Buffett Christens New Casino with Outdoor Show

May 22nd, 2012

The Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant in Biloxi is now open!

Jimmy Buffett christened his first stand-alone casino this afternoon with a special outdoor show that was broadcast live on Radio Margaritaville.

Here’s a look at the set list (hat tip Justin):

  1. Stars on the Water
  2. It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere
  3. License to Chill
  4. Pencil Thin Mustache
  5. Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
  6. Son of a Son of a Sailor
  7. The Pascagoula Run
  8. Bama Breeze
  9. Volcano
  10. Come Monday
  11. Margaritaville
  12. Encore:

  13. Fins

Check out a couple of interviews that Buffett gave today:

Huffington Post – Jimmy Buffett Talks About New Biloxi Margaritaville And His Hopes For The Gulf Coast
NOLA.com – Jimmy Buffett expands his Margaritaville brand to Biloxi casino

Tagged in Business Empire, Casinos, Special Appearances

Margaritaville Casino in Biloxi Opens Today

May 22nd, 2012

Jimmy Buffett’s latest business venture, the $62 million Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant in Biloxi, opens to the public tonight at 8:00 pm. Buffett will perform a private show before the opening to invited guests, including members of the local parrothead club.

The show will be broadcast live on Radio Margaritaville, beginning at 5:00 CDT.

Located on the eastern tip of Back Bay, from a distance it looks more like a yacht club than your traditional casino.

Inside, there is colorful ambient lighting and tropical décor.

Like other Margaritaville properties such as at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, the entrance features a Margaritaville Restaurant and Volcano Bar, where, four times a day a “Biloxi cutie” is ejected from a smoking “volcano” from which she slides down into a replica blenderful of margaritas.

Dining options also include the Feeding Frenzy buffet featuring Gulf Coast cuisine and indoor and outdoor entertainment centers where visitors may enjoy an array of local, regional and national music acts.

Biloxi’s Margaritaville boasts 18 table games and 820 slots.

Another feature that sets it apart from the typical casino: A 30-foot wall of glass from which one may see the water and the Biloxi Bay bridge from any vantage point within the interior.

Tagged in Business Empire, Casinos

Jimmy Appears Before Mississippi Gaming Board

May 17th, 2012

The Margaritaville Casino in Biloxi opens next week and Jimmy Buffett was in Jackson today to meet with the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

[See video below]

The popular singer met a Mississippi Gaming Commission requirement to appear before the panel before the casino’s VIP celebration at 5 p.m. and public grand opening at 8.

“Nothing like good timing!” Buffett told commissioners meeting this morning at their North Street office. “It’s always a pleasure to come home, and a double pleasure to get certified, because we open next week.”

The casino, to employ almost 1,000, will be located on Biloxi’s Back Bay.

Commissioners in March gave the casino their blessing, said Buffett’s business partner of 15 years, John Cohlan, but Buffett was required to make a personal appearance before the board as part of the certification. “Jimmy was on the road a month ago, and he couldn’t do it,” Cohlan explained.

But today, Buffett charmed all those at the meeting without singing the first note.
“I made my first professional dollar in Biloxi back in the 60s,” the Pascagoula native said. “I’m very proud to be coming back here.”

The $62 million project has been in the works since 2009, with the struggling economy playing a role in its slow progression.

But today, the project and the area of Biloxi it will invigorate are blooming. Biloxi’s Fifth Street, which will provide a tropical entryway to the casino, has been rebuilt. Trolleys will bring customers to the casino from a 900-vehicle parking lot.

“It’s touching,” Buffett said of the casino’s employment numbers. “It’s good to be an economic force on the Gulf Coast.”

It saddens him, Buffett said, to drive along U.S. 90 between New Orleans and Biloxi and see bare slabs where before Hurricane Katrina, buildings once stood.

“We certainly will be a catalyst in that area,” Buffett said. “We’re doing what we can.”

Cohlan told commissioners that Buffett “has opened my eyes to that part of the world.
“It’s safe to say that this is the most special thing we’ve ever done, from Jimmy’s perspective.”

The singer said he’s going to be “pretty involved” in his namesake casino, even though he says home is a wide swath “from upstate New York to the French West Indies.

“I’m always in and out of New Orleans,” he said. “And, the Walter Anderson Museum in Ocean Springs is a pet project of mine. It’s a good excuse to come here and be home.”

Buffett said he’ll be there for the opening and promises a big party.
And yes, he will perform.

“I don’t know,” Buffett said when asked what he will sing. “I haven’t written the set list. But, I want a dance floor. It will be uptempo.”

Tagged in Business Empire, Casinos

Announcing Parrot Head Advanced Suncare

May 15th, 2012

Today Margaritaville unveiled Parrot Head Advanced Sun Care, a totally new product line of advanced sun care for the tropical lifestyle. The Original Margaritaville store in Key West Florida became the first store in the world to display the new product line starting today, the rest of the world will follow over the coming weeks and months.

Margaritaville Parrot Head is more than advanced sun care. It nourishes and moisturizes skin the way that the best skin care products do, as it protects it from the sun.

All Margaritaville Parrot Head products contain a unique and proprietary moisturizing base called Aloe Hydrating Complex™. This moisturizing breakthrough is further infused with vitamins and other natural ingredients like Olive Squalane, Borage, Hemp, Brazil Nut, Avocado, Calendula, Chamomile, Comfrey and Carrot. Together, these ingredients work to enhance skin’s elasticity and moisture retention, protect against oxidative stress, and have anti-aging properties as well.

Of course, since it’s from Margaritaville, Parrot Head is also about having fun. The brand was inspired by the legions of freewheeling, sun-seeking Parrot Heads around the world. Every Parrot Head product is infused with the essence of Margaritaville, and is made to let you escape to the tropics anytime.

Margaritaville Parrot Head will be available in six product lines that are all PABA and Paraben free:

“Floridays” Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion:

Floridays Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotions are Ultra light moisturizing sunscreens that are perfect for everyday sun protection. Floridays contains Olive Squalane, a light emollient that penetrates quickly and deeply to fight dryness and moisturize skin. Floridays is also available in a lip balm.

“Floridays” Face Ultra Light Moisturizing Sunscreen:

Floridays Face is an ultra light sunscreen made specifically to protect the delicate skin on the face. This Aloe Hydrating Complex 500 formula is enriched with H2O Melon Skin Aging Defense™ that protects skin against extreme climate conditions and UV radiation.

“FINS UP!” Sport Sunscreen Lotion and Spray:

FINS UP! Sport Sunscreen Lotion and Spray are instant dry, high performance moisturizing sunscreens that offer maximum sun protection and moisturization. FINS UP! Is formulated with WetSkin Tech™ technology that enables it to bond to your skin for maximum resistance to moisture.

“Parakeet Kids” Sunscreen Lotion and Spray:

Parakeet Kids Sunscreen Lotion and Spray are specially formulated for kids’ sensitive skin; they’re fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and provide maximum protection and maximum water resistance.

“License to Chill” Cooling Aloe Lotion and Gel:

License to Chill Cooling Aloe Lotion and Gel are fortified with Parrot Head’s most intensive Aloe Hydrating Complex 1500 and H20 Melon Skin Aging Defense to heal, moisturize, soothe and repair skin. License to Chill also makes tans last longer.

“Dedicated To Sunshine” Tanning Oil and Tan Enhancer:

Dedicated To Sunshine Tanning Oil and Tan Enhancer with Aloe Hydrating Complex contain a rich mixture of tropical botanicals including Calendula, Chamomile, Borage and Hemp Oil. Together they improve skin tone, prevent moisture loss, and have anti-aging properties too.

In 2012, Parrot Head products will be available online and at select retail stores in the Caribbean, Florida, and the South East, as well as at Margaritaville destinations across the country. A full scale launch is planned in January of 2013 in the remainder of the US.

Tagged in Business Empire

Hollywood Beach Margaritaville Hits Financial Snag

May 10th, 2012

The developer of the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort is way behind in financing according to an article in the Orlando Sentinel:

The fate of the long-anticipated Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort is in peril because of problems obtaining financing, but the city and the developer say they’re optimistic the money will come through.

Developer Lon Tabatchnik is supposed to have financing in place by Tuesday but has yet to raise the $126 million needed for the 17-story, 349-room Jimmy Buffett-themed resort.

Tabatchnik had hoped to get the money through a program that gives foreign investors residency in the United States if they invest at least $500,000 each in job-creating projects.

But Tabatchnik, city officals say, has received commitments to date from only 26 Chinese investors, which would raise $13 million, far too little to meet Tuesday’s deadline.

To get the project going, he’s now talking to banks for loans and he’s asking the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency to kick in up to $25 million.

“We’re not alarmed by this,” Assistant City Manager Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark said. “We absolutely know he is feverishly working on this.”

Despite “the unforeseen hurdles,” Tabatchnik said he is not discouraged.

“We’re in the process of negotiating and finalizing the terms of our financing arrangements. We’re very close,” he said. “We’ll get them accomplished and we’ll get this project built.”

City officials say Tabatchnik wants to borrow at least $75 million from banks, but hotel analysts say banks are tight with credit for new hotels since the financial crisis in 2008.

“I think it’s going to be awfully tough. Banks are typically looking for at least 35 percent to 40 percent real equity,” said hotel analyst Scott Brush, of Brush & Co. in Miami.

The CRA already committed to lend Tabatchnik $10 million for furnishings at the resort when it is built. Tabatchnik is asking the agency to increase the loan by $15 million and provide it sooner so he can build.

The city is studying the proposal, Swanson-Rivenbark said.

Read the full story here.

Tagged in Business Empire, Margaritaville Hotel