Buffett, patron saint of the untroubled, has long been known for his business acumen. Now he’s trying to recast Margaritaville as a broad, aspirational brand — the Ralph Lauren of leisurely escape — as it begins to expand overseas.

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His newest showstopper, a 17-story hotel near Miami, has three pools, a full-service spa and eight restaurants, including a seriously upscale steakhouse. That electric blue sculpture in the lobby? You’d swear it was by Jeff Koons.

Over near Orlando, work has started on his $800 million family resort, which will include a 12-acre water park and 1,200 homes priced at up to $1 million apiece. His company, which had $1.5 billion in sales last year, is introducing a line of jewelry. He has one of America’s fastest-growing craft beers. A team — led by an former Google executive — is working to transform his digital-media business.

The man is Jimmy Buffett.

Jimmy Buffett

Age: 69

Stake in Margaritaville Holdings: He and business partner John Cohlan own the majority; merchant bank Raine Group bought minority stake in 2014.

Revenue: $1.5 billion last year

Source: The New York Times

And it’s time to toss out whatever you thought you knew about his lazy, hazy Margaritaville.

“People are always shocked when they find out how big we’ve gotten,” Buffett said recently over lunch, grinning and splashing Tabasco on a modified Cobb salad. “We just kept quietly doing our thing. Not saying much. And now — bam! — here we are.”

Margaritaville, with its themed restaurants (erupting volcanoes, boat-shaped booths), started as a tropical cousin to T.G.I. Friday’s. Through trial and error, Buffett and a partner, John Cohlan, have since expanded Margaritaville Holdings to include four booming divisions: lodging, alcohol, licensing and media.

Now, as they pursue growth for the first time overseas, where Buffett has a much softer fan base, they are trying to recast Margaritaville as a broad, aspirational brand — the Ralph Lauren of leisurely escape, if you will.

“The stroke of genius was making Margaritaville a feeling, not a place,” said Mindy Grossman, chief executive of the home-shopping behemoths HSN and Frontgate, where 400-plus Margaritaville items include a $799 hammock and $159 penny loafers. “If you don’t take the name so literally, growth could be endless.”

Buffett, patron saint of the untroubled, has long been known for his business acumen. In some ways, with his approach to concert merchandise and tour sponsorship in the 1980s, he created the model of musician-as-entrepreneur that managers for artists like Madonna and Dave Matthews have pursued.

“He understands his brand, which has a substantial reach,” Warren E. Buffett, a friend (but not a relative), said by phone. “One of the secrets to his success is that he never really loses any fans.”

While Buffett’s fan base includes young people — drunkenly singing along to “Margaritaville” in a college bar is practically an American rite of passage — his core followers are baby boomers. How does Margaritaville make itself more relevant to people in their 30s? What fuels sales of those licensed products once Buffett, 69, has warbled his last warble?

It’s a subject that Cohlan, who is Margaritaville’s chief executive, was not especially keen to discuss. Asked about how the company thinks about a future without its public face, Cohlan said, “Jimmy Buffett is an American treasure,” and changed the subject.

A more robust media presence beyond Buffett seems to be one answer. Last year, Cohlan expanded the company’s digital-media efforts, which already included a SiriusXM satellite radio channel.

He hired Laura Lee from the Google ranks, where she was a senior executive at YouTube, and charged her with building a digital-content studio, improving Margaritaville’s social-media presence and introducing mobile games.

The goal is a fully formed ecosystem. Last year, an estimated 15 million people ate at one of Buffett’s 67 restaurants or stayed at one of his seven hotels and timeshare resorts.

The company also wants the masses to buy Margaritaville food at their local grocery store (items like iced tea, frozen shrimp and tortilla chips are on shelves), watch Margaritaville-produced videos on their phones (“The Best Beach Bars of the Caribbean” is one idea in development) and maybe even sleep on Margaritaville bedsheets (in various designs, including “Strawberry Daiquiri” coral, starting at $19.98).

Buffett opened his first Margaritaville restaurant in 1987 in Key West, Fla. It found instant success. But the second, in New Orleans, was a relative dud, and Buffett applied the brakes.

Enter Cohlan. He had recently experienced the Parrot Head phenomenon for himself — their wild tropical clothing, their endless tailgating — and had an epiphany. “All I really knew before I went to that concert was that girls would put on halter tops and play his songs when the weather turned nice,” he said. “When I saw him perform, I said to myself, ‘Whoa. Holy you-know-what. This is a brand.’ ”

Buffett took on Cohlan as a partner, and together they began to expand Margaritaville, beginning at the Universal Orlando Resort.

The theme park Margaritaville has been a runaway hit since opening in 1999.

Last year, according to Cohlan, the restaurant generated about $22 million in sales. Something about Buffett’s mellow, unchallenging persona seems to make parents feel OK about tying one on with their children in tow. “Believe me,” Buffett said, “I didn’t know I was going to end up as family entertainment, either.”

Margaritaville’s signature restaurant chain is expanding quickly — it will soon push into California for the first time, opening at Universal Studios Hollywood — but a spinoff series of restaurants in the Midwest called Cheeseburger in Paradise has struggled. Margaritaville sold its Cheeseburger stake in 2005 and, since then, roughly half the locations have closed as the brand was lobbed between owners.

Still, Margaritaville has mostly had smooth sailing, drawing fanatic customers like Carol and Butch Wayland, who live in St. Catharines, Ontario. The Waylands, who own a trade school, have made it their mission to visit as many Margaritaville outposts as possible; in May they plan to try their first Margaritaville at Sea, a new offering by Norwegian Cruise Line.

“We’re not Parrot Heads,” Carol Wayland said. “We’re just normal, everyday people who happen to be residents of the Margaritaville state of mind.”