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.
LLC went public today in a statement released through its spokesperson, Deb
Butterfield, just before deadline.
* 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.”
The first phase of
the project--completely renovated comfort stations with new restrooms,
showers, family dressing room, and lockers--is scheduled to open this
during the 2015 season, the Pavilion’s rooftop restaurant will open,
“featuring casual dining and sweeping lake vistas,” the statement said.
restaurant of the Pavilion and the conference/banquet center will be
completed for the 2016 season.
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.”
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.
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.