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Sep. 20, 2020
1:50 am


New hotel, conference center coming to resort

By Pamela A. Keene
Ground breaking for a new 300-room, $155 million hotel and conference center at Lanier Islands is scheduled to take place this fall. To be built on the former site of the PineIsle Resort on the south end of Lake Lanier, the new hotel and conference center may be ready to open as early as spring 2023.
During a Zoom presentation to the South Hall Business Coalition in late August, Lanier Islands’ Missy Burgess, director of marketing and public relations, presented several images of the proposed buildings. 
Over the past three years, Lanier Islands’ management has been working with the Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority about the possibility of creating a new hotel and conference center at the Islands. 
“We took the lead in doing a feasibility study and a number of other planning documents and concept ideas about what it might look like,” said Bill Donohue, executive director of LLIDA, the state’s authority that holds the lease with Lanier Islands Management. The authority partners with the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and other stakeholder groups. “These documents also provided projected costs and the economics of a new hotel and conference center.” 
An architectural team has been developing plans, specifications and drawings that are about 80 percent complete. 
“The state will invest in the conference center and Lake Lanier Islands Management Co. will secure the funding for the hotel,” Donohue said. “The state has already contributed more than $30 million in preliminary studies, design and construction.”
LLIM currently has a 50-year lease with the authority with an option for a 10-year extension. The lease began in 2005.
Lanier Islands opened in 1974 with PineIsle Resort and Golf Course, then managed by Stouffer Hotels, as its sole lodging property. In 1989, the resort opened what became Emerald Pointe Hotel and added a second golf course. After LLIM took over management of the Islands in 2005, PineIsle Hotel was closed and in 2008 it was leveled; the PineIsle golf course was also closed.
Additionally, Emerald Pointe Hotel underwent an extensive multi-million-dollar remodeling and renovation under the management of LLIM; it was renamed Legacy Lodge and reopened in 2008.

Posted online 8/28/20
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