Chesterton Tribune



Pavilion project opponents respond to state alcohol ruling

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Dunes Action continues in its opposition to a liquor license application for Pavilion Partners LLC to serve alcohol in Indiana Dunes State Park (IDSP) after the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC) voted to send the matter back to the Alcoholic Beverage Board of Porter County for another hearing.

In a press release issued Wednesday Dunes Action reviewed the decision and reaffirmed opposition to alcohol sales in the state park.

“ATC Chairman David Cook said that in his opinion, while notice of the June meeting met the letter of the law, more time should have been given to the public to voice their concerns given the high level of protest. He also noted the June meeting was held during business hours on a week day, when it was difficult for the public to attend,” said Norman Hellmers, a Valparaiso resident who attended the hearing Tuesday in Indianapolis.

State ATC Commissioner Marjorie Maginn was also critical of the discrepancies in Pavilion Partners application, which leaves the ownership of the firm in question. She also said letters to the ATC made her wonder if the applicant was of a “high and fine” reputation in the community, which is required to receive a license, Hellmers said.

“We need our government officials to understand that since the Pavilion is literally on the beach, alcohol is therefore also on the beach. When we say ‘no alcohol on the beach,’ we mean no alcohol anywhere in the park Š period,” said Desi Robertson, Co-founder of Dunes Action. “We will continue to protest this license with the full force of the public’s wishes.”

Any future revenue from the sale of alcohol in IDSP will not stay with the park, Robertson said. “Only Pavilion Partners will be served by liquor being sold in the park.”

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources banned alcohol at IDSP in 1990 after the state found it fueled disturbances and serious crimes.

At a recent public hearing before the Indiana Dunes Tourism Board, one audience member said recent data show that as alcohol infractions have increased in the park, so have other crimes, Robertson said.

Dunes Action! is a grassroots, all-volunteer, non-partisan coalition opposed to the plan to allow a private firm to build and operate a conference/banquet center on the lakefront at the Indiana Dunes State Park. The group is at


Posted 7/23/2015




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