Remembering the Thunderbird Inn

Right now the island is going through an incredible construction phase. We are seeing many old collages torn down and made into condos and old motels being turned into condotel (a condo hotel).

Remembering the Thunderbird Inn

Remembering the Thunderbird Inn

This kind of contractions and demolition hasn’t been seen on our island since 2005-2006. It was during this time period that we lost some of the most iconic motels in history.

When it was all said and done we lost over 50+ Doo Wop motels such as the Flame Inn Motel, The 24th St. Motel, The Hawaii Kai Mote, The Hi Lilly Motel, The Rio Motel, The Carousel Motel and so much more.

One of those motels we lost that really was a major loss to the island was the Thunderbird Motel. Located at 24th and Surf in North Wildwood, this 1960s motels was very unique. Not only did it have it’s own restaurant but it also had an epic courtyard that featured a massive pool and a pool bar.

The 1960s advertisement for the motel said it best; “In the Wildwoods, the Thunderbird Inn is a way of life!” It was true!

For those who visited it during it’s 45+ years of existence knew it was the best kept secret of the island.

After a long day on the beach folks would turn to the Thunderbird for a nice dip in the pool and a cold drink while listening to some great live music.

On Sunday September 25th, a fire broke out in the dining room causing much destruction. It was planned that they would reopen while they were fixing the dining room but that following Spring the building would be sold and torn down.

Those who visited that summer before felt a strange feeling. It was like saying goodbye to a friend that had treated you so well.

If you miss the thunderbird, as we do from time to time, the Wildwood Historical Society has one of the last remaining signs from the Thunderbird Inn plus a ton of photos.

Check out these other Wildwood Videos and articles

Explaining Why The Wildwood Beaches Are So Big

Colorized Historical Wildwood Photos – Part 1