Portage enjoys both commerce, recreation

2013-04-07T00:00:00Z 2013-06-04T18:41:09Z Portage enjoys both commerce, recreationBy James Snyder nwitimes.com
April 07, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Portage might easily be described as located at the intersection of commerce and recreation.

Indiana’s international deepwater seaport brings the world to our doorstep, while providing family-wage employment to thousands of Portage and region families. Ameriplex at the Port adds many hundreds of additional jobs for residents as it continues to grow each year.

Businesses continue to locate along U.S. 6, Willowcreek Road and the Central Avenue Business District. Retailers have repeatedly found it necessary to expand not long after opening as their traditional market research has failed to keep up with our on-the-ground demographics.

Concurrently, residents and visitors enjoy many recreational opportunities, including thousands of acres of city and national parks, more than a thousand boat slips, and nationally recognized sporting tournaments.

Portage is a nationally recognized recreation destination. West Beach was cited by Parents Magazine as one of our nation’s greatest family beaches just last year. Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk has been so well received that we are hustling to plan and construct improved access and parking by reusing nearby brownfield property while respecting our ecology.

Location relative to Chicago, Lake Michigan, rail and interstate highways has contributed to our success, but our families, schools, churches and supportive nonprofit sector form the foundation upon which all else is built.

Portage remains a community of and for children. Families choose to live here generation after generation because it’s just a great place to be. Our children -- mine, yours, and our neighbors' -- instill confidence in the future.

Growing up in Portage easily leads to continuing education at University Center, employment at companies such as U.S. Steel, Fronius, Graycor and Monosol, and raising a family to carry on the American Dream.

Northwest Indiana communities are fortunate to offer shoulder-to-shoulder opportunities. Portage residents enjoy crossing County Line Road to visit County Line Orchard, biking along the Prairie Duneland Trail to Hobart, Chesterton, or via the Brickyard Trail to Beverly Shores or Michigan City, driving 20 minutes to visit Brauer Art Museum at Valparaiso University, or taking the South Shore Railroad into Chicago for a “night on the town.”

Life in Portage is bigger than geography.

James Snyder is mayor of Portage. The opinions are the writer's.

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