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7000 Lanier Islands Parkway

Buford, GA 30518

Phone: 770-945-8787

Press & Media



The Best of the Press

Welcome to the Lanier Islands Press Room! You’re invited to read up on all the good things people have said about their experience at our Georgia lakeside resort and outside surrounding Atlanta area. If you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at

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Margaritaville at Lanier Islands and Legacy Lodge Rock Their Reopening

Buford, Ga. – June 18, 2020 – While the team behind the scenes at popular Georgia lakeside resort – Lanier Islands– looks forward to opening day every year, they were particularly eager to see the gates open on Friday, June 12. That day marked the reopening of both the award-winning Legacy Lodge and the waterslides and attractions inside Margaritaville® at Lanier Islands.  Following strict guidelines set by Governor Brian Kemp’s executive order, Legacy Lodge welcomed its first guests after nearly three months of being closed due to COVID-19, and excited fans lined up to brave the waterslides at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands – which typically opens on or before Memorial Day Weekend each year. With a goal of serving as “a different world… close to home,” it was all smiles all weekend long for staff members and patrons alike.

“Providing our visitors with an unsurpassed guest experience is at the heart and soul of everything we do at Lanier Islands,” said Virgil Williams, Chairman of the Board for Islands Management Company, LLC. “Our team members genuinely enjoy seeing corporate guests, wedding parties, couples, friends and families having a good time while they’re with us – whether for the day or overnight. We’re so excited to finally see a return to a degree of normalcy as we not only welcome back guests to our flagship hotel and water park, but also add some new faces to our staff for the summer season. We have implemented new health and safety guidelines based on guidance from the CDC and state and local governments. Things will be a bit different than in years past as we take all the necessary measures to keep our guests and staff safe, but one thing will remain unchanged – it’s going to be another fun summer on Lanier Islands’ shores.”

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders, Legacy Golf Course, Margaritaville RV Resort and accommodations at the resort’s Villas and LakeHouses remained open – serving as a scenic form of social distancing for guests who wanted a home away from home experience. The beach, concessions, courtesy docks, marina, boat rentals, margarita/brunch cruises* and LandShark Bar & Grill opened under Phase I of Governor Kemp’s order in mid-May, followed by the resort’s lakeside bars on June 1. On June 12, Margaritaville at Lanier Islands opened its water rides and attractions per Phase II of Governor Kemp’s order – including the Family Fun Zone Pool, Bucky’s Fun Zone, CAT 4 tube slide, and thrilling water slides like Raging River, Blackout, Twister and more. Steps taken to protect guests include social distancing markings in the lines leading up to the rides with 6’ in between, regular sanitation of lounge chairs and restrooms, and temperature checks at the gate for team members and guests entering the park – just to name a few. At Legacy Lodge, only rooms on the first and third floors of the hotel are open – which means there’s no need for guests to use the elevator. Special measures are being taken to sanitize and there will be limitations at the hotel pool to ensure social distancing. 

With operations back underway at Legacy Lodge and Margaritaville at Lanier Islands, fans of the lakeside resort can once again take advantage of money-saving Summer Chill Season Passes and special accommodation packages – like the Family Fun Package which includes admission to the beach and waterpark for one, two or four riders.

To stay on top of the latest specials and changes at Lanier Islands, prospective guests are encouraged to follow the resort on Facebook and Instagram. Accommodations and golf tee times can be booked online at Additional questions can be directed to the Lanier Islands hotline at (770) 945-8787.

* Cruises and restaurant capacities are currently at 50%

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Georgia’s Lanier Islands Named Winner in The Knot Best of Weddings 2018

Lanier Islands is pleased to announce that it has been selected as a 2018 winner in The Knot Best of Weddings, an award representing the highest-rated wedding professionals as reviewed by real couples, their families and wedding guests on The Knot, the leading online wedding brand and app. Offering more than 20 stunning indoor and outdoor event venues, a variety of activities to entertain and lodgings to accommodate guests, a talented wedding team and culinary staff to bring the Big Day to life, and a broad assortment of preferred wedding vendors available at the scenic lakeside Metro Atlanta resort, Lanier Islands continues to gain favor with brides- and grooms-to-be as a highly sought-after Destination Wedding site. 

In 2018, only 3% of the approximately 300,000 local wedding professionals listed on have received this distinguished accolade. In its twelfth year, The Knot continues its longstanding tradition of supporting local wedding vendors with The Knot Best of Weddings 2018, an annual by-couples, for-couples guide to the top wedding professionals across the country. To determine the winners, The Knot assessed almost 3.6 million reviews across the various vendor categories—venues, musicians, florists, photographers, caterers and more. These winners represent the best of the best wedding professionals that a bride or groom would want to consider booking for their own unique wedding.

“We are incredibly honored by this distinction from The Knot,” said Stephanie Orr, VP of Sales & Marketing at Lanier Islands. “As the go-to source for so many young brides and grooms, I think it’s safe to say ‘we’ve arrived’ by being named among The Knot Best of Weddings. It’s not only an accolade we treasure, it’s also one we’ve worked extremely hard to attain over the course of the last decade. Believing our lakeside resort serves as a beautiful setting for any dream wedding, we’ve crafted new venues and reimagined existing ones to give our couples the very best backdrop for their big day. Lanier Islands Weddings has also built an amazing support team
for our brides and grooms, honed our culinary menus to perfection and created a number of incredible destination wedding packages for those couples who want to extend their event out over several days. We’re also proud to offer an event site large enough to accommodate traditional South Asian weddings, which often feature hundreds of guests and special customs that take place in a variety of locales. Learning that was an underserved market in Atlanta, we are happy that Lanier Islands can not only meet but exceed expectations. Weddings are a very happy business to be in, and we are truly privileged to be a part of so many special beginnings.”

As the number one online wedding brand and app, The Knot has inspired approximately 25 million couples to plan a wedding that’s uniquely theirs. With a rich history of providing quality content and inspiration, The Knot is making it easier for couples to connect with and book just the right wedding professionals to create their perfect wedding day. Eight out of 10 couples come to The Knot where they can be connected to any of the approximately 300,000 local wedding professionals across the country. The Knot marries great technology with trusted content--and a little love--to make planning for the most important day of a person's life easier and more enjoyable. 

In addition to this most recent accolade from The Knot, Lanier Islands was recently named “Best Rehearsal Dinner Site” by 2017 Best of Atlanta Bridal Awards. The lakeside resort has also gained a lot of fame in Atlanta through its participation in STAR 94’s “Jeff & Jenn Show” Perfect Wedding Pitch in which couples vie for the chance to win the lakeside wedding of their dreams.

To learn more about weddings at Lanier Islands, wedding planners and couples are invited to visit For more information about The Knot Best of Weddings and a complete list of winners, please visit 

About Lanier Islands: Nestled on the southern-most shoreline of Lake Sidney Lanier at the foothills of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains lies the truly distinctive Lanier Islands. Situated less than 45 miles from downtown Atlanta on 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. As the resort’s crown jewel, Lake Lanier is one of the United States’ most popular man-made lakes, encompassing 38,000 surface acres and 690 miles of shoreline in Northeast Georgia. Legacy Lodge, Villas, and LakeHouses enhance the park’s broad assortment of accommodation choices and meeting sites – making it the ideal choice for corporate meetings and company retreats. Popular excursions like fun in the sun at the boardwalkthemed LanierWorld, zip lining through the trees with Lake Lanier Canopy Tours, horseback riding on a lakeside trail from the Equestrian Center, and renting a boat and ski equipment from Harbor Landing make the islands 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.

Lanier Islands is steadily securing a solid standing for its unique vision of the future of this luxury retreat, its unswerving dedication to the comfort and enjoyment of its guests, and its signature brand of Southern Hospitality. In 2014, the Resort became a member of the highly esteemed Southern Living Hotel Collection. The Islands has also been awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for four consecutive years, was named “Best Place for Family Fun” by Best Self Atlanta Magazine in 2015 and made’s #3 slot of 10 Best Family-Friendly Hotels & Resorts in Georgia in 2017. For more information, visit

About The Knot: The Knot is the nation's leading online wedding brand and app that seamlessly engages, matches and connects couples with the right products, services and local wedding professionals they need to plan and pull off their wedding. The trusted brand reaches a majority of engaged couples in the US through the #1 wedding website, its mobile apps, The Knot national and local wedding magazines, and The Knot book series. The Knot has inspired approximately 25 million couples to plan a wedding that's uniquely them. The Knot is the flagship brand of XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXO), which helps people navigate and enjoy life's biggest moments—from getting married to moving in together and having a baby. Please visit The Knot online at and follow on social media: and @TheKnot on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.


Missy Burgess
Director of Public Relations and Sponsorships
Phone: (770) 945-8787

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Lanier Islands Partners With Safe Harbor Development & Margaritaville Holdings in Robust Plan for LanierWorld's Redevelopment

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 as the 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.”

For more information or reservations, call (770) 945-8787 or visit or 

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 soughtafter 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.

Media Contacts:
Hemsworth Communications (for Safe Harbor Development)
Samantha Jacobs / Amanda Parham
(954) 716-7614 or


Missy Burgess
Director of Public Relations and Sponsorships
Phone: (770) 945-8787