Lake Lanier beach bans swimming, bumming out longtime lake goers ahead of opening day

There’s something in the water: a big fence. 

Some people who usually cool down at one of Lake Lanier’s most popular beaches are now boiling mad over a new rule change. 

Margaritaville at Lake Lanier has announced that they have banned swimming at Landshark Landing, citing unspecified safety concerns. 

Now, a few feet offshore, the fence blocks people from going into the water.  

The decision by Margaritaville at Lanier Islands to ban swimming at the spot has left longtime visitors furious and disappointed, including one woman from Gwinnett County.

"How do you tell your kids, ‘Sorry, we're going to go to the lake, but you can't get in the water’?" she said.

The woman spoke to FOX 5 on the condition we would not give her name, for fear of retribution in the tight-knit lake community.

She said for years, she has taken her five grandchildren to the lake.

"Why bring all that sand in from Florida if you’re not going to be able to use it?" the woman asked.

Maggie Garcia, spokesperson for Margaritaville at Lanier Islands emailed the following statement when asked to explain the decision: 

"As a company, we prioritize the safety of our guests above all else. After careful consideration, we have decided to no longer offer swimming in the lake area. Lake access is available in a controlled environment via our Aquatic Adventure Wibit Attraction, as well as our kayak and paddleboard rentals at LandShark Landing. While we understand that this may be disappointing for some, we believe it is the right decision to maintain a safe environment for all our guests to enjoy and will allow us to put added focus on other parts of the park to offer a better overall experience for all our water park guests. The beach area will remain open for lounging and relaxing, and we hope you will still take advantage of this space to soak up the sun and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. In addition to that we do have a lot of exciting new things coming to the park this summer season!"

The spokesperson did not immediately return a follow-up email asking what their specific safety concerns are on Friday afternoon.

The woman we spoke with said none of her grandkids will want to sit in the sweltering sun without being able to cool down in the water.

"Who wants to sit in the heat all day and not be able to take a dip in the water?" 

The location opens for the season at 11 a.m. Sunday.

The anonymous woman hopes that the backlash will lead to Margaritaville management reconsidering their decision. 

"Take the fence down. Come on. Stop taking away people's fun for the summer," she pleaded.