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Tropicana Motel / Tropics Lounge, Joplin, MO (motel)

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Name:Tropicana Motel / Tropics Lounge
Street:2417 S Range Line

The Tropics Lounge, 2415 S Range Line, originally called the Tropic Room, was built in 1959 or 1960 and the adjacent Tropicana Motel, 2417 S Range Line was finished a year later.

This is a postcard view of the motel, as built. (postcard scan borrowed from Dustycajun's
post below)

By 2002, when both businesses were demolished, the motel sign had been damaged by one of Joplin's many storms and most of it had been replaced.

As the Tropics Lounge was being demolished, the original tikiesque Tropic Room lettering was revealed; it was saved by the owners for usage in the Tropicana Lounge and Grill, 3215 S Main, Joplin MO, which they soon opened. They did not replace the motel. I managed to buy the "entrance" arrow seen above.

And I bought the tiki head part of the sign. I separated the panels and use one in a window of my house.

I also got some metal hanging ceiling fixtures. I've since seen some of the same design in the Mt Fuji Inn in Omaha.

As the buildings were demolished, nearly everything was scavanged and sold. I'm afraid this photo is symbolic of the fate of Tiki in SW MO.

[ Edited by: tikijackalope on 2003-12-11 05:14 ] Edited again on March 11, 2013, to restore photos.

[ Edited by: tikijackalope 2013-03-10 23:08 ]

Nice saves on the signs and light fixtures!!! I don't recall seeing this place but I've been to Joplin several times since I'm originally from Northwest Arkansas. I'm sure there a lots of old places like the Tropicana back in that part of the country that have long-since (unfortunately) met their demise. Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

Here is the postcard of the motel from my collection

and a close up of the great sign.

Back of the card

Hope The Lope can repost the photos of the Tropic Lounge signs someday for Joplin memories.


I've been working with photos of Joplin's lost mid-century motels, so I took the opportunity to restore the photos in this thread. They're saves of Shutterfly uploads of scans done 11 years ago of prints and I couldn't quite adjust the color correctly, but you'll get the idea. The relocated Tropicana Lounge is still in business and is not tiki at all.

Had the Tropicana not been torn down in 2002, it would have been destroyed by the May 22, 2011, tornado. The same fate would have befallen the Sands and Thunderbird motels, which were torn down before the Tropicana. All three were a few blocks apart and in the path of the rather wide tornado.


[ Edited by: tikijackalope 2013-03-10 23:33 ]

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