Chesterton Tribune



Dunes Action press release vows to continue opposition to beach banquet center

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Editor's Note: The following is a press release from Dunes Action emailed to the Chesterton Tribune October 20, 2015


[For a press release from the developers' public relations firm click here:

Pavilion Partners press release announces another appeal of alcohol permit rejection]


Dunes Action Ready to Fight Appeal by Pavilion Partners

Public Has Spoken: No Booze on Family Beach

CHESTERTON, Ind. - Dunes Action is continuing its opposition to a license application for Pavilion Partners LLC to serve alcohol at the Indiana Dunes State Park after the company filed an appeal to try to reverse a decision by the state Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.

“The state received nearly 1,200 petition signatures and hundreds of letters from citizens, community leaders and experts who know alcohol does not belong on this family-friendly beach,” said Desi Robertson, co-founder of Dunes Action. “But we are not at all surprised that Pavilion Partners would try to discredit the community or subvert their wishes to keep alcohol off the beach.”

“This appears to be more about profit than the park,” she said. “In fact, after the state commission voted against this license, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said liquor is not crucial to restoration of the Pavilion or the functioning of the park.”

Chuck Williams, who would be the sole owner of the Pavilion Partners license, spearheaded past legislation to allow more liquor licenses for Valparaiso and lobbied the state legislature to allow alcohol to be served outside of the Pavilion, Robertson said.

Dunes Action Alcohol Committee Co-Chair Norman Hellmers said, “Pavilion Partners did not make their case. The ATC was clearly convinced that the community does not want or need liquor in the park. It’s hard to imagine how Pavilion Partners thinks the commission’s decision could be reversed.”

While IDNR Director Cameron Clark testified at the Porter County license hearing that all the state parks serve alcohol, research done by the group shows that this is a gross misrepresentation, Hellmers said. A survey of the parks found they serve alcohol for catered events only, and just one park serves beer and wine in its restaurant, he said. All of the state inn liquor licenses are held by the IDNR.

“Pavilion Partners wants to serve alcohol every day on two floors of the Pavilion and its rooftop. No other park even comes close to serving so much liquor,” Robertson noted. “Denying alcohol at this park will not hurt its popularity in any way. It is one of the top ten parks in the country without serving alcohol.”

Pavilion Partners has been seeking a liquor license to allow them to serve liquor on both floors and the rooftop of the iconic Dunes Pavilion, as well as within 100 feet of the building and parking lot for what they have said would be several one-off outdoor events. Their lease with Indiana Department of Natural Resources is for 35 years.

Dunes ACTION! is a grassroots, all-volunteer, non-partisan coalition that is opposed to the plan by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to allow a private development company to build and operate a massive conference/banquet center on the lakefront at the Indiana Dunes State Park. Visit to learn more.


Posted 10/21/2015





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