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Tropics Motor Hotel, Blythe, CA (motel)

Pages: 1 11 replies

Name:Tropics Motor Hotel
Street:9274 Highway 60-70

The Tropics Motor Hotel in Blythe was one of the five Tropics built by Ken Kimes, with the others located in Palm Springs, Modesto, Indio and Rosemead.

The Blythe location actually had a lot going on with the A-frame design, the Tikis out front, and of course, the signature Sambos restaurant next door.

I have several postcards from the Blythe location.

Here is the postcard with the exterior night-time seen.

A close up of the large Tiki out front.

Here a postcard showing the pool area.

Check out the bamboo and thatch shaded cabana area.

I also found this great brochure on the internet.

Some close ups:

The A Frame entrance

The Tiki on the grounds

The lounge.

And Sambos next door.

This location does not get the attention that the Palms Springs Tropics does, but it was really quite a place.


Great stuff you have posted here DC, I used to love Sambo's as a kid.

On 2010-03-07 18:40, abstractiki wrote:
I used to love Sambo's as a kid.


Me too. There was a Sambos my house in San Jose that we used to go to all the time up through High School. The original Sambos started in 1957 in Santa Barbara at the beach and is still there - the last one remaining. Here is the link to the website.


The Tropics in Blythe is now a Days Inn and the Sambos building is still there as well. The both have been given the "Taco Bell Tuscany" treatment.

Here are a few internet/google street photos.

I guess we should feel lucky that the Palm Springs location still rocks.


On 2010-03-08 11:33, Dustycajun wrote:
I guess we should feel lucky that the Palm Springs location still rocks.

Yes, and we should thank Pete Moruzzi, the Book of Tiki, and Casey Jones and his partner for that! :D

Wonder what the TOWN of Blythe is like, nowadays. I will be eternally grateful to the Blythe Tropics (and OA.) for providing me with the seminal "Tiki and the Three Graces" image, a true classic of Polynesian pop!

Excellent brochure archeology, DC! Looks like the lounge used my fave "Resin flower" lamps!

And what was on the face of that bar overhang, a primitive wall plaque with four different Tiki masks?

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2010-03-08 14:05 ]


I agree, the Tiki and the Three Graces was an amazing full page photo in the BOT and my second favorite right behind the Harris Imperial Luau shot. Did OA carve that Tiki?

Tried to blow up a pic of the wall carving, looks like Tiki masks but still hard to tell.


I just got another brochure from the Blythe Tropics. The cover features the Tiki with the nose bone.

This Tiki was located near the adjacent Sambos as seen on this postcard (from Flickr).

Here is another photo of the front and the sign. This is the first time that I realized the Tropics logo is on the sail of an Outrigger which is also represented on the sign. Not as cool as the one in Palm Springs but very nice.

The bar was not very Tiki

But it did have quite an array of Bigbro's chunk flower lamps.

The room photo - again not much Tiki (but lots of Orange!)


Well since today is "Blythe Tropics Day!" at Tiki Central, here's the image you posted above DC again with it's torch ablaze

and the interior.

Both from a site that Tiki Centralites might want to checkout and support - http://www.sambosphotos.com

I know I'll be getting some prints. It's hard to look at the site without saying "I need that, I want that, gotta have that.." etc.

Also don't forget the Road Trip that JonPaul, Tikiyaki and Marty Lush took with a visit to both the Indio Tropics and the former Blythe Tropics.

Good Stuff!

On 2010-03-08 13:59, bigbrotiki wrote:
...Wonder what the TOWN of Blythe is like, nowadays...

My son-in-law will be stationed in the Blythe CHP office starting next month. Blythe is still a rural community of 20,000 people, located 100 miles away from anything else (Palm Springs, Yuma, and El Centro) Because of it's remote location on the 10 freeway, it probably has more fast food restaurants per capita than any other town in the US. Agriculture, summer Colorado River activities, and 2 State prisons provide an economic base.

Last time I was there (a couple years ago) the Denny's still looked very 50's Googie, frozen in time.


Here's our key...very simple, classic design.

John Paul,

You are "en fuego" tonight, thanks for posting all of the items from your great collection!

I did a close up scan of the sculpture above the Tropics bar from the other brochure.

It is a 4 Tiki mask design.


Found this one today

Found this postcard today

Pages: 1 11 replies