Times Square Margaritaville facing noise fines

Photo credit: Jose Francisco Fernandez Saura

by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies

When people think of noise in New York City, they often mention Times Square as a crowded, noisy area. Yes, with throngs of locals and visitors coming to this area — including the many who are going to our wonderful theaters and restaurants — one would expect higher decibel levels. However, New York City’s noise code does not permit bars in this area to mount outside speakers, typically installed to play loud music and attract visitors. As the title of this article informs us, the Times Square Margaritaville Resort has been taken to court for not paying fines associated with violating the noise code by playing music on the sidewalk. These outstanding violations for 12 noise complaints amounted to just over $54,000, according to the article.

We also learn in this article that Dietmar Detering, a well-know New Yorker who has filed noise complaints against many New York City restaurants and bars, filed the 12 noise complaints against Margaritaville. Additional penalties were added to the original fines because Margaritaville did not bother to attend several hearings. I have already written about Detering, who has been called a “noise pollution vigilante,” for the many noise complaints he has filed over the years.

According to this article, when this Margaritaville Resort was first opened in 2021, it attracted many patrons and received “an abundance of glowing, albeit tongue-in-cheek reviews.” However, the location shortly ran into financial difficulty and new owners took over last year. The noise violation fines have not yet been paid. Neither the city’s law department nor the present owners have commented on the lawsuit. On the other hand, the reviews for the Margaritaville Resort remain quite positive.  

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