Most of us dream of making it big, winning the lottery or becoming famous, so that we can live on island time. That’s what Jimmy Buffett did. It’s the lifestyle his Margaritaville hotels, restaurants, and retirement communities sell. But a recent profile with Buffett in the New York Times revealed that Buffett isn’t on island time anymore. He’s retired from Margaritaville.
Buffett is currently working on a Broadway musical called “Escape to Margaritaville”, but he isn’t going there for his escape. He goes back to his multimillion dollar home on Columbus Square in New York City or one of his many homes across the world. He gave up pot a long time ago and stays away from Margarita’s – too much sugar. The 71-year-old married father of three adult children even wears shoes whenever he is supposed to.
These days, he’s so busy with perfecting the Broadway show that he doesn’t have time for the 24/7 vacation lifestyle he’s selling.
For the past week, he’d been having meetings with the bartenders and food and beverage managers at the theater. It’s not enough to sell someone a margarita. You have to make sure they feel like they’re on island time, too.
He’s going to speak with the ushers, too. “They’re like 60 years old, up to 80. They come out and tell you, “‘You’ve got to sit down!’ and ‘You can’t do this.’ ‘You can’t do that.’ It’s like having a schoolteacher.” Mr. Buffett wants his ushers to understand that this show is more like “Rocky Horror” than a conventional musical. “There’s an opportunity here to give people a really great, full experience,” he told them. “They’ve paid money to be here. They deserve it.”
While Buffett could be surfing and sailing all day he isn’t. He’s trying to give that experience to everyone else for whom it is just a dream. He may not be living in Margaritaville, but he is still its ambassador.