The man leading the charge for an ambitious, $75 million Sport Resort says the project in Portage would just be the beginning. Catalyst Lifestyles LLC Managing Director Tony Czapla says the objective is to "standardize" the experience and spread the concept to 10 sites nationwide. The more than 170-acre proposed northwest Indiana development received approval from the Portage Planning Commission Monday night. During an interview with Inside INdiana Business Sports Contributor Bill Benner, Czapla says he has been "perfecting this dream" for years.
He says the location is ideal for a major youth sports attraction that will give athletes the "D-I" experience. Czapla says some 270,000 cars pass near the property daily, which is in close proximity to Chicago and its massive youth sports market.
Plans call for a 150-room hotel on-site and additional campground to host athletes and families of all economic situations. A massive dome with interchangeable floors will be the most prominent feature of the resort. As planned, it would also have a lake designed for cable wakeboarding, a smaller dome and indoor "drive-in" theater with classic cars to sit in, as well as a self-propelled transit system to help guests more quickly navigate the massive complex.
Czapla says it could attract around 350,000 visitors per year. If all approvals are met on-time, Czapla believes the large dome, campground and cable wakeboard lake could be ready for a soft opening by year’s end. He says the plans are slated to go before the town council Thursday.