Lanier Islands Announces Joint Venture With Safe Harbor Development and Margaritaville Holdings
Groups Align to Create New Vision for Future of Lanier Islands, Georgia’s Premier All-Season Destination
Lanier Islands, a stunning 1,500-acre lakeside resort and entertainment venue in north Metro Atlanta, is about to undergo another exciting transformation. The Virgil Williams Family’s LLI Management Company, LLC has owned Lanier Islands since 2005, working diligently to secure its standing as one of the Southeast’s premier tourism destinations. Today, the group announced a joint venture with Knoxville, Tn.-based Safe Harbor Development – a partnership that will enhance Lanier Islands’ current offerings while positioning the destination for the next phase of its growth and development.
“Over the last eleven years, the Williams family has been committed to elevating quality, product and service standards at Lanier Islands, in order to create a venue that Georgians can be proud of,” said Virgil Williams, Chairman of the Board for LLI Management Company, LLC. “We have been searching for a long time to find a creative financial and operations partner who shared our vision of what Lanier Islands could and should be. Darby Campbell and his team at Safe Harbor not only share that vision, but also our passion for providing an unsurpassed guest experience,” he said.
Effective immediately, Safe Harbor – in partnership with Margaritaville, the global lifestyle brand – will assume management of LanierWorld. Safe Harbor President Darby Campbell has a longstanding relationship with Margaritaville, most recently developing a Margaritaville Hotel opening next year in Downtown Nashville.
Safe Harbor will now operate the marinas and campgrounds at Lanier Islands. The group will also manage the destination’s special events programming, including the popular annual Magical Nights of Lights, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary. Other short-term enhancements will include development of an all-new RV park, as well as the addition of new wet and dry slips at the resort’s primary marina.
The Williams family will continue to raise the bar on the guest experience at the resort’s accommodations, meeting and wedding sites, and on-site recreational venues such equestrian center and Legacy on Lanier Golf Club – the island’s breathtaking 18-hole lakeside golf course.
“This new partnership is a huge step in taking the Islands to the next level for the benefit of not only our guests, but for the great State of Georgia,” said Williams. “Safe Harbor brings a new level of expertise and energy in the areas of camping, boating and entertainment to our partnership, which is exciting to all of us.”
Together, Safe Harbor and Margaritaville – along with LLI Management – are planning for a phased multi-million-dollar transformation of Lanier Islands over the next several years.
“With Virgil Williams and his family at the helm, Lanier Islands has thrived as a fun, accessible destination for families, couples and groups,” said Darby Campbell, owner and president of Safe Harbor Development. “We see huge potential working with Margaritaville to build upon what has been created here, while introducing new attractions, amenities, services and events that truly elevate the destination. We are excited to partner with the Williams family and to help position Lanier Islands for an incredible evolution.”
About Lanier Islands
Set along 27 miles of the southern-most shoreline of Lake Sidney Lanier, at the foothills of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, is the truly distinctive Lanier Islands. Less than 45 miles from downtown Atlanta with 1,500 pristine acres of forests, meadows and beaches, this luxury resort is quickly growing in size, scope and reputation as one of the Southeast's leading lakeside retreats. The resort features a variety of accommodations including the Legacy Lodge and Legacy Villas, along with recently renovated meeting and function space, making it the ideal choice for corporate meetings and company retreats. Popular activities include LanierWorld, Lake Lanier Canopy Tours, the Equestrian Center, boat rentals, watersports, camping and more, making the resort a terrific choice for families vacationing or "staycationing" in the South. Tranquility – the Spa and the picturesque 18-hole Lanier Islands Legacy Golf Course are major draws for visitors looking to relax or play, and with more than 20 wedding venues to choose from, the Resort is rapidly gaining favor with brides- and grooms-to-be as a highly sought-after Destination Wedding site. In 2014, the resort became a member of the highly esteemed Southern Living Hotel Collection. Lanier Islands also holds a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.
About Safe Harbor Development
Safe Harbor Development is one of the Southeast’s largest developers, private owners, and operators of marinas. Based in Knoxville, Tn, the company has built or renovated more than $300M in entertainment and retail venues, mixed-use developments, hotels, restaurants, spas, RV resorts and more. Recent projects involving Safe Harbor Development’s leadership team include the Margaritaville Island Hotel, a 130-room upscale hotel located in the heart of Pigeon Forge on the Island and The Island in Pigeon Forge, a 280,000-square foot retail, restaurant and entertainment complex. Safe Harbor is also developing Margaritaville’s first urban escape, a 217-room hotel in the thriving “SoBro” area of Downtown Nashville. In addition, Safe Harbor’s current portfolio includes 12 marinas with more than 5,000 slips spanning from New York to Georgia.
Hemsworth Communications (for Safe Harbor Development)
Missy Burgess (for Lanier Islands)