At age 62, Jimmy Buffett is old enough to retire to his front porch swing and begin collecting Social Security. Instead he’s cashing in on his accessible fantasy of a retirement or extended vacation to a tropical paradise and drinking margaritas.
Buffett’s Summerzcool tour kicks off on February 24 in Maui, Hawaii and he will traverse the country and Canada until November. Even with ticket prices well over $100 in some areas, Parrot Heads flock to his concerts. But his revenue stream goes far beyond traditional tickets, T-shirts, and poster sales.
The title of Buffett’s 1977 hit song has shown up on items as diverse as restaurants, flip-flops, casinos, salsa, tequila, and Radio Margaritaville on Sirius. He is associated with two restaurant chains named after his two most popular songs, Margaritaville and Cheeseburger in Paradise. Anheuser-Busch’s Landshark Lager and Seagram’s Margaritaville Tequila sponsor his concerts. Buffett’s even written several best selling novels. The Chicago Tribune estimates that Buffet has an annual income of more than $40 million.
At a time when many established restaurants are closing their doors, Buffett opened his 19th restaurant on Monday in Waikiki. "Our brand really speaks to escapism and Waikiki really speaks to escapism," Dan Leonard, president and chief operating officer of Margaritaville Management Group, told Honolulu TV station KHNL. "So there's kind of a nice marriage right there. Come to Waikiki to escape, to enjoy the beaches, the beautiful land, everything that has to do with it, and that's what our restaurant speaks to."