Chesterton Tribune



Principals in Dunes State Park Pavilion rehab are well known to local business community

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The principals of the development group remodeling the Pavilion at Indiana Dunes State Park--and currently at work designing an associated conference/banquet center--are businessmen well known in Greater Valparaiso and Lake County.

Pavilion Partners LLC went public today in a statement released through its spokesperson, Deb Butterfield, just before deadline.

The principals:

* Chuck Williams, who “started and has grown a successful multi-million dollar company and is managing partner of a real estate development and holding company,” the statement said. He is the 2003 recipient of the Indiana Main Street Award for the historic preservation of the Downtown Valparaiso office building now home to his businesses, Buffalo Wild Wings, and a church. The U.S. Small Business Administration also named Williams Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Northwest Indiana, the State of Indiana, and the Midwest Region.

* Tom Collins Jr., senior vice president of Luke Oil, and Ryan Richardson, who have made County Line Orchard in Hobart “one of Northwest Indiana’s premiere destinations.” Operated by Applecore Inc., County Line Orchard attracts 400,000 visitors each year, including 50,000 school bus tours and about 100 weddings.

* Peter Kaiafas, whose current business, Avalon Manor in Merrillville, has been named Best Banquet Hall by readers of the two regional newspapers; Best Place for Corporate Events and Banquet Facility by Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly; and Best Wedding Reception Site in the State of Indiana in an on-line reader poll conducted by The Knot. Kaiafas “grew up in the restaurant and banquet business,” the statement said, and “at the heart of his success is his commitment to quality and customer service.”

* Scott Virtue, project architect and “no stranger to historic preservation,” who worked with Chuck Williams on the restoration of the Downtown Valpo building. Virtue was also lead architect on the historic preservation and restoration of The Factory in Chesterton and has “more than 25 years of architectural experience in design management for a variety of historic, commercial, industrial, and residential projects.”

Project Timeline

The first phase of the project--completely renovated comfort stations with new restrooms, showers, family dressing room, and lockers--is scheduled to open this Memorial Day.

Then, sometime during the 2015 season, the Pavilion’s rooftop restaurant will open, “featuring casual dining and sweeping lake vistas,” the statement said.

The second-floor restaurant of the Pavilion and the conference/banquet center will be completed for the 2016 season.

“Pavilion Partners LLC is fully committed to increasing access and enhancing the visitor experience to the Dunes by sensitively and carefully restoring the Pavilion building,” the statement said. “Photographs of the interior of the building are being used to inform decisions in the restoration.”

“The conference center,” on the other hand, “has been designed with an entirely open first floor to allow full access, visibility, and enhanced picnic areas for beachgoers,” the statement said.

“Off-site parking and shuttle services are planned for events to be held at the new center to minimize any parking concerns for beach guests, while providing convenience to event attendees,” the statement added.

“This team fully understands the protectiveness that people feel for this magnificent natural asset and are committed to responsibly increasing the enjoyment and experience for all who visit the beach and who will enjoy the new facilities,” Butterfield said.



Posted 3/19/2015




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