Margaritaville Comes to Palm Springs - Visit Palm Springs tag-img

Margaritaville Comes to Palm Springs

lobby at Margaritaville Palm Springs

Saltshaker Lost, Paradise Found

Vacation is more than just a line on a calendar or a dot on a map; it’s a song in your heart. There is an inescapable tune echoing through your soul that drives you to explore the world and drink in its most laid back amenities.

And Jeff Ouradnik knows just what song it is.

Margaritaville is a place in your mind,” announces Ouradnik, the Director of Sales responsible for bringing the first Margaritaville Resort to the West Coast. “It’s a state of being, a state of thinking. And so it plays perfectly into the concept of escapism, which is what Palm Springs has been as a desert oasis for our drive market travelers for a long time. Since its inception, right? It’s been a playground here in the desert.”

Margaritaville Palm Springs

And one of the most prominent attractions of our paradise playground has always been the Riviera hotel. The iconic Rat Pack hangout is getting a 21st century makeover, courtesy of Ouradnik and his creative team. “This property is going to retain its original mid-century modern aesthetic in terms of the bones of the building, the architecture. And we are going to bring it to life with the energy of Margaritaville.”

Margaritaville Palm Springs

Ouradnik walks us through an ordinary visit to this extraordinary property like the true hospitality guru that he is. “If you start at the beginning with your arrival experience when you check in, our lobby bar will become License to Chill.” It’s just one of the many harmonious musings that trip effortlessly from Ouradnik’s lips as he espouses the virtues of the Margaritaville brand. “Whether it’s the Changes in Latitude pillows or No Passports Required. Little nods to the lyrics and music of Jimmy [Buffett], which is super exciting.”

Margaritaville Palm Springs bed

His virtual tour continues, taking us into the inner sanctum of the tropical estate. “If you’re familiar with the footprint of the original Riviera Resort, you’d know that we have this iconic hub and spoke or wheel shape with that pool anchoring the middle of the resort.” Ouradnik narrates, “These spoke wings that radiate out from our central Five o’Clock Somewhere pool, those have been transported. Like you feel as if you’re walking down some sort of island type environment.”

Margaritaville Palm Springs

In Ouradnik’s world, the desert tableau is just a beachfront bash waiting to happen. Margaritaville blurs the line between picnic and party, spilling over with interior refinement and exterior abandon. “We’re re-imagining the space here on property so that you’ve got a much more integrated indoor and outdoor dining experience perfect for Palm Springs, but also for that vibe that goes with Margaritaville. It also lends itself to better incorporation of entertainment and programming. Super cool.”

Sounds like the soiree is moving indoors. Let’s follow our gracious host as he continues his virtual tour. “Part of hospitality has always been to serve a purpose to gather, and this facility has got great spaces for that,” notes Ouradnik. “There are the iconic ballroom and convention space that we have here at the hotel. This building’s got a beautiful, rare oval shaped ballroom, over 19,000 square feet, total, but amazing acoustics.”

Margaritaville Palm Springs

Punctuating his point, Ouradnik beams, “The event space here is fantastic. It’s, in my opinion, unparalleled in the downtown part of Palm Springs to have that type event space here and then have the proximity to walk to downtown or catch a really short Uber ride or jump on one of our bicycles that’s included in the resort fee.”

As enthusiastic as Ouradnik is to strike up the proverbial band, Margaritaville is putting safety at the top of their menu. “We’ll be compliant with state laws and the county of Riverside and the city of Palm Springs. Our job is to collaborate with these communities and make sure that we’re taking care of everyone from a health and wellness and safety standpoint, certainly. But we can’t wait to welcome back guests for gatherings of all sizes, whether it’s a board meeting or a business meeting for 10, a vow renewal for a couple, a new wedding, a new beginning.”

While peering breathlessly forward, Ouradnik simultaneously gazes wistfully back at the history of the Riviera. “This building has been a part of the fabric of this physical community for a long time. Our team members that have been part of this local socio-economic community for quite some time. And we want to continue that tradition of contributing to the community.”

That sense of belonging is so integral to the Margaritaville mission that Ouradnik uses hospitality and heartfelt phrases interchangeably. “When you walk into one of our homes, one of our buildings, or the resort in this case, you should feel like you’re stepping into a family.”

Palm Springs welcomes Jeff Ouradnik and his crew to SoCal. Our collective downtime is about to get an upgrade. Cheers, Jeff – we can’t wait to waste away (and taste the good life) in Margaritaville.

By Kevin Perry

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