The John Ringling Hotel—also known as El Vernona and the John Ringling Towers—was built in the 1920s honoring real estate entrepreneur Owen Burns’ wife, Vernona Freeman. After the real estate boom subsided, Burns worked hard to keep El Vernona standing. Several efforts to save the towers through the years eventually failed, and the hotel was demolished in 1998. Today, this site is home to The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota.
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