Media & Press

We think this translates to this retro Savannah hotel’s fun, cool lodging:

“Something approaching high camp” with “perspective that’s refreshing when compared to the historicity and propriety of Savannah’s Historic District” — Frommer’s travel guide.

Need More Information?

Please direct media, journalist and artist inquiries to publicist Sandy Traub, straub@spatior.com – 912-398-9828.

INTRODUCTION

Yes, sirree and ma’am! The Thunderbird Inn is THE action spot in genteel Savannah, Georgia USA. Today ‘Tbird’ (circa 1964) is the favorite spot for pop culture — creatives and geeks, college students, upcoming musicians and Roller Derby stars — to crash overnight in a retro-meets-historic hotel room.

This ‘hippest hotel in Savannah’ ™ gets a nod for budget lodging from the New York Times, Brown’s Guides, plus Southern Living and Ladies Home Journal magazines. Our popular, award-winning video — Dog Days in Historic Savannah – won a Silver Telly Award® in 2012.

UNIQUE PERSONALITY

  • carefree
  • happy-go-lucky
  • simple comforts
  • happy-natured
  • abundance
  • Kitschy
  • good humored
  • sporty
  • cool
  • fun
  • retro chic
  • spunky
  • laid-back
  • casual
  • endearing
  • happily nostalgic
  • cheerful
  • informed
  • spontaneous
  • waggish
  • quirky
  • eclectic
  • playful
  • merry
  • southern retro
  • Bubblegum
  • helpful
  • friendly
  • kind
  • facilitative
  • unique
  • hip

STORY IDEAS –

  • The original and largest neon sign in Savannah and Chatham County, Georgia, announces vacancy and quirky sayings, like “Run Forrest Run”, which alludes to Tom Hank’s role in “Forrest Gump”, filmed in Savannah, GA. The retro era’s bright neon lights are THE modern-chic Savannah nightlife icon — shared with the historic Savannah Theatre, Lucas Theatre, and SCAD Trustees Theatre.
  • Retrospective postcards are in the lobby. “The Stars of Savannah, Bright Lights and Charming Nights” commercial.
  • Built along the old coastal highway, U.S. Highway 17, Thunderbird Inn’s roadside lodge is on the Atlantic Heritage Coast, celebrated on the tri-state Southern Passages trail. The route immerses travelers in centuries of history and culture, a deep reverence for times past and rich traditions.
  • We’ve flashed “Las Vegas style with a southern smile” on the billboard. Synonymous with Savannah’s modern pop culture scene, the fledgling Jackson Five stayed here. Yes! There is a photo of the quintet posing on the second floor.
  • On St. Patrick’s Day, Thunderbird Inn bids an “Erin Go Braugh, Ma’am!” on t-shirts and conversations that begin with green grits for breakfast.
  • Today Tbird is THE renewed action spot where creatives and geeks, upcoming musicians and Roller Derby stars crash overnight in a retro-meets-historic-paint-themed rooms.
  • “MoonPie® and Krispy Kreme® donuts raise the cool factor”. Guest service surprises include MoonPie® on his/her pillow, and Krispie Kreme® donuts delivered hot at dawn.
  • Popped fresh by vintage bowling-shirt clad staff, hot popcorn is a hit on arrival. It’s complimentary also!
  • Southern, cult-like beverages are stocked and chilled – RC Cola, Cherry Wine, Nehi Grape, Nehi Orange, Cola Cola(R) in vintage-style bottles.
  • Worry-free, travel-lite attitudes mean problematic TSA toiletries are complimentary with lodging – shampoo, conditioner, body soap … even dog shampoo and treats!
  • Facilitators of abundant fun and cheap eats, the “Staff Picks” from happy-natured employees point to diverse top-choice ideas of what fun-loving young locals prefer to do around their hospitality-centric town.
  • Championing pet-friendly lodging and community Wiener Dog rescue races, TBird’s “Dog Days in Historic Savannah” video — directed by Savannah marketing executive Sandy Traub and produced by Popcorn Octane LLC in Hilton Head, SC — earned a Silver Telly Award. Unique in downtown Savannah, there is a private dog run yard nestled against the inn west wall. Savannah’s pet-friendly events include the Weiner Dog Races (October), WagoWeen (Halloween trick or treating), pet-friendly picnics in Forsyth Park (year around), downtown neighborhood walks (Friday), and First Friday happenings on River Street’s Rousakis Plaza. TBI_tellyaward_presspage
  • The champion of downtown Savannah’s northwest quadrant, Tbird promotes “Barnard to Boundary” [Barnard Street to Boundary Street] in its “Meet up on the Boulevard” [MLK Jr. Blvd] video, which earned the inn a bronze “Telly Award” in 2012. The video’s creative director is Savannah marketing executive Sandy Traub. Cinematography is by Popcorn Octane LLC based in Hilton Head, South Carolina. YouTube Channel video link.
  • Synonymous with chic retro the 42-room downtown inn exemplifies “Ac-cen-chu-ate the Positive” optimism in Johnny Mercer’s hometown. Even when there’s no particular place to go, Tbird fits the spot the Dave Clark Five sang about –The name of the place is I like it like that!
  • The inn’s modern roadside lodge (built in 1964) earned the Thunderbird Inn a place on the Historic Register. Within one city block, guests walk the largest National Landmark Historic District – profuse and varied architecture – 1,800+ buildings in Federal, Regency, Greek Revival, Italianate, Gothic Revival, Romanesque and Victorian styles.
  • Tbird shares colonial lands and a legacy of Springfield Plantation’s farm fields and Yamacraw Indian Village on the edge of the Landmark Historic District. Significant neighbors on these lands are the Revolutionary War / Battle of Savannah commemorative park, Central of Georgia train yard and depot (one of the most complete pre-Civil War railroad stations in the nation and has National Historic Landmark status). Portions are now the tourist Visitors Center, SCAD’s School of Building Arts Fabrication Sheds, brick train trestle walkway, the Georgia State Railroad Museum, SCAD Museum of Art (SMOA), Savannah College of Art and Design’s educational buildings and Working Class Studio workshop, Savannah History Museum), Laurel Grove Cemetery, Coastal Georgia Center, and Frog Town (legendary for post-slavery Haint Blue superstitions and voodoo tales)
  • Advocating “Earth is worth getting nostalgic about”, the inn’s “go green” sustainability efforts include water conservation initiatives like low-volume irrigation in its colorful southern landscaping and water saving toilets and bath showers, recycling plus glass cups and mugs instead of paper.
  • Tbird points to carefree entertainment found in repurposed waterfront warehouses along the Savannah River harbor and the River Street area — nightlife pubs with music, locally owned restaurants serving up casual southern food, world-famous candy shops with neon signs, art galleries hosted by local artists, river walk activities including First Friday fireworks, the water taxi, dolphin / pirate / riverboat cruises, and River Street Ramble streetcar. What’s new? The Pirate Ship is the newest riverfront attractions.
  • Tbird points to quirky and pet-friendly City Market — a pedestrian mall (created by closing off St. Julian Street) sandwiched between Ellis Square and Franklin Square and a hot spot for art, shopping, and nightlife. Restored buildings house locally owned restaurants and pubs with outdoor seating, art galleries hosted by local artists, gift / food / wine shops, tour shuttles and horse-drawn carriages. A don’t miss is Café Gelatoooh! — a Rand McNally ‘Best of the Road” spot serving organic Italian gelato. What’s new? B&D Burgers with courtyard seating and giant TV projected onto historic storehouse wall. And, Byrd Cookie Company opened a storefront shop bringing the multi-generational favorite cookies to a downtown retail location.
  • Tbird points to carefree, retro spots around town and cult-following movie locations – Clary’s Diner (arguably downtown’s best breakfast, see the vintage soda fountain from scenes featured in John Berendt’s New York bestselling novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Clint Eastwood’s movie adaptation), Old Savannah Tours’ shuttle with famous look-alikes including Forrest Gump, Leopold’s Ice Cream Shop (named among the top ten in the world by Toronto News; owned by Savannah native / Hollywood executive producer Stratton Leopold – think “Mission Impossible 3”, “General’s Daughter” and more!), Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room (serving lunch only, southern deliciousness in boarding house style, 8 to 10 people to a table), Crystal Beer Parlor (a prohibition-era pub complete with vintage Savannah photos and ornate bar), historic Savannah Theatre on Chippewa Square (showcasing live musical productions five days and nights weekly), SoHo South (an automobile repair shop revitalized into a quirky, eccentric restaurant featuring organic specialties like Tomato Basil Soup and Chicken Pot Pie), and Green Truck diner (serving organic and southern specialties like a Pimento Cheese Plate, Green Salad with Cranberries, Pecans and house vinaigrette dressing), and nearby The Distillery pub (showing 1920s era silent movies, and serving up house-made chili, craft brew beers, and Fried MoonPie® dessert).

Jump in your “way-back” machine for more retro Savannah happenings in 1964 –

  • In his 1964 New Year’s Day address, Martin Luther King Jr. described Savannah “as the most desegregated city south of the Mason-Dixon line.” On October 1, 1964, Martin Luther King Jr., Andrew Young and Ralph Abernathy were at the annual convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Savannah. A reel-to-reel recorder captures the comments of Rev. King, commenting on the upcoming presidential election between incumbent Lyndon B. Johnson and Senator Barry M. Goldwater. King points out that the number of registered African American voters in the South is nearly double the amount during the 1960 presidential election.
  • In 1964 Bruce Feiler, Savannah native and bestselling author of Abraham and Walking the Bible, was born.
  • An old mechanical rocking horse sat among the aisles of tools and outdoor supplies at Woo’s Hardware on Wilmington Island, which opened in 1964. And like many of Rockwell’s iconic subjects, Denny Woo was constantly helping customers find what they were looking for.
  • Mary Flannery O’Connor, unforgiving literary critic and author of “A Good Man Is Hard To Find,” died August 3, 1964. As a child she illustrated chickens, “the same chicken over and over,” and she wrote “occasional verse.” Her artwork was probably inspired by the ducks and chickens, Flannery’s pets, kept in the backyard of the Savannah row house on Lafayette Square.
  • In 1964 Saffold Field, an airfield with two landing strips on Wilmington Island was used as a helicopter-training field by the U.S. Army.
  • Built in 1964, The Savannah & Atlanta No. 2715, GP-35 Locomotive is in the roundhouse at the Central of Georgia Railroad Museum at 601 W. Harris in Savannah, GA.
  • Established in 1964 was Stagg Shop Limited, Inc., a popular men’s clothing store, now in Oglethorpe Mall.
  • Savannah’s daily record high on November 17, 1964 — a few days before Thanksgiving Day – was 85 degrees.
  • Each driving 1963 Plymouths, LeeRoy Yarborough and Richard Petty raced in the 1964 Savannah Sunshine 200 at Oglethorpe Speedway. Petty raced in the 1964 NASCAR Grand National, running 20MPH faster than the year before.
  • In 1964, the hits of Savannahian Johnny Mercer include the Pink Panther Theme (Henry Mancini for The Pink Panther movie), A Wide Place in the Road, and Emily (Johnny Mandel for The Americanization of Emily movie). Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Johnny Mercer Songbook is a 1964, notable as Ella’s only songbook to concentrate on the work of a lyricist.
  • “Savannah Light,” the steel “Texas tower” lighthouse, is positioned off entrance to Savannah River in 1964.
  • By1964 Savannahians Jane Feiler and Danyse Edel were conducting classes for 145 students at the Public School Art Program at Telfair Museum of Arts and Sciences.
  • Economic Opportunity Act (EOA) was signed into law on August 20, 1964.
  • In 1964 the Board of Regents conferred four-year status on Armstrong State College, now Armstrong Atlantic State University.
  • On WSAV, Captain Sandy launched the weather report, assisted by “Clam Cadiddlehopper” and Orvell the Weather Bird.