there are (were!?) Polynesian NAMED motels there, but architecturally and decor wise they are not really that Tiki.
What was so amazing about Wildwood was that mid-century time warp quality of a place were every building, for blocks and blocks, had remained unchanged since the 60s.
That this is finally being compromised now is what John is rightfully mourning.

It all is really a philosophical question, as we see places like Sam's Seafood and the Royal Hawaiian disappear and are powerless to do anything about it, we have to accept that there will be less and less of what we love. It's the same in LA as it is in NY. Real estate value is what drives this economy, and who can judge owners that finally can retire on a nice chunk of money.

It is a shame that the chains have the money to replace individual businesses. Just like in Vegas, mass-housing/mass-feeding is the concept of the future, and its usually not pretty.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2006-05-26 21:18 ]

D

Did somebody here say that the Kona Kai in Wildwood was torn down?

Yup, the Kona Kai is gone (you can see a photo of the demolition in the archives of my Bamboo Blog at http://www.maitaionline.com)... and a new condo is probably already up in its place.

But, as BigBro said, you can't really blame the owners for selling out. They bought the place in 1999... They were long time summer residents and fans of Wildwood. But they were not preservationists. They were simply a nice couple who bought a motel. They turned down several offers at first but when one comes along that represents your entire retirement fund AND college tuition for each of your 4 kids, what are you gonna do? Like I said, sad to see these places go but you really gotta blame the developers and people at city hall for allowing it to happen.

On a side note, I did get to rescue a small piece of the Kona Kai... two of the wall-hanging tikis from a room on the motel's third floor.

D

On 2006-05-27 06:12, John in Montreal wrote:
Yup, the Kona Kai is gone (you can see a photo of the demolition in the archives of my Bamboo Blog

That's a sad photo on your blog. Well...at least I got to stay there once, and I have one of their postcards.

....I hate these 'redevelopment' people.

On 2006-05-27 06:12, John in Montreal wrote:
On a side note, I did get to rescue a small piece of the Kona Kai... two of the wall-hanging tikis from a room on the motel's third floor.

Hear hear! So they DID have Tiki decor, IN the rooms? That usually is rare, (except for some exceptions in Hawaii). Are they...WITCO!? :)

Yes... just a few touches of tiki in the rooms. Basically, just the wall hangings I mentioned, plus rattan furniture that must have been nice back in the day but was looking a little run-down by the end. A lot of the wall-hangings (actually, they're more like large masks) had been stolen over the years. In the motel's final years, I know that all the rooms on the 3rd floor still had them.

The tikis are not Witco (at least I really don't think so)... they're simple but pretty nice. I'll try to post a picture soon.

Here you go...

Each one is about 2 and a half feet tall.

Nice, they look like East Coast carved, or imports, but not the bad kind. It's the provenance that matters here, especially if it is a personal connection. Good for putting a red bulb behind!

Yes, like I said, simple but nice.

And they may very well be east coast carved. The owner of the Kona Kai told me that there was once a carver who would make his way up and down the coast every couple of years and offer his services to the various motels and businesses. I know the outdoor tikis at the Kona Kai (stolen during the winter of 1999-2000) were probably carved by this guy but I'm not sure about the tikis in the rooms (since they seem to have been in there for a much longer time).

Best collection of tikis (in terms of quantity and various styles) in the Wildwoods is probably at the Hawaiian Rumble mini golf course/pancake house/ice cream parlor (!!!). But this place too seems to be on the "endangered" list... though it will be around at least for one more year.


John in Montreal
http://www.maitaionline.com

[ Edited by: John in Montreal 2006-05-28 06:40 ]

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