Towns gear up for economic, tourism growth from Dunes' national park designation

Visitors enjoy the West Beach in Indiana Dunes National Park.

PORTER — Indiana Dunes Tourism is offering a total of $50,000 in grants to people and groups who plan to bring visitors into the county by building new attractions or by organizing festivals, events, meetings, conventions or sports tournaments during 2020. 

Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official tourism bureau for Porter County, is specifically looking to support endeavors that will bring visitors from outside of the Lake, Porter and LaPorte County areas, fill hotel rooms and have a positive economic impact on local businesses and attractions. Grants are available to for-profit, nonprofit and government entities. 

“These grants are meant to offer support in ways that may not be available anywhere else,” said Sandy Remijas, Operations Director at Indiana Dunes Tourism and grants program project manager. “Every year we’re able to give back to the community we serve, offering support to activities, events, and initiatives that help grow tourism as a whole.” 

In 2019, Indiana Dunes Tourism awarded grants to the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #76 K9 Unit, Bacon Fest, NWI Food Council, Portage Township YMCA, Chautauqua in the Dunes, Duneland Chamber of Commerce, Porter County Sherriff's Office, Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest, Portage Chamber of Commerce, NWI Excellence in Theatre Foundation, Portage Township Live Entertainment Association, The Chesterton Art Center, Porterco Conservation Trust, Inc., Indiana Audubon Society, EAA Chapter 104, Town of Hebron Parks and Recreation Board, Pastime Tournaments, Portage Township Department of Parks and Recreation, Lutheran Basketball Association of America, and Northwest Indiana Junior Golf Association. 

“As a tourism entity, we understand that product and economic development are the lifeblood of a region,” said Lorelei Weimer, Executive Director at Indiana Dunes Tourism. “This program helps our local organizations grow, benefiting both tourists and local residents alike. We are proud of all of our past recipients and look forward to what the future will bring.” 

The grants can be used for the construction of new attractions, as well as advertising, printing and promotional expenses that bring visitors to Porter County and encourage overnight stays. The funds can also be used to develop brochures, websites and other tools that encourage visitation. 

The following grants are available:

• Product Development: $5,000 annually

Register for more free articles.
Stay logged in to skip the surveys.

• Sports Sponsorship: $3,000 annually

• Marketing: $2,500 (first year), $1,500 (second year), and $1,000 (third year)

• Festivals and Events: $2,500 (first year), $1,500 (second year) and $1,000 (third year)

• Meetings, Conventions and Seminars: $2,500 (first year), $1,500 (second year) and $1,000 (third year) 

Organizations interested in being a part of the 2020 grant program should visit www.indianadunes.com/grants

Applications for 2020 grants must be completed and returned via mail, e-mail, fax, or in-person by 4 p.m. Sept. 27. Indiana Dunes Tourism co-operates the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center with the National Park Service at 1215 N Ind. 49, Porter, IN 46304. For additional information, visit www.indianadunes.com or call 219-926-2255. 

The Tourism Promotion Grant is a competitive matching grant program that was established to foster and fund festivals, projects, special events, sporting events and programs that promote the development and growth of tourism. 

Indiana Dunes Tourism is the official destination marketing, planning, and development organization for Indiana Dunes Country/Porter County. Organizations interested in learning more about Indiana Dunes Tourism and its many opportunities should visit www.indianadunes.com or call 219-926-2255.

Subscribe to Daily Headlines

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

The Times Media Company is dedicated to improving the quality of life in Northwest Indiana, through local news, information, service initiatives and community partnerships.