Family entertainment center proposed for Merrillville

2013-03-19T21:30:00Z 2013-03-19T22:24:07Z Family entertainment center proposed for MerrillvilleChas Reilly, (219) 662-5324

MERRILLVILLE | Merrillville could be the landing spot for what has been proposed as a one-of-a-kind family entertainment center.

Steve Krumdick told the Plan Commission on Tuesday he wants to open Air Adventure within the vicinity of the U.S. 30 and Interstate 65 interchange.

The center would include a "unique vertical wind tunnel" that simulates sky diving, Krumdick said.

An indoor go-kart track, rock climbing wall, arcade and rope maze also are proposed for the facility, he said.

"This is my dream," Krumdick said. "This is what I want to do."

The features would be enclosed inside an air-supported dome. The facility, which would be open year-round, would be 80 feet tall.

Krumdick said the area lacks a major attraction for families, and his proposal would fill that void.

He stressed he hasn't settled on a location for the $5 million project.

Century Plaza, which is near U.S. 30 and Broadway, is among possibilities, he said.

Commission member Brian Dering said he would want Air Adventure to locate next to the former Burlington Coat Factory building at Century Plaza.

Krumdick said he also has considered opening the facility in Hobart, and officials there have been supportive of the idea.

Silverstone Crossing in Hobart was a possible location for the center, but Krumdick said issues with that development prevented his proposal from advancing there.

Krumdick hasn't started seeking approvals for the project. The purpose of Tuesday's discussion was to gauge the town's interest in the proposal.

Several town officials said they want Air Adventure to open in Merrillville, and agree a family attraction is needed in the area.

Plan Commission President Shawn Pettit and Dering said potential concerns they have involve security at the facility.

They said they would want off-duty police officers to provide security there, and security also is needed outside the building to prevent people from loitering.

Krumdick agreed and said he would comply with the requests.

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