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Howdy folks! There is so much hotel news flying around this week, we just don't have enough time to focus on all of it. Seriously, did all you hotelie people save it up for Labor Day Weekend? Sheesh. Anyways, here's a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest. More news will obviously be forthcoming.
Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort is Coming Soon: Get ready, Parrotheads! A beach resort inspired by singer Jimmy Buffett will open on the beach in Hollywood, Fla. in 2015. It will have 349 rooms, 17 stories, a Margaritaville Landshark Bar & Grill, a License to Chill rooftop bar, the Lone Palm Bar and a 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar. There will also be a 15,000-sq.ft. St. Somewhere Spa and an "authentic 'no worries' tropical vibe" present throughout.
The Diplomat Becomes a Curio Hotel: The Westin Diplomat in Fort Lauderdale, a massive convention center hotel, is doing away with the white green tea scent in its lobby as it rebrands from a Westin to a Curio Collection hotel by Hilton. The hotel was recently acquired by the Thayer Lodging Group who will make the change to Hilton in October. The property will also undergo a $100 million enhancement. The new name will officially be The Diplomat Resort & Spa.
Waldorf Astoria Naples Will Be No More: TripAdvisor reviewers were mumbling about the changes that are coming to this luxury hotel in Naples, Fla. Apparently, the hotel was recently sold and is now undergoing renovations and will go back to its former name of The Naples Grande Beach Resort. Which is perhaps best since most reviewers complained the property was not up to Waldorf standards. Renovations are expected to be done in January 2015. The name change could come at the same time too.
Auberge To Launch New Brand in Napa, After St. Regis Drops Out: Uh-oh. This is not good. A luxury resort in Napa, Calif. has not even opened yet and already it has switched management hands. The 117-room resort on Stanley Ranch has gone from a St. Regis to an Auberge Resort. It will open, possibly in 2017, as a "VieVage" resort which is a new brand from Auberg, that will be less expensive, more casual and more family-friendly than other Auberges. Here's more on VieVage. We'll be thinking good thoughts.
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Don't pretend you haven't been counting down the days to the opening of Jimmy Buffett's new Margaritaville Casino in Atlantic City. From your cubicle at work, you've fantasized about biting into a "Cheeseburger in Paradise" on the boardwalk, or playing blackjack on one of the brand new Margaritaville-themed casino tables.
Well, the wait is almost over.
Just over a month since Buffett announced plans to team up with Wyndham on a new St Thomas resort, things are gearing up in Atlantic City for a grand opening on Memorial Day weekend. The new venue will sit inside the 942-room Resorts Casino, and its entrance will be marked by a sculpture of a giant blender. (Yes, you read that right.)
Meanwhile, outside, its oceanfront Landshark Bar, will be Atlantic City's first-ever year-round full-service bar and restaurant on the sand side of the Boardwalk.
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Who says beer-drinking beach bums can't be productive? Jimmy Buffett continues to turn his passion into a profitable career, one that looks like it will outlast his singing voice (love the guy, but man, he's really going on reputation now, don't you think?).
Buffett announced on his website last week that he has teamed up with Wyndham to open a 262-unit timeshare resort on the USVI island of St. Thomas, at the former location of the Renaissance Grand Beach Resort in Smith Bay. While Buffett has two other properties - the Margaritaville Beach Hotel in Pensacola and one coming in Louisiana - this will be his first in an area that has been the bread and butter of his image: The Caribbean.
And it makes sense, essentially since Buffett specifically said that it was all about appealing to his fan base, aka his "Parrot Heads." "We sell escapism," he told the Virgin Island Daily News. "(Fans have) been escaping through our music for so long, this is a real place on the beach, Margaritaville. It's about appealing to the people who've been fans for so long."
In case you didn't know it today is National Tequila Day and what better way to celebrate than by pouring yourself a margarita or rather, learning about the new Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville Casino coming to the 942-room Resorts Casino Hotel on the Atlantic City boardwalk.
The Margaritaville complex will feature a casino, restaurant, Five O'clock Somewhere Bar, retail stores, LandShark Bar and Grill, a year-round beach bar complex, and their first ever coffee shop. And should you find yourself on the boardwalk wondering where Margaritaville is, it won't be hard to find as the Resorts boardwalk facade will be re-branded by Margaritaville.
Way back when in 2008 there was talk of turning the Trump Marina hotel into a Margaritaville. That never happened and the property turned into the Golden Nugget instead.
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Parrotheads, your long-awaited dream has come true. No need to escape to the Banana Republics to find a cheeseburger in paradise or waste away in Margaritaville. You don't even need to make changes in latitude to get drunk (and screw) as the first-ever Margaritaville Hotel inspired by the "lyrics and lifestyle" Jimmy Buffett will open this summer in Pensacola Beach, Fla. on the Gulf of Mexico.
There have been many talked-about locations for Margaritaville Hotel before but it looks like this hotel made it the easiest for Jimmy to agree to use his name.
According to a press release, the hotel's owner, Marilyn Hess, President of Little Sabine, Inc., was finalizing the details on this hotel last month when she had the opportunity to meet with Buffett in Panama City Beach at his Margaritaville Cafe there. She liked him, he liked her offer and as Buffett himself says, "I guess you never quite know what is going to happen when you take a road trip east on Highway 98; sometimes things come together for a reason."
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Looks like the folks headed to Atlantic City will soon be getting Jimmy Buffett rather than Donald Trump.
The Donald Trump Entertainment Resorts company announced that it had sold Trump Marina Hotel & Casino to a New York gambling company for $316 million. Coastal Marina will then rebrand the hotel "Margaritaville" with Parrotheads in mind.
Cash from the sale will allow Trump to upgrade its two remaining casinos, pay down about $1.5 billion in debt, or invest in new properties, said Trump Chief Executive Mark Juliano. He added the company would decide how to use the proceeds during the six to nine months it will take for the deal to close and the new owners to be approved by New Jersey casino authorities.
So that means no Margaritaville for at least another year. This will be the first hotel for the Margaritaville brand which has four cafes in the US and a handful in the Caribbean and Mexico.
Now we have to ask: Does this remind anyone of Hooters Hotel in Las Vegas?