More details on the Gatlinburg Margaritaville

From the Knoxville News Sentinel: “Work starts on Gatlinburg Margaritaville

Rising in the Best Western’s place, on a 5-acre site including The Island in the Pigeon River, will be the seven-story Margaritaville Resort in the Smokies.

The $35 million project, with 174 rooms that can hold 500 guests altogether, will match The Island’s Caribbean-casual theme.

“We’re all part of the Jimmy Buffett hospitality family,” McManus said. It will be “the hammock” for people to relax in after “the fun” of downtown Gatlinburg’s adjacent attractions, he said, quoting more taglines from the singer.

The Island 8 miles away has been a big success in Pigeon Forge, and McManus and his partners expect as much or more in Gatlinburg, he said.

Fronting on the Parkway will be a LandShark Grill restaurant that is expected to open this spring, on the former Hard Rock Café site; and the resort as a whole should open in July 2018.

Demolition of the old hotel started Dec. 13 – only four days after Gatlinburg reopened to visitors – and construction of the new resort will start in the next few months, according to the news release.

The Margaritaville Resort is intended to become one of the few four-diamond resorts in Sevier County, Davis said.

The hotel will have another restaurant of its own, a coffee shop, retail store, 4,000-square-foot outdoor pool, water slide and splash pad, hot tub, heated indoor pool, and a “St. Somewhere” spa – named for Buffett’s most recent album.

In the entryway plans call for a fountain, featuring a colorful parrot reclining in a margarita glass. That’s McManus’ favorite touch, he said

Though it won’t completely open for 18 months (Spring 2018), the Margaritaville Resort and associated restaurants should provide 150 new jobs, McManus said.

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Margaritaville resort coming to Gatlinburg TN

From the Knoxville Sun Sentinel: “Margaritaville resort coming to Gatlinburg

A new resort, dubbed Margaritaville, will go up soon on the site of the former Best Western Twin Islands at 539 Parkway in Gatlinburg.

Demolition on the closed Best Western has already begun, according to Lauren Miller of Knoxville P.R. firm Moxley Carmichael.

The new Margaritaville resort is the work of Margaritaburg LLC, headed by Knoxville developer Bob McManus, who has been behind several vacation-related businesses in the area.

More information, including renderings of the Margaritaville resort, is to be released Friday.

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Sail on “Uncle Tom” Moffatt

Legendary Hawaii concert promoter and radio DJ Tom “Uncle Tom” Moffatt passed away in the comfort of his home on Monday. He was 85 years young.

Jimmy Buffett posted on Facebook while visiting Cuba this week: Tom Moffatt was the voice of Hawaii to locals and visitors alike. As a promoter, he brought every kind of music imaginable to the islands. I happened to be one of those lucky coconuts that dropped from his tree.

The first time I ever played for him was in October 1979, opening for the Eagles at Aloha stadium. When I met Tom the first time at that gig, I remember thinking, “This guy has the best job in the world. He lives in paradise, plays music on the radio and promotes shows under the stars.” It wasn’t long before we were doing more than business together. We became friends. (continue reading)

From Venues Today: Moffatt was a true gentleman and everyone liked him, to the extent that big name acts like Elton John and Jimmy Buffett wouldn’t play Hawaii with anyone but Moffatt. Bradley recalled when Moffatt took Buffett to Tahiti many, many years ago and when they landed, they asked the venue manager how many tickets had been sold. He said, “None, but we’ve had some phone calls.”

Moffatt and Buffett immediately hit the street handing out flyers and saved the day. That was before Tahiti became a good routing option, especially for reggae.

Photo: Buffett and Tom Moffatt on the set of Hawaii Five-0 back in 2013 (read more).

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