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Who is Jimmy Buffett?

Published on October 25, 2014, 4:32 pm

by Jeff Grant Twitter account Jeff Grant LinkedIn account

Jimmy Buffett (singer, businessman)
Jimmy Buffett (singer, businessman)

Jimmy Buffett began his public career as a singer in the sixties, but his enterprise has expanded far beyond music in the past three decades. In 1985, Buffett opened a retail store in Florida and named it "Margaritaville" after one of his hit songs. In 2002 he opened his first restaurant, "Cheeseburger in Paradise", also named for one of his hits.

Today, Buffett and his investors own two major U.S. casinos, the Margaritaville in Biloxi, Miss., and the Margaritaville in Las Vegas. In spite of recent financial problems and a lawsuit involving the Biloxi facility, Buffett will soon open three more casinos of the same name in Bossier City, La., Atlantic City, N.J., and Tulsa, Okla.

Margaritaville Casino in Biloxi Fined for Inadequate Bankroll

The Mississippi Gaming Commission recently fined the Biloxi Margaritaville $10,000 for not having enough money on site to pay its patrons and bills. According to state regulations, the business must pay the entire debt upfront and will be required to pay an additional $5,000 per month if the bankroll is not brought back up to the minimum requirement immediately. It has not been disclosed how much money they were short, or what happened to draw the gaming commission's attention to this violation. Biloxi executives have agreed without hesitation to pay the fine.

Biloxi Margaritaville Sued by Isle Casino Biloxi for Stolen Information

Representatives from Isle Casino Biloxi filed a lawsuit on February 11, 2013 in Harrison County Circuit Court against Buffett's Biloxi Margaritaville. In the suit, former Isle Casino employees Doug Shipley and Stacey McKay are accused of stealing sensitive information from the Isle Casino and sharing it with the Biloxi Margaritaville.

That sensitive information includes data on patrons' betting habits, play frequency, and play history, among other things. Shipley had previously signed a contract with the Isle indicating that he would not share confidential information with any other entity. He is the former general manager of the Isle, while McKay is the Isle's former director of marketing.

Buffett Could Owe Isle Casino Millions

Isle Casino's general counselor Steven Scheinthal has publicly predicted that the Buffett's business will owe the Isle Casino millions of dollars as a result of the lawsuit. Buffett's attorney, Michael Cavanaugh, responded to this sentiment by saying that the Isle's accusations are "groundless." Cavanaugh indicated that he believes the lawsuit is simply the result of sour grapes after Shipley's decision to shirk the Isle for other employment.

Life Goes On: Atlantic City Margaritaville Seeking Employees for May 2013 Grand Opening

In spite of financial setbacks, difficulties with the law, and pessimistic speculations that the Buffett's Biloxi business will not stay afloat much longer, plans continue for Atlantic City's new Margaritaville to open in May 2013. Interested employment seekers may attend a job fair April 15-18 at the Atlantic City Convention Center. The new casino will be hiring everything from bussers to administrators to stilt walkers. The Atlantic City Margaritaville will offer medical and dental insurance, a 401K plan, and opportunities for advancement to its employees.

Bossier City Margaritaville Creates New Website, Will Open Soon

Slated to open its doors to the public in June 2013, the forthcoming Bossier City Margaritaville casino has a new website up and running. According to the website, the facility will feature an 18-story hotel with 395 rooms and 36 luxury suites for guests. Dining options will include the traditional Margaritaville restaurant as well as Jimmy's Steak & Seafood and World Tour Buffet.

Patrons can enjoy beverages at Bossier City's 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar, Tiki Bar, Center Bar, and Banyan Tree Cafe. The facility will offer 1,300 slot machines and 54 table games in its 30,000 square foot layout. Unlike the Atlantic City casino, no job fair has been announced yet.

Margaritaville Casino Finds a New Home in Tulsa's River Spirit Casino

Tulsa's River Spirit Casino, owned by the Muscogee Nation tribe, announced that it will be adding a Margaritaville casino and restaurant as part of its Phase II Development Project. Principal Chief George Tiger has said of the partnership, "This is a great future for both groups." The casino will also add a tropically themed theater capable of seating 2,400 people, along with VIP suites and a lounge and bar. The project will cost an estimated $250 million. Muscogee Nation CEO Pat Crofts anticipates that the addition of the Margaritaville casino will provide quality jobs for Oklahoma residents and help boost Tulsa's economy.

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville

Buffett the Businessman

Along with his singing career, restaurant business, and casinos, Buffett has plans to open a 262-unit timeshare resort in partnership with Wyndham Vacation Ownership on the island of St. Thomas. Construction will begin in July 2013 and is expected to be complete approximately 18 months later. The resort will share the same relaxed, tropical theme as Buffett's casinos, restaurants, and music.

Buffett the Author

On top of his musical and business accomplishments, Buffett has penned several books for adults and children, all of which have enjoyed great success. He is one of only a few authors who has made the New York Times bestseller list both in the fiction and non-fiction categories. Two of his top fiction books are "Where is Joe Merchant?" and "Tales From Margaritaville". His hit non-fiction book, "A Pirate Looks at Fifty", also made the bestseller list.

Buffett the Musician

At age 66, Buffett has not slowed down musically. He continues to tour the United States, entertaining people with hits like "Come Monday". and "Cheeseburger in Paradise". Buffett concerts are scheduled from now through August 2013 in major cities like Boston, Cincinatti, and Detroit.

A Man of Many Talents

Jimmy Buffett is a successful musician, writer, actor, and businessman. He continues to pursue all of his interests and talents, bestowing tropical delights upon travelers, music lovers, and gamblers across the world. Contrary to what the song says, he is definitely not "wasting away" in Margaritaville.


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