She was a bright, shiny star in the 1930s and 1940s. In those days, Ginny Sims sang her way into everyone’s heart via radio, singing with the Kay Kyser Orchestra. In time, she developed her own radio shows, and hit the silver screen, becoming a huge star in “B” movies. Sims made her last movie in 1951, but found her way onto television, as well as continuing her singing career on radio.
By the early 1960s Ginny had found a new passion. She and Pat Boone became some of the first investors in Ocean Shores, Washington. This new resort community would be located on a six mile long sand spit in the Pacific Ocean, which had once been used by the Chinook, Chehalis, and Quinault Tribes that now make up the Quinault Indian Nation.
As Sims and Pat Boone promoted the new resort town of Ocean Shores Estates, Ginny opened and operated the Ginny Sims Restaurant at the Ocean Shores Inn. While the development grew, her restaurant and nightclub brought in the Hollywood set. On Grand Opening night, chartered planes flew up a whole contingent of Hollywood stars, and 11,000 people turned out at Bowerman Basin to see the celebrities.
After many successful years, time and retirement found Sims living in Palm Springs, California. And on April 4, 1994, she was playing golf on her favorite course, when she had a heart attack and died, then and there, at the age of 80. It is not too surprising when someone of that age passes away, but there is more to Ginny Sims’ death.
On the same day, in a small town on Washington’s rugged coast, the heavy equipment had arrived, and work had begun. The old Ginny Sims Restaurant was being torn down, to be replaced by the new Shilo Inn and Restaurant. As the first bulldozing began in Ocean Shores, Washington, Ginny Sims fell dead in Palm Springs, California.
Construction of the Shilo Inn was completed, and shortly after its opening, stories began circulating throughout the hospitality community in town. The Shilo was haunted! There was a lady, sometimes dressed in red, sometimes dressed in white, who wandered through the lobby late at night, and loved helping people out by pushing buttons on the elevators, opening and closing doors for those who needed help, or not. She was reported to follow staff around through the hallways, lending them a sense of her presence and watchfulness. And always when she was near, everyone noticed a scent of lilac.
Her laughter has been heard, and when the area from which it came was checked, no one was there. She has opened elevator doors for staff whose arms were full, or elevator buttons were pushed as someone reached to push it, himself. Her reflection, as she strolled through the lobby, has been observed in the giant wall mirror behind the front desk, but vanished when the front desk agent turned to look at her. One employee reported an evening when his blood sugar got too low, and he almost passed out. A presence seemed to help him along until he could get food and remedy the situation. He said feeling her presence until his blood sugar rose to normal levels was very comforting, not frightening at all.
These ghostly activities at the Shilo Inn have continued for all the years it has stood where Ginny Sims Restaurant and Nightclub once were the highlight and promise to come of the Venice-inspired vision early developers held for their Hollywood investors. Some people, who have been a part of Shilo since it was first constructed, like to think Ginny simply had a place in her life where she was very happy, and successful. Those places always are difficult to leave, and perhaps, in her case, she found a way to return, and continues as the grande dame in her own heaven on the beach.