La PORTE – La Porte was awarded a $220,000 grant to complete the Dunes Event Center in NewPorte Landing.

Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Tourism Development recently announced $470,000 in Destination Development Grants were awarded to both La Porte and South Bend Chocolate Company by the Indiana Tourism Council.

“Indiana’s tourism industry continually grows year after year, and that can be accredited to companies and destinations constantly reviving their efforts to attract visitors,” Crouch, who chairs the council, said. “By receiving a public boost, we are investing in the economic driver behind tourism in the state.”

La Porte was awarded $220,000 to complete the $830,000 Dunes Event Center with trails, parking and signage to attract visitors to other trails, parks, hotels, stores, restaurants and the Clear Lake waterfront.

The Dunes Event Center aims to be a premier destination throughout the Midwest for large scale indoor sports tournaments, recreational sports camps and club sports.

The South Bend Chocolate Company plans to create a $1.7 million resort-like atmosphere with part of the $250,000 matching funds.

The company intends to construct a new factory that creates a year-round, one-of-a-kind, educational and experiential attraction for the Northwest part of Indiana.

The project is proposed to include a chocolate experience area, Indiana dinosaur museum, a visitor’s center and gift shop. Plans also include multiple hotels, a farm-to-fork restaurant and a winery that highlights regional products.

“We are very excited for South Bend and La Porte. These additions will add to the current tourism assets of the respective areas,” said Misty Weisensteiner, director of IOTD. “The focus, investment and partnership of their communities speak volumes, clearly demonstrating the importance of tourism and for continued economic growth both locally and for the state.”

—From staff reports

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