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‘A real game changer:’ Plans taking shape for new Lanier Islands conference center and hotel
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A snapshot taken from Lanier Islands' concept video of its new convention center and hotel, which will be located at the old PineIsle resort property.

Construction could begin in January 2022 on Lanier Islands’ new conference center and hotel, with completion projected in early 2024, said Grier Todd, chief operating officer of the South Hall resort, on Tuesday, June 22.

Todd, speaking at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s South Hall Business Coalition meeting, updated the project as part of an overview of resort activity coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conference center “is probably the project we’ve been working on the longest,” he said. “We think it’s a real game changer.”

The project could be scaled back, however, from original plans.

“There may be some modifications based on post-COVID needs,” Todd said.

Another potential impact on the project is rising construction costs.

“We’re in the process now of reevaluating the scale and size of everything,” Todd said. “The general concept will stay the same. It just may be that the scale and size might change a little bit in order to fit the budget.”

The hotel is projected to have 250-300 rooms. The conference center could have 20,000 to 30,000 square feet of meeting space.

The hotel’s brand could be determined soon, he said.

“We’re also considering keeping it an independent,” Todd added.

Also, some 300 people could be employed at the site, which was once occupied by PineIsle, a 254-room hotel that was torn down in April 2008. The lot has remained vacant since then.

“From an economic impact (standpoint), this will be huge for Hall County,” Todd said. 

The project has been estimated to cost $155 million, with some $30 million coming from the state. The state’s Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority governs the longtime tourist destination. Islands Management Co. LLC is the resort’s private leaseholder.