Fight Brewing Over Dunes Hotel

April 13, 2006

The Indiana Dunes State Park wants to build a hotel on the shores of Lake Michigan in Porter County. Some residents are fighting the plan.

For more than 40 years, Charlotte Read has spent her summers strolling along the sandy shore of the Indiana Dunes State Park near Chesterton. The Chicago native wants the popular beach to remain the same for years to come.

"We don't need a hotel. We need more access for the public and one of the things the hotel will do is take away 400 parking spaces at least for the public," she says.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources wants a 100-room hotel complete with an indoor pool, conference center and banquet hall for the Indiana Dunes.

Dan Bortner, Director of State Parks and Reservoirs for the Indiana DNR, says, "There was a hotel in the original blueprint of this property. A hotel stood here for about 50 years. We've had many, many requests from individuals who would like to come in for the multi-day experience of the property but who aren't campers."

May 31 is the deadline for developers to submit proposals to the state DNR to build a hotel.