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New Times: The Jimmy Buffett-Themed Margaritaville Resort Should Open Sometime This Summer

The Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, under development on the Hollywood Broadwalk, joins a crowded portfolio of businesses — including bars and restaurants — that are inspired by the musical catalog of easygoing and fun-loving singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett.

The 17-story, 349-room destination resort and entertainment complex is billed as having “an authentic, no worries, tropical vibe” just like, you know, its namesake. It will attempt to foster said vibe with, among other amenities, a massive swimming pool with 5,332 square feet of swimming space, an 11th-floor “License to Chill” rooftop pool, a FlowRider® Double surfing simulator, and paddleboarding and snorkeling adventures.

We spoke to the resort’s general manager, Cate Farmer, about all things Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort and inquired as to whether Buffett will find time to play the opening — whenever that may be. An opening date has yet to be announced, though resort leaders have repeatedly promised a summer 2015 opening.

Here are some excerpts from our conversation:

On local concerns that the project will ruin Hollywood’s mom-and-pop vibe:

Farmer: What I think Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort will do is bring millions of people from around the world to Hollywood, and those travelers will spend money at our local businesses. Hopefully everybody will thrive and it will be done in a way that’s respectful of this very charming and wonderful city.

On the resort’s three planned music stages:

The biggest and perhaps the most anticipated one is the Johnson Street Bandshell [Note: The resort will manage entertainment at the band shell.] That location is so perfect. It sits on the northeast corner of the property, directly on [Hollywood] Broadwalk. 5 O’clock Somewhere will have a smaller, more acoustically driven live entertainment area. Margaritaville restaurant is known for its entertainment, and we’ll have a great stage there that’ll probably go late into the evening.

On the possibility of a stage where people would play only Jimmy Buffett covers:

I think that no, not only Jimmy Buffett cover songs.

On whether the venue will book national acts:

I think there’s so much local talent that we will support as much local talent as possible, and that will be featured most often. I think there are opportunities for national acts and special shows and different types of packages or weekends that feature nationals.

So reggae, salsa, funk, etc. — these are options?

Jimmy is really appreciative of all genres and aspects of music. Margaritaville represents a pretty diverse and eclectic collection of artists and musicians. Yes, we will have all of that and reflect all of South Florida.

On whether Buffett will attend the grand opening:

I don’t make Jimmy’s plans. Everything is done on his own schedule. He’s at the resort quite frequently, and he’s really excited about the entertainment venues. Absolutely, we’d love Jimmy to be a part of the weekends as much as he’d like to be. He’s very passionate about the resort. He has a pretty extensive tour schedule.

On Jimmy Buffett’s level of involvement:

Jimmy Buffett is involved in the resort, of course, as it is part of the brand he has built around his name, lyrics, and the Margaritaville lifestyle. He has visited the site several times, including this spring, when he gave “two fins up.” We expect that he will be a frequent visitor to the property once it is open.

Margaritaville Hollywood Beach, 1111 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood. Call 954-874-4444, or visit