Margaritaville: Hollywood Beach Businesses Not Yet Feeling Economic Boost

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

The cover story in this week's New Times is a romp about spending 12 hours at the brand spankin' new Margaritaville Resort in Hollywood. Underneath the outright silliness, there's a salient issue: will the $147 million project be a game-changer for the last stretch of old-school (and struggling) beachfront in South Florida? Is this the cure for the area's economic woes? Will the other businesses around the strip feel the impact?

City officials and Margaritaville's backers certainly billed the project as such. As we reported this week in the feature, the city estimated that the project would employ some 500 construction workers, then provide approximately 350 jobs at the resort once everything was up and running.

The city also predicted Margaritaville would directly and indirectly create 3,000 jobs in other businesses and services. The logic: those hotel guests and employees will wander off-site and take their dollars to neighboring businesses — the so-called "multiplier effect." 

But when we called around to businesses on Hollywood Beach this week, most weren't ready to pass judgment on whether they've seen a boost in business thanks to their new neighbor. Many just didn't want to talk (perhaps fearful of ending up on some list at Parrothead HQ). The majority, however, said that they couldn't really tell at this point. The resort has only been open for less than a month. 

Plus, more importantly, it's basically been an endless monsoon on the beach for that whole time. 

That was the story we heard from Jack, the manager at Rocco's Pizza, the much-loved restaurant on the Broadwalk directly north of the new resort. "Not yet, we don't see anything," Jack said when asked if the resort had helped boost his business. "It was raining almost all month." 

Around the corner at Les Artistes Cafe & Sandwicherie, the manager Kyle explained that the construction zone for the resort was only six feet from his establishment. It didn't make for an easy opening when the restaurant opened in April.

"We started with completely no business," he says. "We had a deal with trying to get construction workers to eat, but it was very hard on business. So now, anything better than that is a godsend."

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.