How Retro Can You Go-Go in the American South?

Retro hotel in Savannah Georgia visits dog friendly art gallery

Retro hotel's pet lover visits Savannah City Market retro art gallery that is pet-friendly, too!

In the American South, how retro can you go on a single vacation? Without a functioning time machine, what wonderful amenities from the traveling past can you experience for the first time, rediscover with delight, or introduce your children to?

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Southern MoonPie® Sweet at Thunderbird Inn in Savannah GA USA

In Savannah Forrest Gump actor with MoonPie® chocolate mint southern treat | Photo (c) The Thunderbird Inn Savannah GA / Tim Nealon

Forrest Gump actor on Old Savannah Tour shuttle with MoonPie® chocolate mint treat.

Savannah has a lot of moon references in its past. Like Moon River, by famed lyricist and Savannah favorite son Johnny Mercer. Or MoonPie® — “the original marshmallow sandwich” that became the famous Southern treat — is left on your pillow each night at the Thunderbird Inn.

Why MoonPies? Well, Southern hospitality demands we provide a treat for our guests, something a bit above and beyond what is required. After all, we’re the hippest hotel in Savannah ™, and we’ve got to earn our stripes with each guest! Most hotels that bother with a late-night snack for their guests opt for the conventional chocolate, but that wasn’t good enough for the Thunderbird Inn. It’s just not cool and quirky enough for the likes of us.

MoonPie, on the other hand, is as Southern as it gets. These iconic confections (fancy words meaning “famous treats”) originated in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Now, that’s well north of here (let’s face it, most places in the U.S. are) but it’s plenty Southern enough for us. And we give out the mini-versions, not the hefty pies that were originally invented as lunchbox treats for Tennessee coal miners. But it’s still big enough to tide you over to breakfast in our lobby. You can read more about the history of the MoonPie at the website www.moonpie.com (which you can check out with ease since the Thunderbird has free wi fi, unlike snootier places that charge for it.)

The MoonPie is about as Southern a food as you can get, short of grits. And grits would make a mess on the pillows.

ABOUT THUNDERBIRD INN

Declaring itself The hippest hotel in Savannah™, the delightfully quirky, Thunderbird Inn (42 rooms) is where the historic downtown Savannah location and hip motel eccentricities meet up. Featured in New York Times, Southern Living, Best10.com, TravelMuse.com, Dog Friendly magazine, the downtown inn-motel recaptures the southern retro spirit of the Swinging Sixties. The youthful General Manager, Mark Thomas, has directed the much-touted marketing toward a bold, free-spirited and young again approach, making the most of the popular resurgence of retro in the United States. Discounted Savannah lodging was never so much fun! Ask about discount local coupons, Staff Picks, MoonPie® on your pillow, and dog friendly / pet-friendly vacation accommodations. 611 West Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah, GA USA 31401. Toll Free Reservations (866) 324-2661; International +1/912-232-2661; Fax 912-233-5551. Twitter: @TBirdInn; E-mail info@thethunderbirdinn.com; Web: TheThunderbirdInn.com

Copyright (c) 2012 The Thunderbird Inn / Betty Darby

Thanks, Brown’s Guides, It’s Good to Be Noticed!

Savannah Inns and hotels | Thunderbird Inn retro hotel

Brown's Guides fans recently named Thunderbird Inn "Best One of Kind Hotel in Georgia"

Word is getting around: Overdone and over-priced is not the only way to do Savannah. The Thunderbird Inn is on the receiving end of some kind words from Brown’s Guide to Georgia on just that topic. That’s us on their website (check it out at http://www.brownsguides.com/v/thunderbird-inn/) and we’re also on their Facebook page.

It seems the Brown’s folks are impressed by our retro style and our budget philosophy – and who wouldn’t be? Our circa-1964 classic roadside motel is as true to its era as anything you’ll find in historic Savannah. Our rooms are clean, fresh and charming – plus they’re amenity-rich. We’ve added just enough of today to keep your yesteryear experience sharp, with things like Wi-Fi throughout the Thunderbird. Pick one of our deluxe king rooms and you’ll enjoy such features as streaming Netflix and a Wii game system. All this for a price that won’t break the budget! Plainly, it’s no accident that we’re known as Savannah’s hippest hotel.

So thanks, Brown’s Guide, for noticing what we do. Keeping the history, but dumping the stuffy part – that’s us! We’re not like everybody else. We like that about ourselves.

Social Marketing: Social Media Meets Up With Feet-on-the-Ground Sociability in New Savannah Georgia Travel Video

SAVANNAH Georgia (April 6, 2012) — Thunderbird Inn in downtown Savannah takes social marketing to a refreshing level. The Swinging Sixties, retro hotel weaves real world sociability into win-win relationships with its neighbors. The result is a lively video that introduce to new and less-publicized attractions near the pop culture traveler’s favorite lodging.

Titled Meet Up on the Boulevard, downtown Savannah, the YouTube-hosted travel short delivers a one-minute teaser focusing on the northwest quadrant of downtown Savannah. “It just makes good marketing sense to tap video and social media [like Twitter and Facebook] to get out a bolder, more far-reaching message to the public!” Mark Thomas adds. “By sharing the spotlight, we truly get across our message to create win-win relationships.” The marketing team is collecting Twitter and Facebook addresses, too, as they broaden the inn’s social marketing reach.

NOT DEPENDING SOLELY ON DIGITAL

“I control the biggest neon sign in Chatham County, Georgia. I have put Thunderbird’s marquee into overdrive talking about nine pubs and restaurants, eight museums, three trolley companies, two historic cemeteries, one welcome center, plus churches, art galleries and the Civic Center in our immediate area,” Thomas adds.

“I’m a team player interested in pointing to unique things to do near Thunderbird Inn — retro, pop culture, nightlife, one-of-a-kind restaurants, historic spots, and only-in-Savannah attractions that entertain. Tourists and locals never tire of exploring the beautiful Bull Street Corridor, River Street, and Broughton Street [downtown Savannah’s Main Street],” adds Thomas. “Off the beaten tourist path in the northwest quadrant of downtown Savannah, there are character-rich, entertaining places that are truly worth the trip, too.”

Even the daisy flowers have special significance. They are a nod to Savannah-born Girl Scouts founder, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low, who is buried in Laurel Grove Cemetery, just off MLK Jr. Boulevard near Gwinnett Street. Thunderbird Inn participates in the “Daisieis for Daisy” grassroots initiative to pay tribute to Mrs. Low during the organization’s 100th Anniversary year. “Anyone can do it. Just plant or use daisies somehow.” Thunderbird has been actively championing that initiative as well.

BACKSTORY

Mark Thomas is known as a neighborhood team player. He’s Thunderbird Inn’s general manager and a 2012 NEXTGeneration award winner. He set out two years ago to enliven the buzz about the often overlooked treasures that visitors and locals alike will find west of Barnard Street to Boundary Street, and along the MLK Jr. corridor downtown.

“In 2012, there are many wonderful and new tourism points of interest close by that make this the perfect time to ratchet up the conversation,” Thomas says. “What we’ve learned using social marketing tools is that ‘social’ is a key word that requires spirited interaction — listening for great information, asking and answering questions. With improved information we can do a better job of passing along Savannah travel tips to the inn’s visitors, especially about our downtown neighbors,” says Thomas.

“Through the process of making this video, we are now more sociable with our neighbors. We know more of them by name, and we better understand more of the unique offerings now, too. That equates to Thunderbird Inn being a valuable go-to source. We want to do ‘social’ very well in person and through social media.”

TELL US ABOUT “THE BOULEVARD” NAME

Dubbed ‘The Boulevard’ in the Thunderbird Inn’s latest marketing campaign, the name is shorthand for the area of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, plus a few blocks east and west — Barnard to Boundary streets. If Thomas and his neighbor businesses have their way, “The Boulevard” [Twitter hashtag #TheBlvd] will soon be among the top-of-mind answers to ‘What are some new things to do in downtown Savannah?’

More than a dozen businesses, including Ships of the Sea Museum, SCAD Museum of Art, and the Georgia State Railroad Museum participated in the first of a series of videos that Thunderbird Inn plans to produce. The collaborative video project was developed by Thomas, local marketing consultant Sandy Traub, and Guy Smith’s Popcorn Octane LLC digital production firm based in Hilton Head Island, SC.

“Stay tuned. We’ve only scratched the surface,” Thomas concludes.

ABOUT THUNDERBIRD INN

Declaring itself The hippest hotel in Savannah™, the delightfully quirky, Thunderbird Inn (42 rooms) is where the historic downtown Savannah location and hip motel eccentricities meet up. Featured in New York Times, Southern Living, Best10.com, TravelMuse.com, Dog Friendly magazine, the downtown inn-motel recaptures the southern retro spirit of the Swinging Sixties. The youthful General Manager, Mark Thomas, has directed the much-touted marketing toward a bold, free-spirited and young again approach, making the most of the popular resurgence of retro in the United States. Discounted Savannah lodging was never so much fun! Ask about discount local coupons, Staff Picks, MoonPie® on your pillow, and dog friendly / pet-friendly vacation accommodations. 611 West Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah, GA USA 31401. Toll Free Reservations (866) 324-2661; International +1/912-232-2661; Fax 912-233-5551. Twitter: @TBirdInn; E-mail info@thethunderbirdinn.com; Web: TheThunderbirdInn.com

Copyright (c) 2012 The Thunderbird Inn / Sandy Traub

 

Modern Amenities and Yesteryear Treats at the Thunderbird Inn in Downtown Savannah GA

SAVANNAH GA (March 19, 2012) — What if you could get the best of the present and the past in a hip hotel room you could actually afford?

Funny you should ask, because that’s exactly what you can get at the Thunderbird Inn, the hippest hotel in Savannah. Three special rooms – the deluxe king – have now been outfitted with perks that offer the best of modern entertainment, along with some retro treats that helped define “deluxe” back in the Swinging Sixties.

Let’s review the new (and new-old) treats:

Magic Fingers! Yes, the real Magic Fingers! Time was, they were the cutting-edge amenity for circa-1960s motels. You dropped a quarter in a bedside slot, and the bed vibrated in a relaxing massage. Call it kitschy or call it kinky, it was a cultural icon. Anyway, the Thunderbird’s new Magic Fingers are better than the old version because you don’t even need a quarter to make them work.

Vintage typewriters! Yes, texting had a grandmother, and her name was typing. To go with these venerable communication devices, the Thunderbird Inn will throw in a stamped envelope so you, too, can send snail mail.

Wii game consoles, with games available from the front desk.

Streaming Netflix®, where the thousands of movies and TV shows include both contemporary fare and vintage Sixties offerings, like the original “Star Trek” series.

• Radio alarm clocks equipped with iPod® docking stations, so you can go retro while keeping your ears firmly planted in the present.

The Thunderbird Inn also offers free Wi-Fi to all of its guests (sorry, we just couldn’t stomach the idea of re-creating the screech of the dial-up modems of the recent past.) But wait – there’s more! A tiny little mint isn’t cool enough for the Thunderbird Inn. When we turn down your bed at night, we put a MoonPie® on your pillow. Welcome to Southern hospitality!

See what we mean about the best of the present and the past?

Savannah Americana nostalgia | Thunderbird Inn has nostalgic Magic Fingers

Nostalgic 'Magic Fingers' in Savannah, GA -- FREE in Deluxe King Suites

Magic Finger, Wii, and Wi-Fi are only a few of the reasons to stay at The Thunderbird Inn, the hippest hotel in Savannah ™. Stay tuned, and ask us anything on Twitter @TbirdInn and Facebook.

About The Thunderbird Inn

Located in downtown Savannah, Georgia USA, the popular Thunderbird Inn is the poster child for southern retro travel in America. Offering a delicious, newly refreshed slice of Americana lodging, the classic roadside motel was originally built in 1964. It now features 42 well-designed and stylishly appointed hotel rooms, featuring new colors that blends authentic historic Savannah colors and Thunderbird’s original paint palette. In keeping with the fun hotel’s southern retro vibe, nightly a MoonPie® is on your pillow and Krispy Kreme® donuts are the highlight of an on-the-go breakfast 365/7.

(c) 2012 The Thunderbird Inn. Savannah, GA. Toll Free 1/866-324-2661