Resorts announces deal with Jimmy Buffett to add a Margaritaville brand complex to casino including a year-round beach bar.
ATLANTIC CITY — Jimmy Buffett is scheduled to headline in Atlantic City next weekend, but he arrived in town yesterday as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was tasked with announcing the next step in the “rejuvenation of Atlantic City,” that Resorts will be adding a Margaritaville complex to the property, scheduled to open in May 2013.
Christie noted that, “The level of reinvestment, which we hadn’t seen in years, has taken hold here in Atlantic City and will continue to be transformative. I’m excited to announce the next step in that transformation, bringing Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville experience right here to Resorts. It is an approximately $35 million project that will create an estimated 250 construction jobs, 45 professional temporary jobs and another 162 permanent jobs.”
After Christie’s announcement on the Boardwalk at Resorts, a billboard was unveiled featuring the Margaritaville theme announcement.
The rumors about the Margaritaville-Resorts marriage had been floating around town for months, but now we have the details as presented by the governor and executive vice president of operations at Resorts, Aaron Gomes.
The Margaritaville complex will embrace Buffett’s laid-back beach vibe featuring a casino, restaurant, Five O’clock Somewhere Bar, retail stores, LandShark Bar and Grill, a year-round beach bar complex, and the brand’s first coffee shop. While the front of Resorts and a majority of the property will retain its art deco Roaring Twenties theme and flapper-attired servers, the Boardwalk side of the façade will feature the Margaritaville brand.
Construction is scheduled to begin in September with the projected opening being May 2013.
Buffett began his remarks by saying, “I feel like Nucky Thompson in a way, but I will try not to get in as much trouble. Atlantic City has always been a great beach town and needless to say, I thrive in those types of communities. The Jersey shore has the largest flock of Parrotheads, so while we are helping bring back a great beach town we are also giving a flock of migrant birds a nest to come to.”
Buffett had previously been in negotiations to bring his Margaritaville brand to the region when he was part of a group that attempted to purchase the then Trump Marina (now the Golden Nugget) in May 2008. However the economy tanked, the price changed and the deal fell through.
Gomes is happy to take up the Margaritaville banner. “Today we made a landmark announcement to bring Margaritaville and Jimmy Buffett’s other brands to Resorts.
“We will build a pier for the beach bar, which will seat approximately 200 that will expand and include such activities as a bocce ball court and volley ball court and additional seating for an entertainment venue every summer.
“Jimmy Buffett and his group have been incredible. It sells itself. As you can see by the turnout today, it is more than a brand. We call it a lifestyle. We’re moving fast. We hope to break ground the first week in September and be open by Memorial Day next year.”
Christie added, “The success of Atlantic City is critical to both the regional and state economics, which is why we have seen an unprecedented amount of investment and cooperation among all of the casinos, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, and my administration. The continued addition of world-class entertainment, retail and gaming offerings in the city illustrates the commitment of all partners to making this effort succeed. I congratulate both Resorts Casino Hotel and the Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville brand on making this a reality.”
With a singer strumming her guitar and singing "Cheeseburger in Paradise" on the ocean-facing rear deck, the Jimmy Buffett themed LandShark Bar & Grill at Resorts was open for a few hours Saturday, May 18, as a sneak preview of summer fun to come. The new Margaritaville themed complex at Resorts will be rolling out its sandy red carpet for the public at large Memorial Day Weekend.
“I think Jimmy and Morris were brilliant in their forethought because, clearly, the first thing that comes to mind when you visit the Jersey shore is the beach and ocean."
While some of us are just looking forward to patronizing the new Margaritaville themed venues coming to Resorts this summer, talented musical performers looking for a new gig will get their chance to audition.
Partially owned and run by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority since August 2012, Resorts, on Jan. 10, opened two new players’ club lounges — the Epic Lounge and Paramount Lounge — that combine the elegant feel of a club Boardwalk Empire’s Nucky Thompson would appreciate but with the modern touches — like flat-screen TVs — that current casino patrons will enjoy.
Mitchell Etess, CEO of the Indian Tribe casino company, which operates casinos in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, says it's the perfect time for a strategic partnership with Resorts and get back into the Atlantic City market.
Strolling on the historic Boardwalk Hall stage Saturday night, wearing his usual concert attire of T-shirt, beach shorts and no shoes, Jimmy Buffett, the world’s most popular beach bar bandleader, presented the musical party known as Margaritaville to the flock of devoted Parrotheads who packed the Hall.
Now comes several unconfirmed reports that Buffett’s 2011 Fin Land tour will stop in Atlantic City in August, although no dates have been mentioned. Buffett’s Web site doesn’t include Atlantic City on the list of announced concerts, although his annual visit to the Camden waterfront is scheduled for June 23.
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Presumably, the casino will skip the violence and racketeering of Boardwalk Empire — which also dives into the early careers of mobsters like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano — and just go for the ‘20s party atmosphere. But Gomes, in a press release, does say that the casino is responding to the success of the show, which has quickly become a critical darling.
“I only wore this suit for you guys,” says Gomes, tugging at his collar. “When I’m working, you’ll never catch me in a suit.”
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