February 22, 2007
rank Miller was a creative entrepreneur. He sought many ways to encourage people to visit his Mission Inn. The sign on this car was just one of many marketing methods Miller utilized. Sometimes he traveled to the California-Arizona border to greet train passengers headed for Los Angeles. He presented oranges to the travelers and encouraged them to stop in Riverside.
The Mission Inn represented Miller’s romantic version of California’s history. This was during a time when an effort was first made to save the California missions, and books such as Helen Hunt Jackson's Ramona popularized the Mission era. Frank Miller provided many reasons for people to visit the hotel. He filled the Inn with artwork reminiscent of the Mission era, and often dressed like a Franciscan padre (Gale, 1938). Some people believed the hotel had once been a mission, and that was all right with Frank Miller; it got them there.
Thanks to Miller, people from all over the world heard of the Mission Inn and came to visit – celebrities from Hollywood, United States Presidents and politicians, famous authors, millionaires, and people from all walks of life who wanted to experience Miller's masterpiece for themselves.