Jimmy Buffett's Connection To Margaritaville, Explained

With the unfortunate news of Jimmy Buffett's death on Friday, September 1, those who are not that familiar with the man or his music might be curious about just what his connection to the Margaritaville franchise is. The sizable brand features his name, after all, and boasts a long list of services and products. Margaritaville vacation cottages, hotels, resorts, cruises, restaurants, merchandise, grocery store foodstuffs, and even Mexican-made tequila perfect for those frothy, frozen margaritas that inspired Buffett are all included. At the time of his passing Buffett  28% ownership stake in the company that was worth around $180 million, according to Forbes.

Not only is the Margaritaville brand extensive, but its promotion of leisure as a lifestyle has proved to be a popular theme with consumers of all ages — reaching diners and resort goers well beyond Buffett's original Baby Boomer fan base. Between its iconic island motif and the laidback party atmosphere, Margaritaville is both an experience and a sentiment.

Buffett's legacy will no doubt live on through Margaritaville. Fans and newcomers alike will continue to enjoy his music while savoring those namesake cocktails and basking in the sun at one of the many resorts. But there's one song in particular that served as the inspiration for it all.

The answer is in a song

With its allusions to the Caribbean and clever yet relatable lyrics, it's also the song that sent Buffett up the charts and made him a household name among the Baby Boomer generation. Have you guessed what it is yet? If not, consider the chorus and it should become clear: "Wastin' away again in Margaritaville / Searchin' for my long lost shaker of salt". Depending on the verse, it may be someone's fault, a woman's fault, or his own, but you get the gist, right?

Released in 1977, "Margaritaville" the song came years before the chain of hotels and restaurants, but the connection is still strong. In fact, the name became so popular that Buffett couldn't franchise a Florida-based club called Margaritaville in the early 1980s because other establishments had already beaten him to it. Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville didn't open until 1985. It has seen its share of smooth sailing, with continued growth and expansion.

Of course, Parrotheads — the term for Buffett's fans akin to how Grateful Dead followers are known as Deadheads — will already know all of this. Still, it's a fun little piece of trivia for those who didn't. So the next time you visit a Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville location or whip out a bottle of Margaritaville tequila for some tasty frozen cocktails be sure to toast the man who made it all possible. And don't forget to sing along when the song that inspired it all comes on.