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Jul. 22, 2019
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What’s new at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands

By Pamela A. Keene 
 
The folks at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands have been very busy since last season. While LandShark Bar & Grill has been open all year and the attraction had a very successful winter season with Magical Nights of Lights and Snow Island, behind the scenes additions have been percolating. 
 
Opening day is Saturday, May 4, but you can already experience LandShark Bar & Grill, which is open year-round, including the Wednesday night Low Country Boil starting May 1. 
 
“We’re kicking everything up another couple of notches,” said Bucky Perry, director of operations for Margaritaville at Lanier Islands. “From opening Phase I of our brand-new luxury RV resort, opening the first phase of our new docks at Port of Indecision Marina, enhancing our restaurants and adding more places to play, now there are even more reasons to come out and enjoy all there is to experience.” 
 
Safe Harbor Development, operating as Islands Entertainment LLC to manage Margaritaville at Lanier Islands, has continued its investments in making the destination a focal point of the Southeast. According to management, it’s just the beginning. 
 
“There are more than 12 million people within a three-hour drive and we want them to choose Margaritaville for their recreation and entertainment,” said John Lush, chief operations officer at the April meeting of the Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority. “People will continue to see improvements and expansions. We’ve tried to touch every phase we manage.” 
 
Lush said that Jimmy Buffett came to Margaritaville last fall. “He really likes this property and all that we’re doing,” Lush said. “He has even agreed to donate his Airstream trailer that will go on display at the new RV Resort so that people can have their picture taken with it.” Lush showed a slide of one of Buffett’s seaplanes and said that it may possibly be put on display here. 
 
Phase I of the Margaritaville Waterfront RV Resort opened in late April, as the first-ever RV park associated with Margaritaville in the country. “We want the resort to become the crown jewel of the company,” Lush said. 
 
It has more than 50 30- to 50-foot concrete pads, each with 30- and 50-amp hookups, plus water, sewer and free Wi-Fi. The sites, nestled beneath hardwoods and pines have firepits. “We’ve installed restrooms and showers; the laundry has televisions,” said Bucky Perry, director of operations. “With community areas for people to gather and all the amenities of Margaritaville, staying here will be a fantastic experience.” Phase 2, planned for sometime this summer, will add approximately 70 RV sites. 
 
The Stables nearby are now managed by Margaritaville. It is being rebranded with the Margaritaville tropical theme. The facility is already offering camps for youngsters. Guests can also sign up for horseback rides on the trails along the lake’s shores.
 
For the past couple of months, contractors have been building new concrete 60-slip covered docks that will become the Port of Indecision Marina. Located where the former beach courtesy docks stood, the marina will eventually include approximately 180 slips and 250 dry-storage spaces for year-round rental, probably by the end of 2019 or early 2020.
 
“The first 60-slip dock was scheduled to open at the end of April or early in May,” Perry said. “Another 60-slip dock will be open by the end of May or early June. By late 2019 or early 2020, we will add 50 more slips.” 
 
The courtesy docks, now being called LandShark Landing daily docks, are being moved closer to LandShark Landing and expanded from 96 to 185 slips. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis at a cost of $15 per slip. They can also be reserved online. 
 
“Raging River, clearly our most popular ride in 2018, is being renovated and we’re enhancing the moving sidewalk that we used for Parrot Mountain snow hill for Raging River as well,” Perry said. “Paradise Beach additions include beefing up the floating aquatic adventure in the lagoon, adding an oversized swing and other components.” 
 
Over the winter, the company has changed and enhanced menus at all the restaurants and food-service facilities. 
 
“Guests can choose healthy selections, including vegetables, sirloin steaks, grouper fingers, grilled Cajun salmon and siracha chicken, plus other grilled choice,” Perry said. “And we’ve added restrooms near LandShark Bar and Grill, in response to requests from guests.” 
 
Margaritaville’s popular cruises, based at Harbor Landing, will continue this season on Saturdays and Sundays. The Sunday Brunch Cruises offer a chance to view the lake while feasting on egg frittata, hash brown casserole, sausage and cheese biscuits, fruit, pastries and mimosas. 
 
Margaritaville offers a full schedule of events, from full moon parties to celebrations of national holidays. Concerts and entertainment festivals add to the mix. Every Wednesday night  LandShark Bar & Grill hosts a low-country boil. Concerts in May take place on most Friday and Saturday nights. 
The boat-rental fleet at Harbor Landing has also been expanded. A new amenity, Nautical Boat Club, offers access to upscale boats for a 12-month membership. (See below.) 
 
In all, Safe Harbor Development has invested nearly $20 million to make Margaritaville at Lanier Islands a top destination in the Southeast. 
 
“We have so much potential here to create the ultimate experience,” Lush said. “We want Margaritaville at Lanier Islands to be the top choice for people looking for an authentic, fun and entertaining experience at Lake Lanier.”

Nautical Boat Club at Margaritaville
 
You can now go boating plus have fun at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands, without the costs and responsibilities of boat ownership, thanks to Nautical Boat Club. The club is based at the resort’s Harbor Landing. The new business, which began accepting memberships in April, offers access to a fleet of boats 12 months a year. 
 
“We’re like a country club for boaters,” said Tim Kiser, manager of the club that currently offers sport boats, wake and surf boats, pontoons, tri-toons and double-decker party boats in a variety of popular brands. “Our program is ideal for families with children who don’t want the hassles of boat ownership.” 
 
Nautical Boat Club provides gassed-up boats so that members can just step on, turn the key and go. Options include having management provision the boat, or members can bring their own coolers and food.  “Boats are available seven days a week in half or full-day increments during the week and on weekends in half-day four-hour times,” Kiser said. “We even provide the boat toys, from wakeboards and bindings to training ski platforms and tubes.”
 
Membership has additional benefits, including access to Margaritaville at Lanier Islands, admission to Magical Nights of Lights and License to Chill Snow Island, plus restaurants, attractions and activities. 
“You can reserve your boat online and it will be waiting for you when you arrive,” he said. “This is a great way to enjoy all the joys of boat ownership with none of the issues of maintenance, storage or other fees. It’s truly a valet boat service.” 
 
Nautical Boat Club has franchises in South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. 
 
For more information visit www.nauticalboatclub.com.

Posted online 4/29/19

 
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