Jimmy Buffett Plans Margaritaville Caribbean Timeshare Resort
Saturday, March 30, 2013
It’s official. You can soon be kicking off your flip-flops at the first Margaritaville Caribbean timeshare resort. Jimmy Buffett has announced a partnership with Wyndham to open a 262-unit resort on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. The Caribbean timeshare resort will be located at the former Renaissance Grand Beach Resort in Smith Bay.
Wyndham Vacation Ownership President and Chief Executive Officer Franz Hanning , along with Buffett, unveiled the first renderings of the new resort property earlier this month at a gathering of St. Thomas government officials and members of the business community. Plans call for a $90 million investment by Wyndham timeshare in the previously abandoned property to transform it into the flagship Margaritaville Vacation Club by Wyndham.
To set the mood for the launch announcement, Buffett even serenaded the assembled group with “Boat Drinks,” which he said was inspired by a trip to St. Thomas; “Volcano”; and “Margaritaville.” Buffett, who began the Margaritaville brand in the 1980s in Key West with a T-shirt shop, later a bar and restaurant, describes the Caribbean timeshare project as a perfect fit, adding that he, “wrote a lot of songs down there.”
Today the Margaritaville brand includes 16 restaurants in the US with two others scheduled to open soon, a Pensacola, Florida hotel, casinos in Biloxi and Las Vegas, with another one scheduled for Atlantic City, a hotel and casino project soon to open in Louisiana. Outside the US the Margaritaville brand includes six Caribbean bars and restaurants in Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, Grand Cayman, and San Juan.
And who will be the first timeshare owner at the new Margaritaville resort? Why Buffett himself, who says he plans to buy the first four timeshare units so his musicians and crew can rotate through.
Construction on the Caribbean timeshare resort will begin in July.