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First phase of Lake Lanier Resort expansion complete

LAKE LANIER ISLANDS - The first phase of a 10-year, multi-million dollar expansion is complete at Lake Lanier Islands Resort.

The Gwinnett-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, completely rebuilt using only the shell of the original structure, signifies the beginning of a new era for meetings in Georgia, officials say.

"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 turn of the 20th century rustic lodges, the Legacy Lodge & Conference Center features a vaulted timber ceiling, a large chandelier replicating oak branches, a stacked stone fireplace and floors of African slate and planked wood, all of which offer an expansive space for guests to gather.

The conference center boasts 21,000 square feet of meeting space, with 22 meeting rooms featuring ergonomically designed chairs and state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and complimentary high-speed wireless Internet connection. The lodge even offers something called a "complete meeting package," which includes all meals, valet parking, gratuities, meeting rooms and audio-visual equipment.

The lodges 221 guest rooms received a full makeover. They are furnished with Serta pillowtop mattresses, luxury bed linens, enlarged bathrooms with granite countertops, flat screen televisions and overstuffed chairs. Amenities also include complimentary wireless access.

Perhaps the most luxurious addition is six new luxury enclaves, dubbed the Legacy Villas. Each are 4,500 square feet and feature all the accoutrements of the Legacy Lodge. The 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.