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Remaking the Islands: Plans are moving ahead for construction, renovation of Lake Lanier resort

Authority OKs bid to build wastewater treatment plant

POSTED: May 28, 2008 5:01 a.m.
SARA GUEVARA /The Times

A construction worker pushes dirt Friday at Lake Lanier Islands.

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BUFORD — The Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority on Friday approved a $11.03 million bid to build a new wastewater treatment plant for the 1,100-acre resort.

The authority selected Choate Construction of Atlanta to build the plant.

"We have a deadline from EPD of December 2009 to meet and this keeps us on that schedule," said Craig Dowdy, chairman of the authority’s infrastructure committee. "It will also be able to meet the anticipated growth in the islands and the new infrastructure that will be built in the next few years."

The authority also agreed to a $300,000 bid from Georgia Power for new outdoor lighting along the renovated roads and walking areas of the resort.

Today, as the resort opens its major summer attraction, the Beach & WaterPark, a number of
major construction and renovation projects are nearing completion.

"We’ve been at it since January 2007," said Grier Todd, chief operating officer of Lake Lanier Islands. "It’s been a relatively smooth project, but it’s an $18 million project."

The pavement on many of the roads leading into the resort was taken up and has been replaced. Some of the new areas still await paving and others a final coat of asphalt.

A newly opened entrance and main lobby of the Emerald Pointe Hotel now features giant timbers brought in from Oregon, complimented by slate flooring.

Todd quickly admits booking and revenues suffered during the renovation project, but said meeting planners who have visited the updated hotel are excited about the resort.

"Our booking pace from June on through the end of the year and our booking pace for next year is 200 percent of where we were for last year," Todd said.

"We also didn’t count on $4-a-gallon gas, which has exacerbated the situation," he said.

Also on Friday, workers were placing final touches on six lake front villas that will be ready around Memorial Day.

"There is 5,000 square feet in each of them and they have six bedrooms and it can all be rented, or partially," he said. It includes a luxury villa suite in each building.

The park will open the Beach & WaterPark this weekend and will begin weekday operations after Memorial Day.



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