Although it may seem odd to pair a Pacific Northwest tribe with a company associated with warm southern beaches, shared values brought the two entities together.

This reflection was made on Saturday by Coquille Tribal Chair Brenda Meade after the news of the passing of legendary singer, author, and businessman Jimmy Buffett. Headquartered in North Bend, Oregon, the Coquille Tribe's business enterprise operates the Compass by Margaritaville Hotel.

Buffett, 76, died at home Friday in Sag Harbor on Long Island, New York, from skin cancer. 

The Coquille Tribe’s entertainment and hospitality company, Cedars Development, officially opened its 111-room hotel in July 2022. Located in Medford, Oregon on South Pacific Highway, the idea then was to bring a tropical island vacation vibe to the small town 27 miles north of the California border and 118 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. 

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“It was that commitment, expressed through his Margaritaville business ventures, that spawned a partnership between the Coquille Tribe and Margaritaville,” Meade said.

The Margaritaville brand is named after Buffett’s smash hit song “Margaritaville. 

“He saw Margaritaville as a way to bring fun, enjoyment and a vacation state of mind to as many people as possible. In Jimmy’s world, guests are welcomed, encouraged to leave their cares behind and made to feel at home – indeed the spirit of the Potlatch (Native Americans of America’s Northwest),” Meade said.

“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” a statement posted to Buffett’s official website and social media pages said late Friday. “He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”

“There was no such place as Margaritaville,” Buffett told the Arizona Republic in 2021. “It was a made-up place in my mind, basically made up about my experiences in Key West and having to leave Key West and go on the road to work and then come back and spend time by the beach.”

Meade expressed condolences to Buffett'e family in her statement on Saturday:

"Jimmy’s life is remembered for how he cared for those around him and his desire to bring others “along for the ride.” In turn, our Coquille culture and values encourage us to demonstrate that same care toward our guests and our employees. As we mourn Jimmy’s passing and celebrate his life, we are reminded of our responsibility to share the joys of life wherever we can," Meade said.

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