Funner, California, is not just a place; it’s a state of mind. Nestled in North San Diego County, this quirky city was officially renamed from Harrah’s Resort Southern California to Funner by the Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians. The city’s inauguration saw none other than David Hasselhoff, the iconic actor from Baywatch and Knight Rider, being sworn in as the first Mayor. But what’s the story behind this offbeat transformation?
In 2012, Harrah’s Rincon Casino and Resort sought to set itself apart from the numerous Indian casinos in Southern California. The resort underwent significant changes, including the addition of a pool complex, a lazy river, and a social day club called “Dive.” However, the most significant repositioning was the renaming of the 40-acre area to “Funner,” reflecting the resort’s mission to elevate visitor “fun” to new heights.
The Birth of Funner, CA
The Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians Tribal Council Leaders unanimously voted to adopt the new name, and on August 1, 2016, an official proclamation was made. The subsequent months were dedicated to getting major organizations and mapping services like Google, Facebook, and Waze to recognize and adopt the new name. Finally, on May 18, the city’s inauguration took place, with David Hasselhoff assuming the role of Mayor.
Embracing the Funner Spirit
While some may view this as a publicity stunt, the resort and its staff have wholeheartedly embraced the new brand. Guests displaying “funner” behavior are rewarded with “Funcitations” by the local “Fun Enforcement” team. Bartenders have crafted their own “funner” drinks, some of which are not even on the menu. The resort has also introduced Funner branded merchandise, including the placement of “golden tickets” throughout the restaurants, promising prizes with every dining opportunity.
The Funner Phenomenon
According to Jon Bailey, the founder and chief relationships officer of i.d.e.a., the San Diego-based advertising agency behind the rebranding, “Funner is killing it. Every other casino in the country is looking at what’s happening here.” This bold and unconventional approach to place marketing has garnered attention and admiration from industry peers.
What is the story behind the renaming of Funner, CA?
The renaming of Funner, CA, stemmed from Harrah’s Resort Southern California’s desire to distinguish itself from other Indian casinos in the region. The renaming was proposed by the San Diego-based advertising agency i.d.e.a. and was embraced by the Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians Tribal Council Leaders.
Who was inaugurated as the first Mayor of Funner, CA?
David Hasselhoff, the renowned actor from Baywatch and Knight Rider, was officially inaugurated as the first Mayor of Funner, CA.
How has the Funner brand been embraced by the resort and its staff?
The resort and its staff have fully embraced the Funner brand, rewarding guests for displaying “funner” behavior, creating exclusive “funner” drinks, and offering Funner branded merchandise and dining incentives.
What has been the response to the Funner phenomenon?
The unconventional approach to place marketing has garnered attention and admiration, with other casinos across the country taking note of the success of Funner, CA.