Jimmy Buffett’s new hotel breaks ground in Bradenton, promises a new place to ‘waste away’

Ground breaks on Margaritaville-themed hotel on Perico Island

Construction is scheduled to be completed on the 131-room Compass hotel and restaurant by early 2020.
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Construction is scheduled to be completed on the 131-room Compass hotel and restaurant by early 2020.

If you are looking for that Jimmy Buffett cheeseburger in paradise experience, his Margaritaville development in partnership with Floridays Development kicked off the final phase of construction on Friday.

Those involved with the project overlooking Anna Maria Sound on Bradenton’s Perico Island broke ground on Buffett’s newest brand, the Compass hotel. The One Particular Harbour Margaritaville is the first site chosen to have Buffett’s new hotel brand constructed and the final phase will include a freestanding Floridays Restaurant & Grill.

“A year ago we looked at this site and said, ‘Wow, forget about Longboat Key,” said Angus Rogers, founder and CEO of Floridays Development Company. “This is one of those projects we’ll never let go and will be a part of for many, many years.”

Rogers said the site perfectly exudes what Margaritaville is all about.

Construction is scheduled to be completed on the 123-room hotel and restaurant by early next year and will wrap up a project that was first conceived more than a dozen years ago, but that changed dramatically with Buffett’s team entering the picture.

Margaritaville Holdings CEO John Cohlan said excitement levels are high with the new hotel brand.

“It’s really about a way of life,” Cohlan said, while noting the hotel is the opportunity to offer the Magaritaville experience to everyone.

Friday’s celebration was a perfect day as cloudless skies shone blue and bright, adding to the Margaritaville vibe as Buffett’s music — with lyrics like “wastin’ away in Margaritaville” — streamed over the speakers. The day was so nice, beach traffic to Anna Maria Island was backed up to 67th Street West on Manatee Avenue.

With 132 luxury residences, a new marina and the coming hotel and restaurant, what will that add to what can be a frustrating journey to the island?

“I don’t think it will be noticeable thing,” said Mike Belmont, president of Minto Communities, the developer for One Particular Harbour. “We already have about 300 residents who have been living here, and I don’t think it’s made a difference. If anything the hotel and restaurant are going to bring some of that traffic in, and the marina gives visitors, guests and residents a different option than by car.”

The recently completed marina has 55 slips for boats up to 45 feet long and an enclosed boathouse can support 128 vessels up to 42 feet long. The boathouse was built to withstand 150 mph winds, and amenities on the docks include water and electricity, detailing services, restrooms, shower and laundry facilities and a store.

One Particular Harbour is named after Buffett’s 1983 album. Homes are still available and owners reserve the right to provide short-term subleasing opportunities. For more information, visit