Tiki Oasis San Diego 2020 Souvenir Guidebook (Paradise Point Take-Over)

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Front Cover

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Welcome to Paradise! It’s good to be home. Alas, Tiki Oasis cannot celebrate our planned big anniversary event this year, but for those who are staying at Paradise Point we are excited to share with you this amazing location – explore the island that is the future home of Tiki Oasis. It’s no secret that Tiki Oasis is the largest and longest running event for lovers of Mid-Century Polynesian Pop culture. This year would have marked our 20th-anniversary event. For our big anniversary we wanted a hotel that was more spacious and more-stately than our previous locations. Happily, we were able to achieve both with the Paradise Point Resort (originally Vacation Village). Paradise Point is steeped in early 1960s San Diego history (as noted in local historian Martin Lindsay’s essay printed in this Guidebook). Located in the center of the resort, The Barefoot Bar has been a fixture of urban islander enjoyment for locals and tourists – for a short-lived period even a Don the Beachcomber’s restaurant called the island home. Among all the historic Tiki sites of San Diego, the Paradise Point Resort stands out as a unique destination. In August 2021, Tiki Oasis will be back at Paradise Point Resort celebrating our 20th Anniversary with all the bands, all the seminars, and all the activities that we had planned to share this year. Consider 2020 to be a trial run for getting to know your future home. Let’s go trippin’: Paradise Point Resort is ringed by beaches, just steps away from your back patio, that are great for launching paddle boards or kayaks, or night time bonfires. But if you want to really get out on Mission Bay, head over to the boat slip next to the Barefoot Bar and grab a sailboat or jet ski. If spectator boating is more your speed, then walk over to South Cove and visit the Model Boat Pond. If you want to stretch your legs a little, rent a bike, and tour the island or cruise the bike path along the beach. Paradise Point Resort is centrally located so you could even bike into Pacific Beach for lunch! But the real thrill of Paradise Point Resort is casual exploration - you can just take a walk along the beach, stroll around the interior lake and birdwatch, or just sit on your veranda and gaze at the sunset. Grab your towel and sunblock and go swimming pool hopping. As you go, listen for the soundtrack of Tiki Oasis playing at the Barefoot Bar and pool. Join The Tiki Oasis virtual part: Since we cannot host a big in-person event this weekend we have decided to bring you a taste of Tiki Oasis, virtually! We have a full schedule for our Tiki Oasis TV program, including meet-ups, seminars, live entertainment, a HUGE Virtual Marketplace, and more, more, more! OH! And for those staying at Paradise Point, our Tiki Oasis TV Saturday night 8/15 program will be simulcast to all the resort rooms! All together now: To everyone who is reading this – a huge thank you for joining us in 2020 for our Paradise Point Takeover! As is our commitment, Tiki Oasis is all about bringing the joy, love, and creativity of Mid-Century Polynesian Pop and bringing people together to appreciate it with us. We hope you join us next year to share our jubilation at our big 20th anniversary event. Enjoy your vacation, Otto and Baby Doe von Stroheim Tiki Oasis

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Tiki Oasis is brought to you by Otto and Baby Doe von Stroheim Guidebook production and design Rob Roy Sponsorship Christi Crowe & Patty Malesh, FLAG Marketing Publicity Lee Joseph, Reverberations Media Cover Illustration Mookie Sato Website Design Beguiled by Design

Tiki Oasis is a family-run small business. Our core values are a reflection of who we are. The Core Values of Tiki Oasis • Tiki Oasis promotes equality, diversity, and inclusion; we empower marginalized groups and encourage social justice through dialogue and action. • Tiki Oasis promotes education and the sharing of ideas and knowledge; we believe in historic preservation of American Pop Culture through the lens of modern day values. • Tiki Oasis promotes sustainable practices with a deep commitment to conservation and positive choices that support the health of our planet.

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Paradise Point and Vacation Village - a bit of Tahiti in San Diego By Martin S. Lindsay


h his summer marks several important transitions: Tiki Oasis, America’s largest Polynesian Pop weekender event, moves from a valley to an island, and Paradise Point Resort becomes Margaritaville Island Resort. But what is this “poor man’s Tahiti” and how did it come to be in San Diego? Well, let me tell you... In 1958, semi-retired movie producer Jack Skirball had a new gig — building bowling alleys! For years, he and his older brother Bill were equal partners in everything they did, including producing Hitchcock’s Saboteur (1942) and Shadow of a Doubt (1943), owning and managing theatre chains, real estate investments, and now — the Bowlero family amusement centers. They were building their second

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(said to be the nation’s largest and most modern) in San Diego. Old pasturelands around the San Diego River in Mission Valley were being bought up and transformed into new businesses, both modern and Polynesian-themed: Town and Country Hotel, May Company Shopping Center, Hanalei Hotel. Heck, Jack and Robert Thornton were even looking to build a MaiKai restaurant next to the Skirballs’ Bowlero. “I Wanna be a Producer!” Jack Harold Skirball (1895–1985) was the youngest of ten kids and grew up near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Although not a religious man, he entered the rabbinate at an early age. “You couldn’t get buried unless you joined a temple,” he admitted. “I joined because my father died.” His brothers found employment in the fledgling motion picture industry, working for theatre chains and film exchanges (regional distribution companies that leased exhibition rights to theaters). He joined them, but the young rabbi wanted to make a difference, so with his brothers’ connections, he

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became a producer of educational films. His first was not that successful. In 1932 Skirball signed on a young, up-and-coming comedian Bob Hope for two-reel comedy shorts out of his Educational Pictures Studio in Astoria, New York. When columnist Walter Winchell asked the actor how his first film turned out, Hope replied, “I’ll tell you how it was. When they catch John Dillinger, they’re going to make him sit through it twice.” Skirball fired Hope. But in 1938, he took a chance and produced Birth of a Baby, the first commercial film to show a live human birth. It was commissioned by the American Committee on Maternal Welfare, an organization made up of the nation’s leading medical and child welfare organizations. At the time, 12,000 women per year were dying in childbirth. The committee hoped to lower this number by at least seventy-five percent. The film was immediately banned in New York and Boston. The April 11, 1938 issue of Life magazine featured a four-page spread with 35 stills from the film. Many other cities banned the issue for indecency, police confiscating all copies they could find and arresting dealers who sold copies. Life’s editor Roy Larsen was arrested and put on

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trial for obscenity charges. The media circus made Skirball famous. He later teamed up with Frank Floyd (director of Mutiny on the Bounty, 1935) and others to produce films starring Claudette Colbert, Joseph Cotten, Bette Davis, David Niven, Ginger Rogers, and John Wayne. Mission Bay Park By the 1950s, the San Diego River had been tamed by

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flood control channels, which rerouted its flow out to the Pacific Ocean, away from the marshlands to the north and downtown to the south. That swamp to the north was named Bahia Falza (“False Bay”) by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo when he sailed into the area and claimed it for Spain. It, too, was being transformed into an oceanfront playland named Mission Bay Aquatic Park. A commission was set up by the City of San Diego to take bids on the park’s commercial development, and the Skirball brothers were all-in.

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Tierra del Fuego “I sneaked in here without anybody in my office knowing I was in town,” said Skirball. He chose an empty, sandy, man-made island in Mission Bay named Tierra del Fuego, deciding it was the perfect spot to develop a family resort. He had some crazy ideas, and consultants recommended that he just “put a big hotel on it.” He eventually hired architects Ted Spencer and Alton Salisbury Lee of the San Francisco Bay area’s Spencer & Lee to make his vision come true. “Nobody else understood what I was

talking about.” Eldridge Ballard Spencer (1893–1978), who adopted the name “Ted” in the Army during WWI — after Theodore Roosevelt — was known by the 1960s as the “dean of environmental architecture.” In the ’20s and ’30s, Ted and his wife Jeanette Dyer Spencer worked on Yosemite’s Ahwahnee hotel and bungalow cottages. Jeanette designed the hotel’s interior murals and stained glass, and Ted came in as park architect after Gilbert Stanley Underwood

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was fired by the Yosemite Park & Curry Company. Their work became known for its sensitive choice of building materials and inclusion in surrounding environments. (Even if you haven’ t been to Yosemite, you’ve seen representations of their work — the Overlook Hotel interiors in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.) Dinosaurs on the Bay For over a year, the Skirballs and Spencer hashed out their concept until San Diego commissioners demanded to know what they had in mind. Spencer deadpanned that they were going to build a cable-driven dinosaur ride over the bay. They almost thought he was serious. After all, he was the dean of environmental architecture. In January of 1960, the Skirball brothers were awarded a 50-year lease by the San Diego City Council. Ted Spencer’s prospectus had won the day. No dinos, though. Their $1.6 million “family vacation village” would be located on the island’s west side. Other developers’ proposals submitted to the Mission Bay Park Commission included a floating snack bar built on an old Navy barge and a fast-draw pistol contest range. Both were politely declined. South Sea Dwellings from the Alps? Ted Spencer’s pole construction technique — inspired by stilt houses of the Motuans from Papua New Guinea, and by prehistoric Swiss lake pfahlbauten (“pile structures”)

“Like ice stacked in a tall glass, they realize their fullest and happiest potential by complimenting a precise concoction of selected ingredients...” — Architectural critic James Britton II on the elements of Vacation Village

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built in the Alps from about 5,000 to 500 BCE — was chosen not for aesthetics only, but out of necessity. Just as Half Moon Inn and Bali Hai builders on Shelter Island had encountered, providing stable foundations on a sand-filled, man-made island required sinking poles down to bedrock. Designs would have to conform to the newly approved Mission Bay Park Master Plan — shake shingles and redwood siding with trim colors of white, charcoal, turquoise, and persimmon. The first to comply was Eugene Weston Jr.’s design for the Islandia Hotel (1961) in Quivira Basin. Under Spencer’s supervision,

Valentino Agnoli, William A. Kibby, and Jeanette Dyer Spencer, interior design. Spencer and Lee used modern technique, water, sand, and sky in combination with steel, wood, and concrete in Vacation Village’s seemingly simple design. It’s a mid-century modern pastiche of Chemonite-treated

project architects included Daniel Osborne, Zachary R. Stewart,

telephone poles, glass, rippling iron reinforcing-bar, shake shingle kiosks, pavilions, lagoons, and adobe bungalows scattered throughout the property. No hotel high-rise, but an observation tower that overlooks all of Mission Bay. Climb to the top that tower, and you’ll see the whimsical sculpture of a red-eared slider turtle designed and forged in iron rebar by Val Agnoli. Bob Golden of M.H. Golden Construction Company came on as builderpartner and figured out how to construct the damn thing. Ted Spencer even admitted that they were engineering as they built. The wavelike rooflines

UP TO 30% OFF WINTER STAYS Escape to Paradise Point between November 6 and December 30 to save up to 30% off! ENDLESS RECREATION · DIVERSE DINING COZY BAYSIDE GUESTROOMS · MARINA TO BOOK, visit www.paradisepoint.com PROMO CODE: TIKIWINTER or call (855) 213-4944

1404 Vacation Road, San Diego, CA

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of Vacation Village were meant to recall the ocean, interiors using a sea green and turquoise color palette with highlights in marigold and persimmon. Inside the main building, an undulating latticework of iron bars was inspired by the curves of the 1925 wooden Earthquake roller coaster (now called the Giant Dipper) at Belmont Park in Mission Beach. Exposed laminatedwood construction and shake shingles were utilized throughout the main structures, pavilions, and kiosks. Vacation Village opened on June 16, 1962, to rave reviews: “There is a little of the Orient and a little, too, of once-virgin unspoiled America in the design and indigenous materials employed.” The Skirballs kicked off their grand opening with a family treasure hunt benefitting the Hospital Auxiliary Council of San Diego County. They advertised “101 Kinds of Fun at Vacation Village” and proceeded to list them all in the local newspaper. The island was still pretty barren. It would take years for landscape architect Frank Rich’s 600 types of tropical plants (from twenty countries) to mature. But for guests’ accommodation and amusement, there were furnished bungalows with kitchenettes

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($14-$37 a night), chef Andrew Pierides’ restaurant and tavern, snack shop, three swimming pools, a dock with small boats, rental bicycles, gift shop, a day camp for children headed up by San Diego Charger quarterback Jack Kemp, wooded glen, tidepool, an amphitheater, evening entertainment, shuffleboard, badminton, and croquet. Later came an 18-hole, par-3 golf course designed by Johnny Dawson. And yes, trout fishing in the freshwater lagoon. The Skirballs, being showmen from Hollywood, included a few surprises of their own throughout the property — a porpoise fountain said to have been from

“There is a little of the Orient and a little, too, of once-virgin unspoiled America in the design and indigenous materials employed.”

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a production of Cleopatra, filmprop masonry ornamenting bungalow entrances, and a collection of twenty mission bells from El Camino Real. They even placed a pair of live toucans by the central lagoon to greet guests. (Until a teenager stole one from its cage to give to her boyfriend. It escaped her clutches — and promptly drowned in the lagoon. Skirball donated the widowed bird to the San Diego Zoo.) Tiki Comes to Paradise On the southern shore of the island stood a cocktail lounge initially called “The Grotto.” The bar was built right on the beach. Of subterranean concrete and telephone pole construction, it was built beneath a pile of sand and could double as a bomb shelter. The joke was you could “get bombed at the bar but not bombed from the sky.” For decades it was the Barefoot Bar, home of Calypso music, exotic belly dancers, and tropical drinks. Until 1980, when there was a major renovation and expansion of the resort, and it became a Don the Beachcomber. “A lush South Seas atmosphere complete with wicker furniture, hanging baskets of plants, and bayside view is the setting,” wrote newspaperman Alan Page. Don’s served Polynesian cuisine, plus the requisite Zombie, Fog Cutter, Scorpion, and Mai Tai. Cantonese food. Crab Rangoon. Waitresses wore floral miniskirts and hostesses, halter-tops. It was a favorite of many for Sunday brunch on the patio, with entertainment overlooking the bay. Bad timing, though — it was the era before the Tiki Revival of the 1990s. “Don the Beachcomber is charming enough from the outside, its rustic wooden building decorated with tikis, torches, and appropriate foliage,” wrote restaurant critic Leslie James. “But inside, it’s full of sticky Formica and sickly ferns. A few wicker chairs and ersatz rock gardens do not a Polynesian paradise make.” Skirball sold the property in 1983 to P&O Enterprises (Peninsulas and Orient Steam Navigation Company of England), operator of The Love Boat. Vacation Village was renamed San Diego Princess Resort and heavily marketed as a vacation destination by the hotel and cruise ship operator. The ill-fated Don the Beachcomber

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reopened as the Polynesian Princess, but unfortunately, its food and drink suffered from the mediocrity so prevalent in corporate chain restaurants of the time. The Evolution of the Island Good news came in 1998 when LaSalle Hotel Properties bought San Diego Princess Resort and reimagined it as Paradise Point Resort & Spa. Buildings were renovated and accommodations upgraded — there are five pools now. Their fine dining restaurant Tidal serves coastal cuisine, and they brought back the crowd-favorite Barefoot Bar. Moai statues still guard guests as they pass through the lobby. Tiki torches abound. And Paradise will soon transform yet again, into Margaritaville Island Resort. Martin S. Lindsay is an art director, food historian, writer, speaker, and board chair of the Culinary Historians of San Diego. He has contributed to Tim Ferriss’ bestseller The 4-Hour Chef, and blogs about history and food. His latest book is Ninety Years of Classic San Diego Tiki: 1928-2018, available through his website, ClassicSanDiego.com, or Amazon.

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al u n n A h t 1 1

s i s a O i w Tik o h s t r A p U Pop-

On display at Paradise Point Resort in Spa @ Mission Bay Patio

Thursday Aug 13th - Sunday Aug 16th: 10am-2pm Curated by Baby Doe

2020 Featured Artists

Anthony Carpenter BigToe Art Candy Craig Robb Daisy Church Danielle Mann Dawn Frasier Sophista-tiki Devon Devereaux Diane Bombshelter Eddy Crosby Eric October Harry Decker James Owens Jason Straughan “The Boozy Doodler” Justin Peterson Ken Pleasant Ken Ruzic Lori Herbst Megan Besmirched Mike Carnevale Mike Maas Mookie Sato Norm Daniels Odd Rodney Rarabird, Laura Harper Robert Jimenez Sandra Fremgen Tiki King Tiki tOny Susana Andrea, Vestige Wendy Cevola Zachary Friedberg

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Tiki Oasis Virtual Weekend Schedule Since we cannot be together in one room this year we are bringing Tiki Oasis to your living room, tiki bar, sandy beach... wherever you might be!

For the full schedule and how to login to all these experiences please go to www.tikioasis.com

Friday 8/14 4pm - 5pm 6pm - 8pm 8pm - 10pm

Seminar: ‘Disneyland Goes Tiki’ with David “Dr. Skipper” Marley Virtual Marketplace Cocktail Hour, get to know the artists, makers and traders of Tiki Oasis hosted by Audrey Moorehead Ape ‘Supersonic’ record release party, hosted by APE

Saturday 8/15 10am - 11:30am Shopping in Pajamas: Virtual Marketplace! 1pm - 2pm Seminar: ‘Rum & Reàl Exotic Cocktail Challenge’ hosted by Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell 2pm - 3pm 11th Annual Tiki Oasis Art show LIVE on Instagram hosted by artist BigToe 4pm Aloha Caftan Society - Zoom Party! Dress up for the Aloha Fashion Stroll! 6pm - 10pm Tiki Oasis TV Main Showcase!! Featuring music, mixologist showcase and special guest appearances! 10pm - 1am Tiki Oasis Virtual Dance Party includes DJ’s, dancers, and other mischief hosted by Midwayville!

Sunday 8/16 10am -11:30am Shopping in Pajamas: Virtual Marketplace! 11:30 - 1pm Free panel discussion: ‘Sensual Paradise - Deconstructing the Romanticization of the Alluring Island Maiden’ 2pm - 4pm The Velvet Gazette Virtual Release Party

g n i p p o Sh ! s a m a j in Pa

8/15 and 8/16 • 10am-11:30am


eaturing over 50 vendors, there is no need to even roll out of bed in the morning to SHOP Tiki Oasis! Our virtual marketplace includes livestream interactions, live artist meet-ups and an overall unique shopping experience with the makers and creators that make Tiki Oasis such a unique experience!

Full details: www.tikioasis.com

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For the full experience, check out our Virtual Marketplace all weekend long including livestream interactions, studio tours, demos, artist meet-ups, live chats, happy hour sip ’n shop, shopping in pajamas, Tiki Oasis discounts and more! @TikiOasis.com


Tiki, Mid-Century & Pop Culture Inspired Art & Artifacts for your Tiki Temples!



BigToe Art


Original art, canvas and paper prints, art book, and Tiki mugs.

Original art in the form of prints, acrylic paintings, buttons, etc.



Ceramics by Carol

Ceramic tiki mugs and sculpture handmade with Aloha in California instagram.com/minitikimeow

Crazy Al’s Tikimania.com

Clever Vintage Clothing

Your trusted source for post WWII vintage clothing in ‘wear me now’ condition! instagram.com/clevervintageclothing


Original sculptures & ceramic Tiki mugs.

Based out of San Diego, Cutwater Spirits Brings a Laid-Back Vibe to your Party.




The Art of Derek Yaniger


Devon Devereaux Art

Aloha wear, Paintings, glassware, Tiki mugs, comic books and more! devondevereaux.com

Dionysus Records Mail Order

Disney and Tiki Culture Inspired Art



Dionysus Releases, Tiki Oasis Merchandise, 100s of LPs, 45s, CDs!

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Atomikitty Art

This six-piece band from San Francisco and the only band in the world that features a live Tiki Carver.

Dr. Skipper

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Shop Tiki Oasis Eric October

A tropical mosh pit of light up hair flowers, Tiki crowns and carnivorous alien plants.



Flamingo Vintage

Fox & Doll

Nestled in a 2,500 square foot Art Deco department store in the heart of Mexicantown, Detroit.

Midcentury inspired jewelry and accessories.




Hi-Tide Recordings



Handmade, vintage inspired bags that are fab & functional!

Hula Hideaway Art

Surf, Lounge & Exotic Sounds.

Iconic Atomic

Rum-soaked & colorful Tiki art, canvas & prints.

A vintage store specializing in hawaiian fashions for men and woman in XXS - 5X.



Kymm! Bang

Liquid Alchemist


Natural Cocktail Syrups from California. Enter code TIKIOASIS2020, buy any 750ml size syrup and get a free coconut pin! Enter code FREESHIP35 and receive FREE shipping on orders of $35 or more! liquid-alchemist.com/store

Loco Lindo

Lori Herbst Artist



Lucky Lou Shoes

Match Accessories



Gravel art and stylings for your mid-mod tiki life!

Vintage Inspired Prints & Patterns Made in California Since 1992!

Hand-carved shoes and accessories for women.

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Fancy Fruits

Ceramics, paintings, pendants, prints and more!

Hand cut and sewn vinyl portraits and modern tapestry artist.

The finest handmade, vintage inspired accessories for men and women.

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Shop Tiki Oasis Mischief Motu

Makers of exotic driftgoods.



One of kind designs for every head.

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Moni Tapu Jewelry

Handcrafted sterling silver jewelry inspired by the islands of the South Pacific. monitapu.com

Norm Daniels Barefoot Art

Oil Paintings of Mirth, Tiki and Surf.



Odd Rodney

Organic Jewelry by Allie

Handmade ceramics, sculpture and accessories. Specializing in Tiki with a Twist.

Colorful eco jewels with good karma.



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The original Royal Navy rum - one of the most historic and traditional rums still available today. The rich flavour of Pusser’s Rum is all natural no artificial flavouring or colouring is added.


• 2 ounces (60 ml) Pusser’s Rum • 4 ounces (120 ml) pineapple juice • 1 ounce (30 ml) orange juice • 1 ounce (30 ml) cream of coconut • Freshly grated nutmeg



Add liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into a big glass or goblet filled with ice. Grate fresh nutmeg on top. Garnish with an orange slice and cherry. Be careful–this is a smooth and sneaky drink. Enjoy!





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Shop Tiki Oasis PinTiki

Poster Pop

Collectible limited-edition Tiki pins for Tiki people!

Merchandise from the highly original artwork of todays greatest Lowbrow, Hotrod, Tiki, and Pop Surrealist Artists.



Princess Madison Designs


Handmade Tiki style accessories.

Fine art paintings, prints, T shirts, elaborate upscale hairflowers, and gentlmen’s Tiki hat fobs.




Custom Aloha Shirts in Novelty prints of Tiki, Mod, Culture, Hawaiian and more!



Rockin Bettie

Ron Monster

Pin Up, Rockabilly and Vintage styles with a modern edge for Men and Women.

Tiki lights, wall hangings, pendants, magnets and more!



Sex and Monsters

A Southern California-based comics and arts publisher with a focus on the weird, the quirky, and the low-brow. sexandmonsters.com



Original art, limited edition prints, books, merchandise and other goods from the artist SHAG! shag.com


High quality, handcrafted drink syrups.

Escapist fine art paintings, prints, and merchandise.



Spring Candles

She makes the soy candles and he does the wood working. Together we make beautiful candles, holders and frames for your home. springcandles.com

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Retro Ruthie

Handmade jewelry and accessories inspired by the tropical sea.

Steady Clothing

Quality vintage-inspired designs and rocker-chic style steadyclothing.com

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Shop Tiki Oasis Surf’s Up Essentials LLC

Environmentally friendly skincare for the entire family. Custom and vegan option’s available. surfsupessentialsLLC.etsy.com

The Art of Doug Horne

Quality art for your Tiki bar walls and Tiki mugs.

Tee-Ki Togs

Handmade statement pieces, unique & limited, distinctive Tiki Artist collaborations and sixties creations. instagram.com/teekitogs

Tiki Daddy’s Vintage - MT Kahuna

Vintage Hawaiiana, tiki, clothing, collectibles.


instagram.com/MT Kahuna

Tiki King

Tiki Objects By Bosko

Neat Tiki Stuff since 1994!

Creating Polynesian Pop since 1993 Handcrafted in Southern California. tikiking.net

Tiki Tommy’s


Tiki tOny

Tiki Lamps and massive stock of vintage island apparel, Tiki mugs and Polynesian artifacts.

Tiki Art mugs from a beach shack in SoCal




Vintage Gal

Shirts, hats, pendants, pins and Tiki Mugs

Latest trends and vintage inspired clothing you’ve been looking for



Volcano Designs

Did you know Tiki Oasis has a Marketplace Instagram?

Mid Century inspired apparel for men, women, and children. volcano-designs.com

Find treasures galore from the best tiki artists, tinkerers, and traders all year long! www.instagram.com/tiki_oasis_marketplace

Tiki Oasis Merchandise

Tiki Oasis commemorative merch is available online. Glassware, shirts, mugs and more.


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y r o t s i H


he first Tiki convention ever in the U.S. Tiki Oasis is an exploration of Mid-Century style and design often referred to as “Polynesian Pop”. Tiki Oasis was originally launched in 2001 as a fundraiser event to save The Caliente tropics hotel (1964), Palm Springs, from getting a de-Tikified remodel. After five successful years at The Caliente Tropics, Tiki Oasis had grown too big for the tiny roadside motel. In 2006 Tiki Oasis relocated to the Crowne Plaza San Diego (originally The Hanalei Hotel, 1959) in Hotel Circle and the historic Bali Hai Restaurant (1954) on Shelter Island. In 2020 Tiki Oasis changed locations once again to the spectacular 44-acre island location of Paradise Point Resort (originally Vacation Village, 1962). Over the years Tiki Oasis has become a beloved event that includes live entertainment, top mixologists, educational seminars, tiki carvers, aloha fashion and more, all to a tiki soundtrack. What makes the event unique is that it has a different theme each year. These themes are deeper explorations of ‘Polynesian Pop’ and Mid-Century Pop Culture such as Spies, Beatniks, or Space Age. While these themes would be considered tangential to Tiki, they are a great way to explore other aspects of Retro Culture in a fun and playful way. Below is a quick look at the past Tiki Oasis events we have hosted over the last 19 years!

2019 CATCH THE NEW WAVE Incorporating two ideas of the Second Wave Surf Music which started in 1980 and “80s Exotica” elements found in New Wave music such as The B-52s and Adam & The Ants, Tiki Oasis took a bold step outside the boundaries of Polynesian Pop imagery and style.

2018 SOUTH SEAS CINEMA We paid homage to “South Pacific” with the help of Los Angeles based group “South Seas Cinema.” South Seas Cinema is also a motion picture genre that is set on tropical islands of the Pacific.

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2017 INTERNATIONAL INTRIGUE We delved deeper into the world of spies by exploring other countries’ espionage thrillers.

2016 PARTY ON MONSTER ISLAND From rubber Godzillas tearing apart the South Seas to surfin’, Go Go dancing Frankenstein and Wolfman, creatures have always been lurking in paradise.

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2015 YESTERDAY’S FUTURE, TODAY! The Space Age ran parallel to the Modern Primitivism of Tiki Culture. Whether it was a World’s Fair or Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, It seemed that the interest in other worlds in outer space was equally as intriguing as our curiosity of primitive islander cultures.

2014 BEAT-TIKI Like the Beat Generation, today’s Tiki aficionados are drawn to primitivism and thirst to reconnect with the primal past, celebrating it in a modern context. What do Beatniks and Tiki have in common you ask? They like bongos and flute-centric / Jazz music; weird facial hair; they are artistic; sunglasses and barefeet!

2013 HULABILLY Part Americana, part Hawaiiana, Hulabilly is an American music style derived from the blending of Rockabilly and Haole Hawaiian music.

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2012 EXOTIC ESPIONAGE & POLYNESIAN PULP The rise of Tiki bars was concurrent with the rise of interest in spies from the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s. From “Mr. Moto”, “Adventures in Paradise” and “Hawaiian Eye” through the James Bond series and “Mission: Impossible”, spies/secret agents/private dicks have been intertwined with Exotica.

2011 SOUTH OF THE BORDER A cornerstone of Tiki Style is Exotica music, but almost all great Exotica tunes are built on Latin rhythms. That’s why the founders of Exotica went south of the border! – in the early 1960s Arthur Lyman released Aloha Amigo while Martin Denny released Latin Village and Spanish Village.

2010 TIKI OASIS EXTRAVAGANZA! Our 10th Anniversary featured a lot of alumni entertainers and symposium presenters as part of a big gala weekend.

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2009 TIKI SURF CITY So Cal Beach Party movies and 1960s Surf music was the theme for this year celebrating the crowning of Huntington Beach as Surf City USA and the birthplace of Surfing, Hawaii celebrated its 50th anniversary of Statehood.

2008 VOODOO VACATION ON ZOMBIE ISLAND What happens when you take two fringe elements of the Tiki movement such as Voodoo (Caribbean rum is the inspiration for Tiki cocktails) and Zombies (The Zombie drink was Don the Beachcomber’s crowning achievement) and mix them together for a weekend? Loads of fun.

2007 HAWAII A-GO-GO The Swingin’ Sixties didn’t skip Hawaii. Waikiki was the downtown of Honolulu and whether it was “Suck ‘Em Up!” or “Blue Hawaii”, Don Ho and Elvis Presley kept the party go-go-going!

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2006 THE MAGIC OF TIKI James Dimmare, the world’s only selfproclaimed Tiki magician, brought Las Vegas flare to Tiki Oasis. Throw in the theatrics of Las Vegas stage production “Shag With a Twist” and a Merlin the Magician bedecked live set by Exotica band Ape and this Tiki weekender was truly magic.

2005 MAROONED AT TIKI OASIS The Beachcomber aesthetic is the foundation of Polynesian Pop. Put that together with Cargo Cults, Trader style, and Caribbean Seas pirates and you are ready to set sail for a weekend of island fun.

2004 TIKI TOMORROWLAND! FUTURISTIC PRIMITIVES HERE TODAY! For our fourth year we took the theme one step beyond Modern Primitives by going futuristic! The combination of Futurism Primitivism and Outer Space costumes made for great fun and incongruous scenes around the tropics hotel.

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2003 A MODERN PRIMITIVE WEEKEND The tropics motel was a sea of tropical shirts and dresses during the day and upscale evening wear at night as Sophisticated Savages imbibed and indulged at the newly remodeled Reef Bar.

2002 SEEK THE TIKI OASIS The summer heat of Palm Springs inspired the theme of “the oasis” which was the tropics motel at night

when guests could come to life and put on their finest Aloha Wear and join the party. Artist Derek Yaniger provided the poster art which became the Tiki Oasis look.

2001 MODERN PRIMITIVE FÊTE Modern Primitive festival was the theme for the first three Tiki Oasis and basically it still is: Friday night is Aloha Wear casual, Saturday night is semi-formal, upscale Tiki fashion.

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Miss Tiki Oasis 2019

Phoenix A’Blaze


photo by Vixen Photography

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T IKI OASIS }Merchandise

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Tiki Oasis contributes to the following non-profits

Tiki Oasis would like to acknowledge:


pecial kudos goes to the Paradise Point Resort & Spa for working so closely with us in these unpredictable times. Thank you to the Bali Hai Restaurant, The Dana, Jennifer Watson from HelmsBriscoe, Miss Tiki Oasis 2019 Phoenix A’Blaze, Vixen Photography and our Diversity & Inclusion Council. Our Virtual hosts: Audrey Moorehead, David Marley, Ian Burrell, Susana Andrea, IfNWendy and Barron Scott Levkoff (Midwayville). High Fives to our amazing staff who are all lending helpful (and sanitized!) hands this weekend either in person or virtually: Burnie, Chad M, Chloe, Chris L, Dottie D, Drew C, Eric Y, Jim G, Jocelyn, Julie D, Kira C, King Kukulele, Lee J, Martini Bombshell, Matt F, Melissa Y, Rob R, Ruthie, Sonia C, Wiggles & Will Torres. As always, we thank our children Vander and Dash who work with us all year to successfully share this event with everyone else. Sincerely, Baby Doe & Otto von Stroheim Tiki Oasis Producers We are grateful for the support of our sponsors:

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