The Future of Retirement Is Margaritaville

As boomers reimagine how we grow old, Jimmy Buffett is betting on them to buy his branded homes.

By Patrick Clark | Bloomberg
September 29, 2017, 5:00 AM EDT

Joe Lombardi strolled through the packed Field 5 parking lot outside the Jones Beach amphitheater on Long Island—past the men dressed as pirates, the boat parked atop a party bus, the cornhole players and the silver-haired tailgaters pedaling tandem bikes. The diehards had arrived at dawn, and by midafternoon, some had crashed out in the shade of inflatable palm trees, napping away the hours before Jimmy Buffett would take the stage.

“A certain segment of his fans would like to live in Margaritaville,” said Lombardi, who serves as president the local chapter of the Parrot Heads in Paradise, a Buffett fan club with 25,000 members around the world.

It wasn’t an idle observation. Over the past two decades, Buffett has built a licensing and hospitality empire on the back of his most ubiquitous hit, selling everything from hotel rooms to deck chairs and frozen shrimp through his company, Margaritaville Holdings.

Now he’s slapping his brand on 55-and-older communities in a novel bid to sell homes to boomers who are ready to kick back—just not in the same way their parents did. In February, the company said it was partnering with a Canadian homebuilder called Minto Communites to build 7,000 homes in Daytona Beach, Fla., in an age-restricted development called Latitude Margaritaville.

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