Chesterton Tribune



Pavilion Partners press release announces another appeal of alcohol permit rejection

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Editor's Note: The following is a press release from the Res Publica Group on behalf of Pavilion Partners announcing an appeal of the rejection of a permit to sell alcohol at the Indiana Dunes State Park beach. It was emailed to the Chesterton Tribune October 20, 2015


[For a press release from banquet center opponents, click here:

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



Public-private partnership calls for fine dining restaurant in Indiana Dunes pavilion

Following two weeks of discussions with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and community leaders, Pavilion Partners, LLC today filed an appeal in an effort to obtain a liquor license for a restaurant in an existing pavilion at the Indiana Dunes State Park.

Though the Indiana Department of Natural Resources approved a public-private partnership with the group last year to renovate the pavilion and add a restaurant and banquet facility to the existing space, the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission earlier this month denied approval of a liquor license for the restaurant. The appeal of that decision will now be heard by an Administrative Law Judge, as assigned by the state.

“We believe in this project and what it can mean for the Indiana Dunes, Northwest Indiana and the entire State of Indiana,” said Chuck Williams, of Pavilion Partners. “We’re proud to have support from our state’s tourism leaders, economic development experts, chambers of commerce and many others who recognize the value of this project. There was a concerted effort to confuse the public by disseminating inaccurate information about the project and those involved with it. We hope this appeal will allow our request to be heard in a forum where it can be considered based solely on the facts and not impacted by the malicious and libelous propaganda that some have put out there.”

Among the many who are supporting Pavilion Partners’ efforts are the Northwest Indiana Forum, Indiana Dunes Tourism Bureau, South Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau, several chambers of commerce and state officials, including the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

“We appreciate their unwavering support of this project and of our partnership with the state,” Williams said. “Though we knew some would disagree with the idea of creating modern amenities or making investments to enhance revenues for the state, we never expected the kind of personal attacks that my partners and I, along with our families and businesses, have experienced in the last few months. Sadly, many of those opposed to this project have engaged in an erroneous, slanderous and short-sighted smear campaign aimed at misleading the public.”

Pavilion Partners was one of two organizations to respond to a Request For Proposals issued by the Indiana DNR in 2011 to renovate the 80-year-old pavilion and bring added amenities and revenues to the state. At that time, Pavilion Partners submitted a plan to renovate the pavilion, add a restaurant and construct a banquet facility on existing concrete immediately adjacent to the pavilion. After a public process, the DNR selected Pavilion Partners to do the work, entering into its eighth public-private partnership at a state park, with lease terms comparable to those at other state parks.

As part of its planned $5 million investment and taking on roughly $250,000 annual operating costs, Pavilion Partners sought a liquor license for a restaurant that would be built inside the pavilion. That request was denied by a local and state liquor board, after hearing the opposition coordinated by one environmental group. That decision impacts the restaurant planned in the pavilion, but doesn’t necessarily impact plans for the adjacent banquet facility.

Res Publica Group





Posted 10/21/2015





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