Margaritaville Resort coming to Preston Harbor in Denison TX

From the Dallas Business Journal: $6B Preston Harbor project expected to jolt population, economy of Texoma

A huge new community planned for Denison could supercharge its population growth and fundamentally transform its economic landscape.

Preston Harbor is slated to eventually have around 7,500 luxury homes. That could attract as many as 20,000 residents, Mayor Janet Gott said. The city’s current population is just under 30,000.

Margaritaville could make Preston Harbor a tourism magnet

A big piece of the puzzle at Preston Harbor was the recently announced addition of a Margaritaville resort.

The $100 million project will be only the second of its kind in Texas — Lake Conroe, about 50 miles north of Houston, has the state’s only other resort named after the well-known Jimmy Buffett song. That 186-acre resort opened in June 2020.

Many DFW residents are already familiar with Texoma as a vacation destination. Northwest of the Preston Harbor site, across the Red River, is the Choctaw Nation Casino & Resort in Durant. An hour west is the Chickasaw tribe’s Winstar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville.

Gambling is not legal in Texas, although there has been plenty of recent speculation about that changing. Instead of a casino, Preston Harbor will be centered on 90,000-acre Lake Texoma, as well as featuring dozens of internal lakes, Craig said.

The resort will be developed by Dave Johnson, founder of Horizon Capital Partners and former chairman and CEO of Plano-based Aimbridge Hospitality. Craig credited Johnson and Jim Wiseman, Margaritaville’s senior vice president of development, as crucial to getting the deal done.

Wiseman said Dallas “has always been a good market for all of Margaritaville products,” which span apparel, drink mixes and much more, and that North Texas “was always close to Jimmy Buffett’s heart.”

Additionally, Lake Texoma is an ideal setting for the resort’s island theme, Wiseman said. He expects it to look similar to Margaritaville resorts in Florida that heavily feature water sports. Wiseman declined to go into specifics about the resort’s size. Plans call for restaurants, live music and pickleball courts. Further details are expected in the coming months.

“What differentiates us is the Margaritaville lifestyle,” he said. “We’ve got a true lifestyle that people love, and are going to bring back to Texas.”

He expects the new resort to attract visitors from Oklahoma, Arkansas and even further north. Lake Conroe’s Margaritaville resort draws in guests from as far as 500 miles away.

Wiseman and Gott said the plan for the project wouldn’t have come together without the support of the community, city leaders and many developers.