Chesterton Tribune



10,000 oppose private banquet center at Indiana Dunes State Park

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10,000 strong and counting: The Izaak Walton League and Dunes Action presented 10,000 signatures on petitions in opposition to the plan for a banquet center at Dunes State Park beach at the Indiana Statehouse on Monday. Left to right are, Rep. Ryan Dvorak (D- Dist. 8), Rep. Chuck Moseley (D-Dist. 10), Jim Sweeney of Dunes Action and Izaak Walton League, Rep. Scott Pelath (D-Dist. 9) and Dan Johnston, of Dunes Action.

(Photo courtesy of the office of Rep. Scott Pelath)


On Monday, February 29, members of Dunes Action delivered petitions to the Indianapolis Statehouse containing nearly 10,000 signatures opposing the plan for a private banquet center featuring bars and restaurants at the beach in the Indiana Dunes State Park.

Jim Sweeney of Izaak Walton League/Dunes Action, and DA supporter Dan Johnston, who coordinates the volunteer, faith-based charitable Duneland Resale Shop in Chesterton, visited with House Minority Leader Scott Pelath and other legislators before delivering the petitions to Governor Mike Pence.

“We are happy that Representatives Pelath, Moseley and Dvorak were able to take time from their hectic schedules to meet with us,” Sweeney said.

“We want Governor Pence to understand the serious impact that this banquet center and several venues serving alcohol at Dunes State Park will have on our community and local businesses,” he added.

Dunes Action said the 10,000 signatures amount to 27 signatures a day, every day, since the petitions were started one year ago when Pavilion Partners’ plans for the commercial banquet center adjacent to the historic pavilion first became public.

The petitions have been carried in person at the European Market, at public Dunes Action meetings, at the IDSP beach, in neighborhoods and among families and friends. Local businesses including Red Cup, L.O.A.F. and Tiger Lily have also hosted petitions.

A bill pending in the State Senate, HB 1386, would allow the DNR to secure alcohol permits, without state or local oversight, for all state parks, among its other provisions. The measure has already cleared the House.

If approved by the Legislature, it would become law unless Gov. Pence vetoes it.

Dunes ACTION! is a grassroots, volunteer, non-partisan coalition. Find Dunes Action! on Facebook and at



Posted 3/1/2016





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