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Nov. 20, 2018
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Margaritaville at Lanier Islands expects lots of snow this winter

By Pamela A. Keene 
 
Company investing millions to offer more wintertime activities
 
Pull out your winter gear and prepare for major snow at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands starting November 16 through February 24. No kidding. 
 
“It’s going to be big, really big,” said Darby Campbell, president of Safe Harbor Development LLC, developers of Margaritaville at Lanier Islands. “Our License to Chill Snow Island’s six huge, high-capacity snow machines will be producing enough to keep fresh snow for building snowmen, having snowball fights and keeping the giant snow tubing mountain going all winter. In fact, our snow mountain is the longest, steepest and fastest ion the Southeast. We’ve  spared no expense to make License to Chill’s Snow Island the best winter destination around.” 
 
The company has invested more than $3.5 million in snow machines and another $2.5 million to $3 million to build the large site where the snow mountain tubing will take place. Trees have been removed and the topography regraded to set the scene for plenty of fast-paced snow tubing. Other snow machines will be interspersed throughout License to Chill Snow Island. 
 
“Virgil Williams started the process when he introduced snow to Lanier Islands a couple of years ago,” Campbell said. “We’ve taken that concept to a whole new level, putting in six snow machines, instead of the two that were there in previous years, and these are brand-new high-capacity snow producers that will hold up even if it’s warm and rainy.”
 
This year, a covered ice-skating rink is located near the mountain and carnival rides for all ages will be available, including a Ferris Wheel. 
 
With another $600,000 investment, Margaritaville at Lanier Islands is also upping the ante by expanding License to Chill Island from the tunnel all the way down the boardwalk to Landshark Landing with fire pits, Christmas trees and lights, and more food and beverage options along the way.

“People will have even more reasons to park their cars and take time to see all there is to see and do,” Campbell said. 
 
A tractor with hay-rides will travel along the holiday-themed beach, and kids can have their photos taken with Santa under the Fin Dunker near Landshark landing. The Cat 5 ride will also be open with a winter theme. 
 
“When we were building the Island at Pigeon Forge, the biggest thing I saw was that people really needed something to do in the winter, so we’ve activated Margaritaville at Lanier Islands to create even more to do,” Campbell said. “In Pigeon Forge, there was a huge increase in traffic and energy. That’s what it will be like at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands this winter.” 
 
The company has pumped up Magical Nights of Lights drive-through with plenty of new twists. Nineteen new light displays have been added, many with tropical themes to reflect the Buffett lifestyle. The display area has expanded to include the beach, and some of the most popular displays, such as the “12 Days of Christmas” have been updated. The new displays will be scattered throughout the park. 
 
Magical Nights of Lights will run from November 16 through January 6. License to Chill Snow Island will be open from November 16, through February 24.

A peek at what’s new for spring
 
Big plans are in the making for more improvements at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands in 2019, with a projected expenditure of another $10 million.
 
“The Point of Indecision Marina will be expanded to include 500 in-the-water slips and dry storage,” said Darby Campbell, president of Safe Harbor Development LLC. “We’ll be moving the transient docks to make way for permanent slips.”  Additionally, the company is building 160 new RV pads in the campground. 
 
Campbell said that talks are under way to convert the giant snow mountain to a zorb ride in the warmer months. And he said he hopes that the attraction will offer activities for Halloween in 2019.
 
“The idea is to create a year-round destination here,” he said. “We want people to come here any time of year.”
 
As of late 2018, Safe Harbor Development has invested nearly $12 million in creating and branding Margaritaville at Lanier Islands.

For more information visit  www.lanierislands.com.


Posted online 10/29/18
 
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