Lake Lanier Islands Resort Completes First Phase of Transformation

Former Emerald Pointe Rebranded to Legacy Lodge & Conference Center

. October 14, 2008

LAKE LANIER ISLANDS, GA, Ausgust 20, 2008. The first phase of a 10 year, multimillion dollar expansion is complete at Lake Lanier Islands Resort. The Atlanta-area destination has unveiled the transformed Legacy Lodge & Conference Center, formerly known as Emerald Pointe Hotel & Conference Center, along with six new executive villas.

The Legacy Lodge & Conference Center, which was completely rebuilt using only the shell of the original structure signifies the beginning of a new era for meetings in Georgia.

"The new Legacy Lodge & Conference Center is considered the first resort conference center for Atlanta," said Stephanie Orr, director of sales and marketing at Lake Lanier Islands Resort. "Lake Lanier Islands Resort offers an abundance of on-property amenities and activities that complement any meeting or conference agenda."

Inspired by the great lodges of America built at the turn of the 20th century, the Legacy Lodge & Conference Center features a Port Cochere adorned with a large copper cupola. The lobby boasts a vaulted timber ceiling, a huge chandelier replicating oak branches, a stacked stone fireplace and floors of African slate and planked wood offering an expansive space for guests to gather.

The conference center offers 21,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. The 22 meeting rooms offer ergonomically designed chairs and state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and complimentary high-speed wireless. The Lodge is a member of the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) and offers a Complete Meeting Package (CMP), which includes all meals, valet parking, gratuities, meeting rooms and audio-visual equipment. Legacy Lodge's Grand Ballroom accommodates up to 300 attendees, serving as an ideal venue for special events.

The 221 guestrooms, which were taken down to bare concrete walls and completely refurbished, are appointed with Serta pillow top mattresses, luxury bed linens, enlarged bathrooms with granite countertops, flat screen televisions and overstuffed chairs. Amenities also include complimentary wireless access.

Located adjacent to the hotel are six new luxurious Legacy Villas. Offering the same elegantly rustic feel as the Legacy Lodge, the six-room villas are 4,500 square feet and feature all the accoutrements of the Legacy Lodge. The six rooms are separately keyed for privacy, allowing guests to rent the entire villa or just one room. The upper level features two king suites and a common area with stacked stone fireplaces and decks overlooking the lake, while most of the lower level bedrooms include fireplaces and patios with their own beautiful views. BullFrogs Bar and Grille, located poolside, was also expanded to include an enlarged indoor dining area, upgraded kitchen facility and expanded menu.


Over the past 55 years, the landscape that was formerly the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains has been transformed into what today is Georgia's most visited recreational venue - Lake Sidney Lanier - attracting nearly 8 million visitors per year.

It all began in 1956 when the construction of Buford Dam was completed, and the rushing waters of the Chestatee and Chattahoochee Rivers filled the valley below. It took almost three years for the lake to fill to capacity (1071 feet above sea level).

In 1962, just three years after the lake was officially deemed "full," the Georgia General Assembly created the Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority (LLIDA) to manage and develop the area as a recreational venue for the citizens of Georgia.

In 1974, Lake Lanier Islands celebrated its first year of operation. The first phase of development included Harbor Landing, campgrounds, stables, and a beach area at what is now the Beach & WaterPark.

As the population in the Atlanta area grew, so too did the need for additional recreational venues. In 1987, the Beach & WaterPark was enhanced with the addition of water slides and the wave pool, which remains Georgia's largest to this day. The 18-hole, par-72 Emerald Pointe Golf Club was added in 1988, complete with Clubhouse, pro shop and grille. A resort hotel opened in 1989 named Lake Lanier Islands Resort, which was renamed the Hilton at Lake Lanier Islands in 1990.

In 1993, Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority and the State of Georgia partnered once again to create Magical Nights of Lights. With an initial investment of over one million dollars, Magical Nights of Lights was well on its way to becoming one of Georgia's most popular holiday light shows. Today, Magical Nights of Lights is considered the world's largest animated light extravaganza, which comprises of more than one million twinkling lights on a six and one-half-mile driving tour.

In May 1996, KSL Recreation Corporation, based in LaQuinta, CA, contracted with the state of Georgia to take over the day-to-day management and operations of Lake Lanier Islands as a result of a statewide privatization effort spearheaded by then Governor Zell Miller. KSL Recreation Corporation invested nearly $30 million in property improvements while managing Lake Lanier Islands.

In 1997, the Beach & WaterPark enjoyed the addition of water attractions and retail space with food and beverage outlets. Harbor Landing received all new docks and replaced 75 percent of its 90-vessel fleet of rental boats. Emerald Pointe Golf Club was upgraded with new greens, refurbished bunkers, new drainage system, tee boxes, and all new golf carts.

The addition of The LakeHouses on Lanier(c) in 1998 provided new lodging options at Lake Lanier Islands. The 30 New England inspired homes each feature two bedrooms and two private baths with dressing areas, full kitchen, dining space and large family room with a fieldstone fireplace. The private deck is complete with view of the lake, Jacuzzi and gas grill.

In 2001, KSL transformed the Hilton at Lake Lanier Islands into the Emerald Pointe Resort & Conference Center(R). In addition to a name change, the 214-room resort completed major renovations. Highlights included a new entrance, refinements to the guestrooms and suites, a completely renovated restaurant, and a new lobby. The resort expanded its meeting space by 8,900 square feet to a total of 21,000 square feet.

In August 2005, the lease interest in the hotel and businesses at Lake Lanier Islands was sold to LLI Management Company, a resort enterprise of the Virgil R. Williams family of Gwinnett County, Georgia. The Williams family is committed to enhancing the recreational experience on the Islands through higher quality developments and accommodations, more leisure opportunities and superior landscape.

Conceptual ideas for future development of Lake Lanier Islands Resort consist of a variety of lodging accommodations and price ranges, including an expansion of Emerald Pointe Hotel & Conference Center and potential development of a luxury lodge. The upscale lodge would replace PineIsle resort, the original and first lodging facility on the islands, which dates back to the early 1970s. Other accommodations being considered are a boutique hotel, harbor/beach club, small group conference hotel and family center and bed and breakfast inn. Eco-friendly transportation such as electric cars, Segways and electric and standard bicycles will be available for travel around the islands. Scenic paths, viewing stations, gardens and current roads will be created or updated to accommodate future transportation and complete the feel of the "natural sanctuary."

Set on the pristine, southern-most shores of Lake Sidney Lanier is Lake Lanier Islands Resort. The year-round, 1,100-acre resort is located less than 45 minutes from downtown Atlanta and boasts a variety of amenities and attractions including the Legacy Lodge & Conference Center, championship golf courses, scenic horseback riding, spa services, casual and upscale dining options, campsites, boat rentals, and the summertime Beach & WaterPark.

Related News

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.