Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Tourism Development have announced $470,000 in Destination Development Grants awarded to the city of LaPorte and South Bend Chocolate Co. The chocolate company plans to use the grant to construct a new factory and Laporte will use the funds to complete the Dunes Event Center with trails, parking and signage.
“Indiana’s tourism industry continually grows year after year, and that can be accredited to companies and destinations constantly reviving their efforts to attract visitors,” Crouch, who chairs the council, said in a news release. “By receiving a public boost, we are investing in the economic driver behind tourism in the state.”
The South Bend Chocolate Company plans to create a $1.7 million resort-like atmosphere with part of the $250,000 matching funds. The new factory project is proposed to include a chocolate experience area, Indiana dinosaur museum, a visitor’s center and gift shop. Plans also include multiple hotels, a farm-to-fork restaurant and a winery that highlights regional products.
LaPorte was awarded $220,000 to complete the $830,000 Dunes Event Center. The Dunes Event Center is working toward being a destination throughout the Midwest for large scale indoor sports tournaments, recreational sports camps and club sports.