Every abandoned place has a story, some more interesting than others. The Carol Hotel had quite the past.
The Playboy Club once occupied Omaha, when the hotel was The Sheraton (May 18, 1984-1988), and before the Playboy Club, it was The Smuggler’s Inn with an upscale disco. In 1980, The Smuggler’s Inn was part of a Supreme Court Case in 1980. It was also The Clarion, and when the hotel was purchased for the last time and changed to The Carol, they manipulated the sign to read, Carol.
The photo above: This is a picture of original Omaha bunnies in front of the Omaha Playboy Club pictured with owners Mark Guilds and Tom Tracy.
Above via Omaha World Herold:
Playboy bunny G.G. passes out Valentine lollipops to Roy Shover and Ken Mues during a 1985 Valentine’s Day visit to Vets Hospital.
Neighbors said the hotel was far from classy. After years of alleged prostitution, drug-dealing, and violence, they decided to take the Carol Hotel down.
Even something as shady as a hotel once used for prostitution, drug-deals, and violence sitting in piles of rubble can still be beautiful.
“How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat. Some dance to remember, some dance to forget.” –Hotel California, The Eagles
Just like life, not everything is pretty, but parts are downright breathtaking, if you can look beyond the piles of unwanted. In the end, The Carol Hotel was an eye-sore in the neighborhood everyone wanted to get rid of, but beyond that were the memories of the disco, The Playboy Club, and the people who experienced the building. Without experiences, a place is just a place.
Trish Eklund is the owner and creator of Abandoned, Forgotten, & Decayed, and Family Fusion Community, an online resource for blended families of all types. Trish’s photography has been featured on Only in Nebraska, Nature Takes Over and Pocket Abandoned. Check out the new Bonanza Store for AFD merchandise! Follow on Instagram and Facebook. Trish is regularly featured on The Mighty, Huffington Post Divorce, and Her View From Home. She has also been featured on Making Midlife Matter, and The Five Moms, and has an essay in the anthology, Hey, Who’s In My House? Stepkids Speak Out by Erin Mantz.