On Tuesday, Aug. 25, Missy Burgess, Lanier Islands’ director of public relations and marketing, played a concept video of the project during a South Hall Business Coalition Zoom conference. Viewers got a digitalized snapshot of the property’s future entrance, pool, hotel and conference space.
“In a perfect world, we’d be able to open the new conference center and hotel in spring of 2023,” Burgess said. “We’re busy talking to architects now and going over the plans.”
PineIsle, a once 254-room hotel, was demolished in April 2008. The lot has remained vacant since then.
Bill Donohue, executive director of Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority, said discussion about the property’s renewal began in 2012. He said the new resort’s groundbreaking date is set for this fall.
“We think from an authority standpoint, this project is important because it give the islands a major anchor project to carry it for the next 30 years,” Donohue said.
Donohue said the project is to be funded by the state and private sources. So far, he said the state has contributed more than $30 million.
So far, he said the design plans for the new hotel and convention center — which hasn’t been named yet — are 80% complete. He said the hotel is expected to have 300 rooms and the conference space to span 75,000 square feet.
Because the design isn’t set in stone, Donohue said it could change in a way that acclimates a “post-COVID” world, including more access to the outside for dining and larger conference spaces that allow people to sit farther away from one another.
Burgess said bringing a golf course back to the property is also “on the table,” but no set-in-stone plans have been made at this time.
“We’re so excited to have the support to be able to do this project,” she said. “We’re moving forward.”
Kit Dunlap, president and CEO of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, described the morning presentation as “wonderful.” She said the chamber has been aware of Lanier Islands’ plans for a while and enjoyed seeing the renderings come to life in the video.
“I think for the state of Georgia, it will absolutely be an economic engine to add a larger hotel and convention center with the bells and whistles,” Dunlap said.