Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2016 7:40 PM | Contributed by Jeff
The first renderings of the Jimmy Buffett-themed Margaritaville Resort Orlando have been released, giving locals and travelers a sneak-peek look at the $750 million project where it will always be 5 o'clock somewhere.
Read more and see video from WKMG/Orlando.
Count me in as not seeing the appeal here. It's a good location for the WDW crowd, but I just can't see many tourists deciding to stay at the Margaritaville resort versus staying on property. But I hope it does well, and I'm sure I'll visit to walk around and eat once it opens.
It isn't about the hotel side, as that only has 175 rooms. The real allure here are all the condos and houses, which are becoming very popular with domestic tourists (especially sports groups and family reunions, they're in my development all the time), and have always been a mainstay of the foreign tourists. I live in the residential part of a similar development, and the vacation homes/condos will outnumber the primary residential by at least 2:1 (but we get great amenities out of it) once the place is fully built. Encore, another similar development in Reunion, just down the street from me, is doing very well as well. One thing to keep in mind is that most of the vacation homes/condos in these developments aren't truly being bought by the families that stay in them, I would guess about half (maybe more) are bought by investment firms/real estate companies, and individual investors that then have the developer or other real estate firm manage the renting of them to tourists. That's why these homes that would maybe hit $300k as primary residential hit the market at $400k+ instead. The ones owned by actual families for vacation also tend to use a rental management company to rent their home out to other vacationers at least every now and then to cover costs, and share it amongst their family and friends that visit on vacation (at least 2 of the units in my 4 unit townhouse building are used like that last example, and probably the 3rd one as well).
I visited The Island in Pigeon Forge on my last visit and saw the Margaritaville Resort there. (I didn't even know there was such a thing) It anchored one end of the shopping/entertainment complex with the hotel and restaurant. The Orlando concept is much larger than the one I saw, naturally, but it seemed nice. There was the Key West theme and balconied rooms. Bars and restaurants were in the lower level but weren't busy.
I checked rates for the heck of it and it was expensive, with rooms in the 200+ range.
I'm always amazed by the size and scope of Orlando resorts, and this one is no exception. I know it's a busy place, but it's all you see for miles on end. It makes me wonder how they fill them all and what competition must be like. This resort is in a good location and it will give "off property" visitors a nice place to hang out with easy enough access to many attractions.
Count me in as not seeing the appeal here. It's a good location for the WDW crowd, but I just can't see many tourists deciding to stay at the Margaritaville resort versus staying on property.
First, consider that far more WDW visitors sleep off-property than on-property. Then consider that some off-property locations are upping their offerings and amenities beyond the typical pool/in-room microwave/sad free breakfast package. I don't know about this project specifically but the strategy certainly seems to make sense.
Disney might try to convince you otherwise, but they don't have the monopoly on Orlando vacations, especially at night.
It isn't about the hotel side, as that only has 175 rooms. The real allure here are all the condos and houses,
Good point, I really hadn't even thought of that. I always wonder if living in one of these complexes feels too much like a hotel or tourist place - or if staying in the hotel portion feels more like a condo complex.
It sounds like Margaritaville doesn't intend on any of the vacation homes being used as permanent residences, although some will surely end up as a "permanent residence" for some people with enough money. I know my development feels like any other normal gated subdivision until I head to the clubhouse, where we have resort style amenities, but those are becoming pretty normal in the high-end communities now as well (we have a section of $500k+ permanent residence homes, so I guess that kind of puts it in the "high-end community" column). The small lazy river is a great thing in the dead of summer.
Lucky you. I wouldn't have a problem with any of that.
Every time we go to Hawaii I say "Gosh, wouldn't it be great to live here." Well, yes, as long as it was lovely resort living instead of the shack by the sugar cane field we could actually afford...
Encore down the street has a 3 or 4 slide tower in their pool complex, including a ProSlide SkyBOX drop slide. When I saw that going up I was wishing that was a permanent residence community instead of a $500k+ vacation home subdivision. The small "full size" water park Margaritaville is putting in should be a huge draw for them, although hopefully it will have enough capacity to be open to the public like they suggested in their filings with the county and in early releases.
Sure the weather is great 8 or 9 months out of the year, but the bugs...they're the bane of my existence. I hear the bugs are even worse in Hawaii. ;)
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