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Peekaboo: Flamingo's Margaritaville Casino

By Chuckmonster on Tuesday, 13th September 2011 3:38pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 38


Did you hear, Jimmy Buffett is taking over the Flamingo! The Margaritaville Casino - built atop the location that used to be the reliably great Steakhouse 46 will consist of 220 slot machines and 22 table games as well as Jimmy's signature "Five O'Clock Somewhere Bar."

The public is invited to begin searching for the lost chigger of salt in the middle of October (the 15th) with a "street party" celebration. A more official grand opening celebration will take place on October 22 , the same day of the VIMFP, before and after Jimmy's show at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

And this... is it. Renderings of the Margaritaville casino from McBride & Co, builders of tacky shit for 25 years.

I found the salt! But in case you get lost...

Flamingo Margaritaville Sig

Part of the casino floor.... to the left is the "5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar".

Flamingo Margaritaville Cas

Right above the casino floor is a perch where hussies in fishnets will dance for your delight. I'm guessing "Feeding Frenzy" is a Jimmy Buffet song.

Flamingo Margaritaville Go

Ceiling features painted sharks, underwater scenes and clouds.... a fucked up metaphor. The clock is made out of a gigantic lime.

Flamingo Margaritaville Sha

Looks like there are no vp machines in the bar. Could be because they expect this bar to sling a lot of ice blended tequila drinks.

Flamingo Margaritaville Bar

This is one of those cases where I hope the renderings aren't accurate, but am frightfully aware that they probably are.

Big thanks to VT super tipster Mr. K for some great renderings and info.

Tagged: flamingo   margaritaville   jimmy buffett   


Comments & Discussion:

Amazing. Way worse than I could have possibly imagined.

First, ugh!

Second, has anyone done a comparison of renderings that were released and how a room/casino/whatever really turned out?

... that is almost exactly what my first thoughts were.

Please tell me that they've been thinking about doing this for years and the renderings are from 1995...

As one of the few (only?) resident Parrotheads on this site, the renderings likely are pretty close to spot on, but I would expect darker lighting will make it a little less garish.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, short of a coat of beige paint and a blindfold could make this less garish.

Also, how long til that pit gets rearranged. Otherwise how long til a drunk comes up behind a dealer and "taps her out?"

Looks just like Casino Pauma in northen San Diego County

'Minds me of the the old Mirage- on steroids

Wow, such Parrot-haters here. Personally, it's just what I expected, if maybe a little bright. Ties in perfectly to the Margaritaville retail/restaurant next door, and fits with the Flamingo's overall tropical theme.

Now, even I, a major Parrothead (you're not alone, michstatemark), wouldn't want to see an entire 100,000 sq ft casino decorated like this. But I do think there's room in the Vegas market for niche themed casinos. Not every square inch of casino floor has to be "modernly sterile" like Aria, Cosmo, or Encore. A little personality -- even a tacky one -- is preferable to a big dull featureless floor.

My guess is that this section of the Flamingo's casino will do VERY well, especially once Linq is constructed.

Also, just as a minor correction to the article -- Buffett is playing at the MGM Grand Garden on October 15, as well as the 22nd, which is why there are street parties on both dates. (Since the Vegas M'ville opened in 2004, there have always been street parties in the future home of the Linq when JB comes to town.)

It's a shame when you think of what music has lost over the years: Half of Skynyrd, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Randy Rhoads, Otis Redding, Ricky Nelson, Buddy Holly...all dead from plane crashes.

why can't we get goddamned Jimmy Buffett on a Cessna Caravan in icing conditions?

I'll wait for the Slayer themed casino. Throw up a few pentagrams, rope off a mosh pit, maybe a couple chalk outlines on the floor and a stack of burning bibles.

Encore's casino comes off as sterile? Wha?

this does raise an interesting question... why don't more artists brand themselves like this? i guess the kardashians have their stores and what not, but why not an Iron Maiden or Metallica themed casino... both have sold a helluva lot more tickets, albums and tshirts than jimmy buffet have over the course of their careers? Bon Jovi could easily take over Coyote Ugly and build a "New Jersey" casino inside NYNY.

Again, I lament the loss of the Star Trek Experience.

Come to think of it, these movie themes would all be better:

Planet of the Apes
Big Trouble in Little China
Princess Bride
Night of the Living Dead (the original)

I don't know why I'm not in the casino business. My ideas blow everyone else's away.

Looks exactly like what I expected. I'm half repulsed, half impressed by the carpet. I actually applaud them for taking the theme to eleven... visitors will eat this up.


what a scam.

I think it's ironic that so many people lament the de-themeing of the Strip yet people complain about this. Yeah it is garish but it's exactly what I imagine a Margaritaville theme to be. The demos that this is marketed to will eat this up. I'm not a Parrothead but I think this is a great fit for the Flamingo.

A Serenity-themed casino? Would that be a casino that everyone says they want and that they'll spend money at, and then when it's finally built, nobody actually pays any attention to it? Oh, wait, that sounds like Aria.

Movie themed casinos that would be worse:

Kramer vs. Kramer
The English Patient
Quiz Show
Mulholland Drive
Baby Geniuses 2
Rock V
The Notebook

Aww, so many fun comments so far, Spectacularly Awful was my first impression, as Hunter said, it's far worse then I could have ever imagined.

I'm all for trying to 'modernize' the casino floor of the Flamingo a bit and this was previously wasted space, and I like themes, but this is bad. It will of course do huge business as it's right at the entrance of the Flamingo.

Chuck, I'm with you in missing the ST Experience and what the Hilton at least tried to do a little bit with that casino space. I do wonder whether music themes in small venues would actually work, while Dr. Feelgoods wasn't on the strip, it appears to have been a disaster for Vince Neil in Vegas. I just wished if they music themed something it was more then blare the music, put in a dance pit, and call it a party (margaritaville, toby keiths).

Spring Break
Infant's bedroom
Margaritaville Casino

All kidding aside, I agree that with some more subdued lighting it won't be nearly as garish. I really like what CET is doing mid strip, and this will be a nice change for what can be a pretty stale property.

Thanks for digging this up!

I would love a Rat Pack theme. Have Dino, Sinatra, et al. as the soundtrack, cocktail broads dressing the part, use reel slots (just kidding), etc. The pool area would only play bossa nova (THE perfect pool music), no "I Kissed a Girl" in sight.
A Tron theme would be cool, too.

This is going to be a huge hit. Parrotheads are Deadheads with money and span a much larger age-range (the kids of Parrotheads often end up getting into it). They love everything Buffett. The design of the casino matches much of the design of both Buffett's merchandise and restaurants.

The adjoining Margartiville restaurant has been a huge hit from day one (despite average food and semi-lousy service). Buffett's two Vegas concerts each year sell out at high ticket prices. The guy sold out Wrigley field on two consecutive days a few years ago.

They are not after the people who voted Toby Keith's as worst bar or people who consider Steve Job's as their personal "lord and savior". So while I enjoy and respect the insight and writing of this and other blogs, I simply think that understanding the thought process behind this design is out of your genre.

(BTW, I'm no fan of CET so this isn't about kissing their ass).

Upscale middle America loves Jimmy Buffett. Middle-aged, upscale middle-America is the heart and soul of your "average" Las Vegas visitor. They are tapping into it big-time.

AccessVegas, being a passionate music lover and a moderate Grateful Dead fan, I must say that I am mildly disgusted that you compare the two. Even if you were talking about the fans, the Dead are in a completely different league than Jimmy Buffett.
Whether or not it is "out of our genre", the thought of hanging out in a casino that looks like this is not appealing in the slightest.

I don't get the hate for this. It is something different that is meant to be themed as a tropical environment. The only thing that could have been down better would to have it open to the Flamingo pool. It works perfectly for the people it was designed for, the crown that wears the $150 Tommy Bahama silk shirts and has money to burn. The people that just want to have fun, in a fun environment. This place looks ten times more fun to be in than any of the high end places.

The only time I stayed at Flamingo I did not gamble there, the casino was very depressing, I would gamble here it looks fun.

Sahara I think his point was Deadheads and Parrotheads share the same love of their respected bands, and are very devoted and loyal to them. The difference being Deadheads are mostly smelly ne'er-do-well hippies while Parrotheads are middle aged yuppies with money.

Just out of curiosity what would you guys have preferred, keeping in mind it is supposed to be campy and tropical themed?

My God this is ugly. I have friends who are major Parrotheads and have been dragged into Margaritaville for what I considered an eternity as they looked thru stuff. I can see this going over well with Buffet fans and that's about it. As for themes a place with a Blade Runner vibe would have me as a regular guest as would one with an Inception theme.

All praise to the Flamingo for investing and doing something different.

Yes we all love our Wynn ambiance, but there are times when loud shitty music, frozen margs and buffalo wings are needed.

Looking forward to checking this out in early Nov.

Chuck asked:
"....but why not an Iron Maiden or Metallica themed casino... both have sold a helluva lot more tickets, albums and tshirts than jimmy buffett have over the course of their careers?"

There's no way IM, Metallica, or ANYONE has sold more t-shirts than Buffett. He has Margaritaville stores across the US and the Caribbean, selling his t-shirts to tourists every single day.

He's built a brand, a "lifestyle" around his music. And I'm sure you know this, Chuck, but he's got an inoffensive style that doesn't turn away much of the tourist class, the way a heavy-metal casino might.

Having said that, I would love if this idea caught on. I love the small Beatles themed area at Mirage. I wish Aria would do more with the Elvis theme, though the general crappiness of the show probably ruins that idea. Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, AC/DC -- I'd love to see these themes.

Jinx73 said:
"....I just wished if they music themed something it was more then blare the music, put in a dance pit, and call it a party (margaritaville, toby keiths)."

But CET *is* doing more with this casino. They didn't just blare loud music and stick in a dance party pit. They spent some real money, and still people complain.

This is what I would imagine if I drank Capt. Morgan's Parrot Bay mixed with acid.

>>Yes we all love our Wynn ambiance

Not me. I guess at the end of the day one of the many great things about Vegas is that there is something for everyone. If you don't like where you are, go next door and you'll find something different.

The only thing we can all agree on is a Gumby themed casino would be the only place we would all be happy at.

I thought the first iteration of the Luxor WAS an Iron Maiden themed casino!!!

erzeszut, I have to disagree from the renderings, this is just a party pit on steroids, and a new area to sell slushies. Yes they have some decorations lining the walls and funky carpet, but for a music themed venue, I'd consider a small lounge or stage to be something different then the typical party pit.

Ted, in relation to whether it's going to be a hit. I don't see people travelling to get here for it or Buffet fans making sure they spend every gambling dollar they have in this area. People will play there, whether they are Buffet fans or not, I can't think of a party pit that isn't busy on the weekends. It's not like we've seen any casino design that was able to drive all business away. (well maybe except Cosmo)

I do consider this to be the first potential casino design that could actually drive people away though. As a midwesterner that has some Buffet fans as friends, I have an equal (or greater) number who despise all things Buffet.

I for one like hussies in fishnets and skirts

why can't we get goddamned Jimmy Buffett on a Cessna Caravan in icing conditions?
Or Jon Bon Jovi (h/t Denis Leary)?

I've been in the Margaritaville restaurant and it wasn't too annoying (My distaste for Jimmy Buffett is the result of an a-hole years back at a pool hall playing "Why Don't We Get Drunk And Screw" at least five times in a row.). This annex of the Flamingo looks like something that should have remained on the Florida Gulf Coast between Pensacola and Panama City......

Well, at least you can't say they didn't pay attention to detail in the renderings. The cage dancer has a tramp stamp.

Does the girl in the Feeding Frenzy cage have cigarette burns all over the back of her mini skirt or did she crap herself?

O/U on the % of the tables that are 6/5: 90%

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