Homebuyers tour Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach

From the Daytona Beach News Journal: “Homebuyers get their first peek at Latitude Margaritaville model homes

The planned 6,900-home Jimmy Buffett-themed Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach is the first of several 55-and-older communities that developer Minto Communities and Buffett’s Margaritaville Holdings company are teaming up to create in multiple states.

The community is being marketed as a real-life version of the fictional Margaritaville described in Buffett’s 1977 signature tune of the same name where the life is laid-back and filled with music and where that “frozen concoction that helps me hang on” is plentiful.

“Everything here is about food, fun and music,” said Bill Bullock, senior vice president of Minto Communities. “It’s all about the lifestyle and the fun that is going to be had. That’s why we chose to do this event as a street party.”

Bullock said later that 2,637 people went through the models Saturday.

The homes all have wide open floor plans with high ceilings. When walking in the front door of any of the models, the back patio is immediately visible with each house having the option of a backyard pool.

“They all have big kitchens and islands because it’s the gathering place,” Bullock said. “It’s all about having fun in the home.”

The bright, pastel-colored Old Florida/Key West-style homes and “villa” townhomes are being offered at starting prices ranging from the low $200,000s to the mid-$300,000s. A monthly homeowners fee includes lawn maintenance care and all amenities with the exception of food and beverage purchases.

The first phase of Latitude Margaritaville will also include a 33-acre town center with an array of amenities including a bandshell and town square area that will feature live music and special events, including dances, a bar and restaurant and a resort-style pool that will include cabanas, tiki huts and lawn games, fitness and activities centers, pet spa, walking trails and pickleball, tennis and bocce ball courts. This is set to be completed in early 2019.

Also planned is a private oceanfront beach club that will be built in Ormond-by-the-Sea and will be accessible via a loop shuttle.

Since sales began in November, more than 200 homes have been purchased. Bullock said he expects his company will build more than 300 homes this year, with plans to ramp up construction even further in subsequent years.

Jimmy Buffett talks about ‘Escape to Margaritaville’

From ABC 7 in New York: “Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ comes to Broadway

Jimmy Buffett has never won a Grammy Award, and he’s not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so how come he’s richer than Bruce Springsteen? Some answers can be found at the Marquis Theatre, where we found him getting ready for the opening of his new musical.

Laid-back has rarely looked so good. The man making an “Escape to Margaritaville” has built a fortune by seeming like he doesn’t have a care in the world.

“The ability to have a little fun in life is necessary and even more so now,” Jimmy told me during final rehearsals of his new show.

“No, I did not,” he said. “I was just writing songs about people that I knew about and episodes in my own life.”

Buffett’s new Broadway show is but one small part of an empire. The musician is worth more than half a billion dollars, but the musical featuring his old tunes woven into a loose story is very close to his heart. Being on Broadway is one of his long held dreams.

“One of the cool things is walking to work down Broadway and being on Broadway, so to me, I still have to pinch myself to see that’s going to happen,” Buffet said. I asked him how that makes him feel and he replied, “You know I always love that Drifter’s song: ‘You know, the neon lights are bright on Broadway.’ I sing it coming down Broadway.”

Forbes Article on Escape To Margaritaville

From Forbes: “After A Long Weekend, Jimmy Buffett Kicks Back On Broadway

Break out the cheeseburgers: Jimmy Buffett’s come to Broadway, and business is good.

The 71-year-old entrepreneur saw his long-gestating musical, Escape To Margaritaville, begin previews at the Marquis Theatre this weekend. It grossed nearly $400,000 off just two performances – not bad for a professed beach bum.

It’s got room to grow, though. Taking into account higher-than- average weekend prices, the show is primed to gross over $1 million next week, but not hit its listed potential. Word-of- mouth still needs to spread.

Jukebox musicals, even with a built-in fanbase like Buffett’s, are not that much safer than original properties on Broadway. Some are megahits like Jersey Boys or Beautiful, but plenty fail to turn a profit, including the Marquis’s last tenant, Gloria Estefan’s On Your Feet!.

But Buffett is not one to let a good business opportunity sink – he is, after all, worth about $550 million (a Forbes assessment backed up by recent, quietly savage profile in the New York Times). And according to one of his producers, the theater bar is already setting records for intermission drink sales. Wasting away, indeed.

Video of Jimmy Buffett on CBS News Sunday Morning

From CBS News Sunday Morning: “Jimmy Buffett and “Margaritaville” come to Broadway

From Tracy Smith: “You might say the newest musical on Broadway feels like an old friend. This is Jimmy Buffett’s “Escape to Margaritaville.”

You won’t see Jimmy on stage, but every song is his. Feel free to sing along!

Smith said, “Broadway is a big gamble. You don’t have to do this; you’re rather comfortable, I would say. Why stick your neck out?”

“‘Cause for me it’s the challenge of doing it,” Buffett replied. “I’ve always wanted to do it. You know, one of my favorite songs was always The Drifters — They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. I sing it every time I walk down here to work.

“And I think about my mother and when she would drag me to musicals, you know, when I was a kid. It’s more about for her. I wish she was here to see this, but she’s the one that set me on this path. So, I figure I gotta do it!”

This is a jukebox musical: Of the 27 songs in the show, only two are actually new. The rest, like “License to Chill,” are proven crowd-pleasers.

“Most of the songs people have heard,” Buffett said. “It’s not like we’re waiting to see if they’re good or not. We’re kind of OK, right? We don’t want to go in there and do what they don’t know!”

Smith asked, “Do you think there would be a Jimmy Buffett if there wasn’t a New Orleans?”

“That’s a very interesting question. I don’t think there ever would have been. I could have gotten a job going South, probably would have had a bar in the British Virgin Islands and singing there,” he replied. “But those years being here really were formative years for me. And it made me a better professional player, so that I thought I could make that leap and all of that. This was my training ground for all of that.”

For Buffett, a married father of three, it’s been a long voyage, and not always an easy one.

When asked what was the biggest storm he’s weathered, he replied, “Wow. There was a point — I think it’s a year or two-year period — where I lost my mom, my dad, Ed Bradley, one of my best friends. But I have to think that, what would they want me to do? And all I can think of is continue doing what I’m doing.”

Jimmy Buffett to appear on the Today Show

Jimmy Buffett will be making an appearance on the Today Show (NBC) on Thursday March 1st between 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. ET, and also during the 10:00 a.m. hour. He is scheduled to perform and discuss his musical “Escape to Margaritaville”.

He last appeared on the Today Show on Sept 29, 2017 to talk about “Escape to Margaritaville” heading to Broadway.