The Official Ribbon Cutting and Party for Margaritaville Belize
Yesterday, Margaritaville Belize threw a party to celebrate one of the newest additions to Belize’s tourism portfolio and to cut the official ribbon. There were executives from Margaritaville and Karisma Hotels & Resorts (the managers), politicians, social media influencers (more on that later), media, investors, and owners.
And guess what? I got an invite to attend.
Let me tell you a bit about Margaritaville first and then we can get to pictures of the event.
Margaritaville is part of a HUUUGE global brand (each time I read about how big the Margaritaville name is…I’m flabbergasted.) Of course, you all know about Jimmy Buffett, who tragically passed away recently. The music, the huge concerts, and the legions of fans/Parrotheads…
But Margaritaville – the multi-billion dollar empire based on the “Jimmy Buffett” lifestyle – includes resorts and casinos, cruise ships and RV parks, salad dressings, and frozen shrimp…it’s all kinda mind blowing.
All from a song that when you hear it…whether you love it or loathe it…you can’t get out of your head. I’m still singing about sponge cake this morning.
Almost all the guests were taking the organized boats from San Pedro town. Margaritaville is located 13 miles north on the island. I decided to drive. It’s a bumpy, slow-moving sand “road” but scenic. And from my home at 8 miles north – the last 5 miles take about 35 minutes via golf cart.
I made my way to the end of the dock to claim my lei and to take a few photos…
Just then the Prime Minister arrived. My second run-in with Mr Briceno in the last few weeks – last time at the groundbreaking for the Four Seasons!
We headed to the tent for the presentations. (And by “we” I mean that I was about 25 feet behind the PM)
Michael Bowen of Bowen & Bowen/Belikin and a major investor in Margaritaville Belize spoke. He told the story of getting a call from Gerald Leslie.
Gerald was born and raised on Ambergris Caye and met Jimmy Buffet while flying for Tropic Air. He then became Jimmy Buffet’s personal pilot – for many years – flying him everywhere. (I bet Gerald could write quite a book! Here’s a great photo of the two of them)
Gerald and Jimmy were flying in from Panama – and had a few cases of Landshark beer. They brought it over to the Belikin brewery and Jimmy Buffett asked Michael if he’d like to brew Landshark here in Belize.
A relationship was formed…
He also talked about the crossover between Jimmy Buffett and Belize – about his frequent visits to San Pedro back in the day. And about an easy, go-slow way of life…
The majority of the investment in Margaritaville Belize is local. Michael Bowen and Christopher Coye were both mentioned.
And then the ribbon cutting and the party…
LOTS of food, plenty of wine and Landshark beers – of course…
And really good…cheeseburgers in paradise. (I had to say it)
Also, there were about 100 people at the event…I need to work on taking pictures of people!
A picture of the VIPs in front of the giant flip-flop!
I joined a group taking a tour of the property – I definitely wanted to take a look inside the rooms.
The shop with snacks and lots of branded merch.
The property is huge…with lots of pretty greenery, orchids and huge trees.
A one-bedroom sunset condo. Very high ceiling…lots of light…it is pretty. (Here are more pictures)
What a cool event. The real party was probably just starting but I was heading north. I had work to do!
A resort of this side in the “far north” of Ambergris Caye is a big deal…I will be keeping a close eye on Margaritaville.
Note: I say “social media influencers” above as part of the list of guests and you might scoff! But they were a prominent part of the speech by the head of Karisma Hotels and Resorts…and I didn’t think much about it at the time.
But later, I saw on my Instagram that a few big-follower influencers had been flown in for the event. So if you want to check out some more content on opening, you can check them out. (For comparison on Instagram, I had 14K followers 🙁 )
TheWildIndianGirl 167K followers
And a few more Mexican influencers. I’ll fill you in!