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Margaritaville’s growing empire claims Paradise Point in San Diego

Paradise Point
Paradise Point, soon to be known as Margaritaville, is a resort on San Diego’s Mission Bay that dates to the 1960s.
(Fred Licht / Paradise Point Resort)

The festive flag of Margaritaville, which might be a growing global threat if it were a true nation of pirates instead of a lifestyle brand, will soon fly over a 44-acre island resort in San Diego’s Mission Bay.

The hotel and grounds, born as Vacation Village in 1962 and now known as Paradise Point, in 2020 will be reflagged as the Margaritaville Island Resort San Diego. That will make it the first West Coast resort in the growing portfolio of restaurants and hotels tied to the image of singer, songwriter and serial entrepreneur Jimmy Buffett.

The San Diego resort now includes several restaurants, five pools, a perimeter of sandy beach, 14 fire pits, an 18-hole putting golf course, 462 low-rise rooms, suites and bungalows. Its island location, created by dredging in the late 1950s, is connected to the rest of San Diego’s Mission Bay area by a pair of bridges beneath Ingraham Street.

Though its name will change, the resort is expected to stay open through the transition. It will retain the same owner, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (which bought the property in November 2018) and the same management company, Davidson Hotels & Resorts.

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“This is really a license agreement,” said Pebblebrook’s chief financial officer, Raymond D. Martz. Martz said the company plans a $35-million renovation that will mean seeking approvals from the city of San Diego and the California Coastal Commission. Martz said he’s hoping the renovation will be complete by “the back half of 2020” or 2021.

The Margaritaville brand includes more than a dozen resorts in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. Several other Margaritaville projects are in the works, as well, including projects in New York, the Bahamas and Belize.

The creator of the resort, Jack Skirball, had a resume to rival’s Buffett’s: He was a rabbi turned movie producer turned real estate developer turned philanthropist. With his wife Audrey Skirball, he provided the initial funding for the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.


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