Latitude Margaritaville Retirement Community Announced For Daytona Beach, FL

Jimmy Buffett community coming to Daytona

This is a rendering of the town center that will be part of Minto Communities’ planned 6,900-home 55-and-older Latitude Margaritaville, Daytona Beach community. (Inset: Jimmy Buffett). [Image courtesy Minto Communities]

DAYTONA BEACH — Jimmy Buffett fans in search of a real-life “Margaritaville” will soon be able to find it, just not in Key West.

It will be right here in Daytona Beach.

Canadian developer Minto Communities announced that Buffett’s Margaritaville Holdings company has agreed to become a strategic partner in developing its planned 6,900-home community for residents 55-and-older on the north side of LPGA Boulevard, just west of Interstate 95.

The first homes are expected to be ready for move in by fall 2018, said William Bullock, a senior vice president with Minto.

The new deal is a “game changer for this area,” said John Albright, the CEO of Daytona Beach-based Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co., which recently sold the land where the first phase of the Latitude Margaritaville, Daytona Beach is planned. “It will make the Minto development something that people identify with nationally.”

The community, which originally was to be named Oasis Daytona, will now be called Latitude Margaritaville, Daytona Beach, and will be designed to reflect the lifestyle espoused in Buffett’s songs throughout the development.

“Featuring world-class amenities and design, Latitude Margaritaville, Daytona Beach, will reflect Margaritaville’s authentic ‘no worries’ tropical vibe, offering an immersive brand experience,” according to a news release issued by Minto.

“With Minto’s expertise in creating master-planned developments and Margaritaville’s inherent ability to deliver fun and escapism, Latitude Margaritaville has the exact coordinates for those looking to live the Margaritaville lifestyle as they grow older, but not up,” stated John Cohlan, the CEO of Palm Beach-based Margaritaville Holdings, in the news release.

Buffett and Cohlan are the majority owners of Margaritaville Holdings, whose operations include destination resorts/hotels across the Southeastern United States and Caribbean, four gaming locations, and more than 60 food-and-beverage locations.

“Daytona will be the first of several communities we’ll be developing in partnership with Margaritaville Holdings,” said William Bullock, a senior vice president with Minto, in a phone interview.

“Music, food and beverages will be a big part of the community,” Bullock said, adding that the community’s town center will include a music bandshell and “Margaritaville-inspired food and beverage offerings” among its amenities, which also will include a fitness center, indoor lap pool and spa, and an outdoor resort-style pool. “We’re definitely going to do some live broadcasts from there (Latitude Margaritaville, Daytona Beach) on their SiriusXM Channel,” he added, although he did not know who those performers might be.

Bullock said he was told by Margaritaville Holdings officials, “You never know when or where Jimmy Buffett may show up to do a concert.”

The community will also operate for its residents a private oceanfront beach club in Ormond-by-the-Sea that will be accessed via a loop shuttle bus.

Latitude Margaritaville, Daytona Beach is expected to be the biggest master-planned community ever built in the Volusia-Flagler area.

Bullock said while his company is initially looking to develop between 6,000 and 7,000 homes, “there’s still an opportunity grow the community” even further by acquiring additional adjacent land from Consolidated-Tomoka, which recently completed its sale of nearly 1,600 acres to Minto for $27.2 million. That land, on the south half of the planned community, is where Minto will be developing the project’s first phase of up to 3,400 homes, as well as a neighborhood retail center along the north side of LPGA Boulevard, just west of the Tomoka River.

Margaritaville Holdings is currently in talks about the possibility of becoming involved in the neighborhood retail center, Bullock said. The 200,000-square-foot retail center is expected to include a grocery store as well as restaurants and shops and would be next to the south entrance of the gated “golf cart-friendly” community, he said.

The town center would be centrally located within the community’s first phase and is intended to be used exclusively by its residents, although it could potentially be open to the general public for special events, Bullock said.

The community is being designed to reflect the Margaritaville lifestyle, including the look and feel of its homes, which will feature an Old Florida/Key West architectural style, Bullock said.

The company expects to sell and build an average of more than 300 homes a year at Latitude Margaritaville, Daytona Beach, Bullock said, adding that the pace of sales could be even faster thanks to the “national exposure” its connection to Buffett is expected to provide.

Prices for homes are expected to range from the “low $200,000s to the mid-$300,000s,” Bullock said. “We want this to be accessible to as many people as possible.”

“The concept for the community is Margaritaville equals fun,” Bullock said. “Having fun, socializing, enjoying the lifestyle because you’ve earned it, you’ve been waiting your whole life for it and now you’ll be able to celebrate it with food, fun and music.”

Bullock said the community will be the site of concerts, special events and parties “throughout the year, all targeted to an active 55 and better lifestyle.”

It could also potentially host pickleball tournaments. Bullock said Minto is the title sponsor of the annual U.S. Pickleball Open event held in Naples, that last year was broadcast by CBS Sports, and is in talks with the event’s organizers about holding competitions at Latitude Margaritaville, Daytona Beach, as well.

Construction of the sales center for the community is on track to open this fall, along LPGA Boulevard, next to the Halifax Humane Society. “We expect to open our models in the beginning of 2018 with early fall 2018 for the first occupancies,” Bullock said.

In addition to being the project’s developer, Minto will also be the builder of the homes at Latitude Margaritaville, Daytona Beach. Bullock said his company intends to extensively employ local firms as subcontractors. The company recently held a “trade partner introduction luncheon” at the clubhouse at LPGA International where more than 130 people representing firms interested in becoming subcontractors attended.

“The response exceeded our expectations,” he said.


Long before he was a brand, Jimmy Buffett launched his career in the 1970s as a free-spirited troubadour who had migrated to Key West after a failed attempt to become a country songwriter in Nashville, Tenn.

“Margaritaville,” the song that defines his musical career and product spin-offs from restaurants to TV dinners, was released on the 1977 album “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” and reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

By the 1980s, Buffett’s hits faded and he expanded into other business tie-ins, launching his Margaritaville line of clothes and opening the first of his Margaritaville clubs in Key West. He also published best-selling fiction books.

Buffett has said in past interviews and concert performances that he was inspired to write his hit song “Fins” after visiting a bar in Daytona Beach. The song is about males circling like sharks around an attractive woman.

Deal Signed To Create Chain Of Margaritaville All-Inclusive Resorts

Karisma Signs Partnership to Develop New All-Inclusive Margaritaville Resorts Brand

Travel Agent has the scoop on a landmark partnership between Karisma Hotels & Resorts and Margaritaville Holdings to develop a collection of all-inclusive Margaritaville resorts.

The agreement introduces Margaritaville, an All-Inclusive Experience, by Karisma, which will include new resorts built in beachfront destinations throughout the Caribbean and Mexico.

Mandy Chomat, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Karisma Hotels & Resorts, tells Travel Agent that groundbreaking on the first hotel will take place this year with an official opening expected around late 2018 or early 2019.

Although Chomat would not tell us exactly where the first Margaritaville, an All-Inclusive Experience, by Karisma resort will be, he did tell us the first hotel will be in either Mexico or the Caribbean.

In fact, Chomat tells Travel Agent that such Caribbean destinations that are being considered for future Margaritaville resorts include Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Jamaica, The Bahamas and Antigua, where Karisma recently announced expansions plans to back in December.

As far as Mexico goes, Chomat tells Travel Agent that there is heavy interest in developing on the country’s West Coast, specifically Los Cabos.

Chomat says that although he expects the new brand to be the most popular amongst Millennials, he did note that Jimmy Buffett, the musician who made the “Margaritaville” song and brand famous worldwide, has fans, aka “Parrot Heads,” that span generations.

“This is going to be great for Millennials because Millennials are all about authentic experiences, but Margaritaville is going to attract Parrot Heads and there are Parrot Heads out there from Millennials to Baby Boomers. You would be surprised by the demographics and the ages that cater to (Buffett’s) songs and products.”

Combining coastal-luxe design and decor with top quality food and beverage in tropical destinations, Karisma and Margaritaville will aim to deliver a vibrant, world-class all-inclusive experience inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and author Buffett.

The debut of Margaritaville, an All-Inclusive Experience, by Karisma, will mark a handful of exciting milestones for Margaritaville, including its first all-inclusive resorts, which will be some of the largest properties in its growing hospitality portfolio.

Visit and keep visiting for all your latest Caribbean news.

You can hear about Margaritaville Enterprises planned hotel expansion. This was from last June:

Jimmy Buffett To Perform In Charleston Thursday, May 11; Tix On Sale Feb. 10

Jimmy Buffett will perform at Volvo One Stadium on Daniel Island, SC Thursday, May 11, 2017

Jimmy Buffett concert announced at Volvo Car Stadium, tickets go on sale next week

Prepare yourselves, Parrotheads: Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band will perform in the Charleston area this spring.

It’s the first time Buffett has played a concert in the Lowcountry since performing at the North Charleston Coliseum in 2012.

The concert will be at 8 p.m. May 11 at the Volvo Car Stadium on Daniel Island as part of his “I Don’t Know” Tour of 2017.

The singer is known best for the songs “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”

Bob Moran, general manager of Volvo Car Stadium, called the news the “most exciting announcement we’ve ever made.”

“Jimmy Buffett kicking off his season is a dream come true,” Morgan said in the announcement, adding, “Get ready for the party of the year. Don’t miss out!”

Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 10 on and all Ticketmaster outlets.

Stan “The Man” Bowen, 68, PPHC Ambassador

stan_the_man_004 The Palmetto Parrot Head Club is saddened by the loss of member Stan “The Man” Bowen on Thursday, December 15th.

To say that Stan was a PPHC member doesn’t paint the whole picture and Stan was quite the picture. Stan was a PPHC founding father. He served multiple terms on the PPHC Board With Directors and participated in nearly every PPHC function for more than 15 years. More than anything Stan was the PPHC’s Chief Ambassador. His colorful outfits, oversized drinks, and outgoing personality made him well known across the United States. When Parrothead’s around the country heard “Palmetto Parrot Head Club” they inevitably talked about Stan.

The pirate top hat, the wild Hawaiian shirts, and the ever present maracas shaped the persona but his lovable personality was what drew people to “Stan The Man”. Parrothead’s from everywhere knew of “Stan The Man”. As Stan would tell you he was “The Man-The Myth-The Legend”. People wanted their photo taken with him. Trop rock bands happily let him join them on stage to let him do a little shimmy and shake his maracas. [See photos below]

Stan The Man’s persona grew larger over the years. There were articles written about him. Laidback Larry wrote a song about him. Stan The Man even drew the attention of the top Parrothead himself Jimmy Buffett performing with him on stage in 2003. The Parrothead nation voted Stan the Vice President of Margaritaville during Meeting of the Minds 2004.

The Palmetto Parrot Head Club, and the entire Parrothead nation, mourn Stan’s passing but we also happily raise a toast in his honor. He was a great friend and was the life of the party. There was never any doubt that Stan The Man was “a trip all by himself”. Sail on Stan.

Cecil “Stan” Bowen

SURFSIDE BEACH – A memorial service for Cecil Stanley “Stan” Bowen, 68, will be held Sunday at 3:00 pm at Powers Funeral Home. The family will receive friends from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm at the Funeral Home.

Mr. Bowen passed away December 15, 2016. Born in Columbia, SC, on August 28, 1948, he was the son of the late Cecil D. Bowen and Frances S. Bowen. He retired from the State of SC and was the former president and member of the SC Parrot Head Club. Mr. Bowen was known as “Stan the Man.” He loved music and was an avid Jimmy Buffett fan.

Surviving are his daughter, Heather Bowen; grandson, Nicholas Robertson; siblings, Danny (Barbara) Bowen, Celeste Reynolds, Rodney Bowen, Lisa Addison, and Brigitte Baxley. He was predeceased by his brother-in-law, Wayne Reynolds.

Video: Sunny Jim White’s Tribute to Jim Morris

The Cosmic Magician, for Jim, by James

To all the friends and fans of Jim,

I want you all to know that we took care of Sharon and Jim here in Seattle. He was coming here for Laid Back Attack, an annual event named for his song. I never dreamed I would write something like this, but it was small payback for all the smiles and memories he’s brought to me over the years. I would not wish this on anyone, but it has been a true honor. All of the messages of support has really helped us be strong for Sharon.

Most of you do not know me, but I loved Jim for his friendship, humor, and music. I will truly miss him. Big events or solo house concerts, he never failed to entertain. I haven’t done anything more than any one of you wouldn’t have done for them.

The video below is Sunny Jim singing Jim’s Cosmic Magician. We made a slight modification to it, and we hope Jim approves. We sang it to Jim and said our goodbyes. I can honestly say that there has probably been more laughs than tears, and that’s a fitting tribute to Jim and the people he attracts. There are easily a hundred lines from his songs that I could quote, but one of the first and most meaningful for me is 'Living till the day I die'. He did.

Thank you to everyone who helped here in Seattle, and especially to my wife Nancy who helped me to help Sharon.

I hope to meet many of you down the road, and we'll share some laughs and stories.

Dave Monahan

Posted by Jim Morris on Thursday, July 14, 2016

Musician Jim Morris suffers brain aneurysm, dies in Seattle

Jim_Morris Musician Jim Morris suffers brain aneurysm, dies in Seattle

Last Thursday evening, Bernard Johnson, owner of Bert’s Bar & Grill in Matlacha, reported that local musician Jim Morris passed away in a Seattle, Washington, hospital. Morris, he said, had suffered a brain aneurysm the previous Saturday and had been hospitalized and in a coma since.

The report Johnson received read, “To all the friends and family of Jim, we are sorry to tell you that last night, Jim passed away with Sharon, family, and friends by his side. Jim touched all of our lives in many ways and we will all miss him immensely. In Jim’s words, and in his way, Jim is now with the Cosmic Magician, getting the answers to those unanswered questions, like who gave us beer …”

Morris left home in Cape Coral Thursday to perform at “Laid Back Attack XIV” in Olympia, Washington, Saturday night. “Laid Back Attack” is a Parrot Heads of Puget Sound annual summer musical festival featuring “Trop-Rock” artists. Morris had performed at the festival for years.

In an Eagle interview last July, Morris explained that he grew up in Georgia with a family history rich in music. His grandfather led a dance band, and everyone in the family either played an instrument or sang.

“I picked up the guitar when I was 10 years old and taught myself how to play,” Morris said then. “It was my way to participate with my family when we all went over to my grandmothers and had a jam session.”

After earning a college degree, Morris worked in human resources management while at the same time wrote songs and dreamed of the day when he could become a full-time entertainer.

“I never felt like I fit into the corporate world,” Morris said. “I was a fish out of water.”

After 15 years in human resources, Morris took “the leap” by leaving the corporate world for good. He spent his time writing songs and playing in various venues around Southwest Florida. The decision to play all original music was a risky one.

“I spent about a year writing and developing a catalog of songs,” Morris said. “I was unsure of my ability to sing and play the guitar professionally, but I thought my songs might separate me from the other performers.”

Morris produced his first recording in 1996, “Laid Back and Key Wasted.”

Each song tells a story.

“The title track is about a guy who gives up the corporate world for the beach, sound familiar?” Morris asked. “Another is about a pilot that flies contraband; another is about roadkill; and some about sailing and fishing and drinking.

“After I moved to Florida I started playing coffee houses,” Morris said. “I built quite a following and after a while people started saying, ‘You know Jim, I love the music but the coffee isn’t too good. Maybe a place where they serve alcohol,’ so I found a couple of old style Florida joints like Bert’s and started playing there.”

Morris’ songs often contain a great story about doomed love or drunken revelry sometimes both. Among his many popular tunes, especially in Southwest Florida, is “The Backroom at Bert’s,” a song that includes several Matlacha/Pine Island characters and clever lyrics.

Morris produced 24 CDs of original music. His style is reminiscent of Jimmy Buffet and Jerry Jeff Walker.

It was a week ago Saturday, July 9, that David Monahan, a friend of Morris’, posted an online message that “Jim suffered a sudden and catastrophic brain injury due to an aneurism. Jim is unconscious and peaceful in the hospital with Sharon and family by his side. Your thoughts and prayers are needed for Jim and Sharon. Updates will be posted when available.”

An online search showed many radio stations and music venues posting positive messages and prayers for Morris and the owner of Bert’s, Johnson, displayed the sign “Pray for Jim Morris.

“Jim’s music (via his CDs) will be played in ‘The Backroom’ at Bert’s’ tonight,” Johnson said. “And Jim’s Corona w/lime will be on his table waiting for his return.”

“For over 16/17 years, Jim packed ‘The Backroom’ at Bert’s whenever he played there,” Johnson said. “Jim was a national act and his loyal fans have followed him to the Caribbean and even to the South Pacific for roadshow/vacations. His songwriting always left you with a smile on your face, a laugh or two and an appreciation of life. We will all miss him.”

A memorial service is in the planning stages.

Bert’s Bar & Seafood Grill is at 4271 Pine Island Road. For more about the waterfront restaurant, call 239-282-3232 or visit

Jim Morris Charitable Donations


I have seen posts on the leaders boards and Face book requests on how to donate to a Jim Morris Charity or to donate in Jim’s name. I talked to Sharon today and she says that “Shoes for Kids” was one of Jim’s favorite charities and that would be a wonderful charity if anyone wanted to donate in his memory. That is the charity that all the money that Jim collected from the “$20.00 bill song” went to. The Charlotte Harbor Parrot Head Club website: has a button on the home page where you can donate directly to the Charity. I believe the total to date from Jim and Sharon Morris and the “Twenty Dollar Bill Song” and donations from our club is over $45,000 to date.
Shoes_For_Kids_Charity This is a charity that 100% of all monies, shoes collected goes directly to kids in need.

Jerry York
Charlotte Harbor Parrot Head Club
1362 Grebe Dr
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
941 661-7208

Escape to Margaritaville Musical coming May 2017


From the Hollywood Reporter: “Jimmy Buffett Musical Sets San Diego Premiere

‘Escape to Margaritaville’ will feature both original songs and the singer’s classic tracks.

It turns out Margaritaville is pretty close to Los Angeles.

The new Jimmy Buffett musical will have its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse in the San Diego area, producers Frank Marshall, Mindy Rich, Anita Waxman and Beth Williams announced Monday.

The limited engagement will begin previews on May 16, 2017, ahead of its opening night on May 28, and will play through June 25.

Officially titled Escape to Margaritaville, the musical will feature both original songs and Jimmy Buffett classics. It tells the story of a tropical island resort and its charming bartender-singer who falls for a beautiful, career-minded tourist.

The show will include an original story by co-book writers Greg Garcia (creator of My Name Is Earl, Raising Hope and Yes, Dear) and Mike O’Malley (Yes, Dear and Glee), with Tony Award nominee Christopher Ashley (Memphis, Xanadu) on board to direct. The creative team also will include choreographer Kelly Devine, scenic designer Walt Spangler, costume designer Paul Tazewell, lighting designer Howell Binkley and sound designer Brian Ronan.

Margaritaville is a state of mind, and a business empire

Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Margaritaville’ Is a state of mind, and a business empire

New York Times News Service
May 22, 2016

Buffett_HollywoodBeachBoardwalk_2016 Visitors on the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk approach a parrot sign. Visitors on the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk approach a parrot sign.

His newest showstopper — a 17-story hotel near Miami — has three pools, a full-service spa and eight restaurants, including a seriously upscale steakhouse. That electric blue sculpture in the lobby? You’d swear it was by Jeff Koons.

Over near Orlando, work has started on his $800 million family resort, which will include a 12-acre water park and 1,200 homes priced at up to $1 million apiece. His company, which had $1.5 billion in sales last year, is introducing a line of jewelry. He has one of America’s fastest-growing craft beers. A team — led by a former Google executive — is working to transform his digital media business.

The man is Jimmy Buffett. And it’s time to toss whatever you thought you knew about his lazy, hazy Margaritaville out the window.

Forget the ville. This is a Margarita World.

“People are always shocked when they find out how big we’ve gotten,” Buffett said recently. “We just kept quietly doing our thing. Not saying much. And now — bam! — here we are.”

Margaritaville, with its themed restaurants (erupting volcanoes, boat-shaped booths), started as a tropical cousin to T.G.I. Friday’s. Through trial and error, Buffett and a partner, John Cohlan, have since expanded Margaritaville Holdings to include four booming divisions: lodging, alcohol, licensing and media. Now, as they pursue growth for the first time overseas, where Buffett has a much softer fan base, they are trying to recast Margaritaville as a broad, aspirational brand — the Ralph Lauren of leisurely escape, if you will.

“The stroke of genius was making Margaritaville a feeling, not a place,” said Mindy Grossman, CEO of the home-shopping behemoths HSN and Frontgate, where 400-plus Margaritaville items include a $799 hammock and $159 penny loafers. “If you don’t take the name so literally, growth could be endless.”

Savvy singer

Buffett, patron saint of the untroubled, has long been known for his business acumen. In some ways, with his approach to concert merchandise and tour sponsorship in the 1980s, he created the model of musician-as-entrepreneur that managers for artists like Madonna and Dave Matthews have pursued more recently. Other singers have parlayed their personas into business empires but none are as singularly sprawling as Buffett’s Margaritaville.

“He understands his brand, which has a substantial reach,” billionare investor Warren E. Buffett, a friend but no relation, said. “One of the secrets to his success is that he never really loses any fans.”

Still, a thriving brand needs to steadily recruit new devotees, and that may be Margaritaville’s biggest challenge. While Buffett’s fan base includes young people — drunkenly singing along to “Margaritaville” in a college bar is practically an American rite of passage — his core followers are baby boomers. How does Margaritaville make itself more relevant to people in their 30s? What fuels sales of those licensed products once Buffett, 69, has warbled his last warble?

It’s a subject that Cohlan, who is Margaritaville’s CEO, was not especially keen to discuss. Asked about how the company thinks about a future without its public face, Cohlan said, “Jimmy Buffett is an American treasure,” and changed the subject.

A more robust media presence beyond Buffett seems to be one answer. Last year, Cohlan expanded the company’s digital media efforts, which already included a SiriusXM satellite radio channel. He hired Laura Lee from the Google ranks, where she was a senior executive at YouTube, and charged her with building a digital content studio, improving Margaritaville’s social media presence and introducing mobile games. (One casual game coming in July will have users searching for their lost shaker of salt.)

The goal is a fully formed ecosystem. Last year, an estimated 15 million people ate at one of Buffett’s 67 restaurants or stayed at one of his seven hotels and time-share resorts. The company also wants the masses to buy Margaritaville food at their local grocery store (items like iced tea, frozen shrimp and tortilla chips are on shelves), watch Margaritaville-produced videos on their phones and maybe even sleep on Margaritaville bedsheets.

Lee’s efforts could also lead to more traditional TV programming. A model is Vice Media, which began as a hard-partying video company and went on to sprout an HBO series and Viceland, a Disney-backed cable channel. Not by coincidence, Margaritaville in 2014 sold a minority stake to the Raine Group, a merchant bank known for its investment in Vice and ties to the William Morris Endeavor talent agency.

“The international opportunity for the Margaritaville ecosystem is really exciting,” said Joe Ravitch, Raine’s co-founder.

‘Fins Up!’

Fittingly, the Margaritaville empire started with a nap.

The year was 1996, and Cohlan, then working for the corporate raider Nelson Peltz, known for targeting companies like Snapple and Arby’s, had gotten to know Buffett’s wife, Jane, on the Palm Beach, Fla., society circuit. One day, Cohlan turned up at the Buffetts’ home to talk about the potential growth of Margaritaville, which was then just a popular song — released in 1977, it peaked at No. 8 on the pop charts — and a two-restaurant chainlet.

But the singer was asleep.

“Had it not been for Jane, who went to wake Jimmy up, this extremely successful partnership might not have happened,” said Richard Plepler, chief executive of HBO, who knows both men.

Buffett opened his first Margaritaville restaurant in 1987 in Key West, Fla. It found instant success — so much, in fact, that he opened a second location in New Orleans in 1993. But the sequel was a relative dud, and Buffett applied the brakes, rebuffing an offer from Walt Disney Co. to build a lavishly themed Margaritaville at a Walt Disney World shopping mall.

Enter Cohlan. He had recently experienced the Parrot Head phenomenon for himself — their wild tropical clothing, their endless tailgating — and had an epiphany. “All I really knew before I went to that concert was that girls would put on halter tops and play his songs when the weather turned nice,” he said. “When I saw him perform, I said to myself, ‘Whoa. Holy you-know-what. This is a brand.’”

Buffett took on Cohlan as a partner, and together they began to expand Margaritaville, beginning at the Universal Orlando Resort, which at that time was owned by Seagram. Buffett recalled how he told Seagram during negotiations that he had one final request: “Can you just tilt that bridge a little so that people leaving your park literally roll into the front doors of my restaurant?” Cohlan and Buffett cracked up recalling the look on the Seagram team’s face.

Just before the Orlando opening, Cohlan played hardball with Seagram over a liquor matter and inadvertently started a new line of business. Seagram, which also owned Buffett’s record company then, had introduced Parrot Bay rum, which Buffett felt co-opted his band’s Parrot Head imagery. Cohlan — quite seriously, this time — told Seagram that Margaritaville would boycott its alcohol.

In a matter of weeks, Margaritaville had its own tequila and beer brand.

The theme park Margaritaville has been a runaway hit since opening in 1999. Last year, according to Cohlan, the restaurant generated about $22 million in sales. Something about Buffett’s mellow, unchallenging persona seems to make parents feel OK about tying one on with their children in tow. “Believe me,” Buffett said, “I didn’t know I was going to end up as family entertainment, either.”