The news that
Indiana Dunes State Park was selected by USA Today as the seventh
best state park in the nation was greeted last week by local officers of the
Izaak Walton League (IWL).
readers voted it one of the best state parks out of 6,000 in the United
States, without a conference center, without a hotel, and without a Chuck E.
Cheese,” State IWL President Tim Russell said. “The public loves that park
as it is, the beach, the dunes, the incredible views.”
In March IWL
announced its opposition to the 30,000-square foot conference/banquet center
which Pavilion Partners LLC, in partnership with the Department of Natural
Resources, plans to build just to the east of the Pavilion, which Pavilion
Partners is also renovating.
“We took a position
against it as soon as we heard about it,” Porter County IWL President Jim
Sweeney said. “A public beach is not the place for a private, commercial
Remodeling of the
iconic Pavilion started in March and the new building is reportedly a part
of the same contract and scheduled to open in 2016.
Russell added that
IWL has no problem with the Pavilion’s renovation. “The pavilion is 80 years
old, that work is long overdue,” he said. But “we don’t want a private
banquet facility on a public beach.”