$75M project with sports dome, hotel proposed in NW Indiana

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2016

A developer is proposing a $75 million recreation resort in northwestern Indiana that would include an indoor water park, an indoor drive-in theater and a 150-room hotel.

The plan for the 170-acre site north of Interstate 94, about 40 miles southeast of Chicago, also calls for a campground and a recreational lake with an island featuring an adventure tower. The dome is designed to host sporting events, conferences and trade shows.

The complex is being proposed by Catalyst Lifestyles LLC, a privately funded domestic-international partnership, development manager Tony Czapla said. The complex will be able to host sports tournaments and provide many other activities for those attending, Czapla told The (Munster) Times ( ).

"This will be the first 'gold standard' domestic property catering toward youth sports on the weekends, in addition to social, military, educational, religious, fraternal and business hospitality segments during the week," the development plan states.

The city's Development Review Committee is scheduled to review the plans Tuesday.

Catalyst Lifestyles purchased the land last year from the city's Redevelopment Commission for $6 million, which is to be paid over 10 years. The proposal includes the expansion of Burns Parkway and two bridges across the Burns Waterway to join the property.

Czapla said Portage was chosen for the project because "3 million people go to the dunes each year and there are 29 million people who live within 200 miles."

"We couldn't find a better community," he said.

The plan also includes a 165,000-square-foot building with a dome with interchangeable floors that would be used for large gatherings and trade shows.

If all goes well, Czapla said construction of the campground and lake will begin this year, followed by construction of other amenities with completion sometime next year.


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