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A Parrothead Mecca At Mohegan

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  • Robert Schmidt
    http://www.theday.com/re.aspx?re=c21373a9-4871-48ee-a375-d7186e600393 A Parrothead Mecca At Mohegan Margaritaville opens at Casino of Wind By Heather Allen
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2008
      http://www.theday.com/re.aspx?re=c21373a9-4871-48ee-a375-d7186e600393

      A Parrothead Mecca At Mohegan
      Margaritaville opens at Casino of Wind

      By Heather Allen Published on 9/30/2008

      Mohegan - Mixed in with the executives and tribal members in suits, there
      were self-proclaimed “Parrotheads” donning their usual regalia: colorful
      leis and Hawaiian shirts in every color of the rainbow.

      The pack of proclaimed Jimmy Buffett fans gathered Monday morning for the
      grand-opening of the entertainer's only eatery in the Northeast.

      ”You can never have a bad time at Jimmy Buffett's,” Mohegan Tribal Chairman
      Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum said. “So rock on.”

      The opening of the 16,000-square foot restaurant marks the completion of
      the Casino of the Wind expansion at Mohegan Sun and the big event, filled
      with references to the Florida Keys and, of course, margaritas, comes
      exactly one week after the Mohegan Tribe announced it would delay further
      expansion plans for at least another year.

      But despite last week's announcement, the mood was more upbeat than somber
      as the establishment's General Manager Craig T. Wilson urged customers to
      “jump into a conga line” or “just enjoy life” once inside.

      Wilson, of Colchester, has spent 17 years in the restaurant business and
      said that when he heard Margaritaville was coming to Mohegan Sun, he set
      his sights on nabbing a job.

      ”People love to have fun,” he said of Margaritaville. “This is something
      that New England has been looking forward to for a very long time.”

      There are currently eight Margaritaville restaurants (including Mohegan
      Sun) in the United States, including Key West, New Orleans and in the
      Flamingo casino in Las Vegas.

      Echoing Wilson, Mitchell Etess, president and CEO of the Mohegan Tribal
      Gaming Authority, said that Jimmy Buffett has a large following of
      Parrotheads in New England, which he hopes will bring their “energy and
      excitement” to Mohegan Sun.

      And despite the year-long suspension of the $734 million Earth expansion,
      due to a volatile economy and sliding slot and quarterly numbers, Etess
      said he was happy to offer customers something new.

      ”This really is a positive thing for us,” he said. “Jimmy Buffet is really
      more than a musician. He has a following, they love what he stands for.”

      Like Barbara Matney, 65, of Norwich, who took a vacation day to check out
      the grand opening, which just happened to fall on her birthday.

      ”I think it's fabulous,” Matney said. “There's nothing like it.”
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