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Work temporarily closes Portage pavilion in national park

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Work temporarily closes Portage pavilion in national park

Renovation work has temporarily closed the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk’s distinctive pavilion overlooking Lake Michigan.

The building’s restrooms and hallway are to reopen on Sunday, March 31.

Improvements in the classroom and meeting space, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls, will take a bit longer.

When that area reopens on April 15, Steve Rossi expects it to be in high demand.

Rossi, the concessions management specialist for Indiana Dunes National Park, looks forward to reopening the classroom/meeting area for short-term rentals, such as social events and business meetings.

“There are only a couple of spots right on the lake where you can enjoy the lake in a sheltered environment,” he said.

“People keep asking me about it. ‘Hey, can we rent that space?’ It’s kind of exciting to say now, ‘Yes, you can.’ ”

Rossi said the room will be available for short-term rentals, either for four hours or for a full day, with costs ranging from $200 to $400.

The remodeling work has included a new coat of paint and new flooring.

Cabinets will be installed in the classroom area so tables and chairs can be stored between events.

The Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk opened in late 2008 on national park land that formerly had been a waste site for the steel plant – first owned by National Steel, now by U.S. Steel – on the other side of Burns Ditch.

The pavilion was deemed a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building when it was built.

For more information on the pavilion’s short-term rental program, see https://www.nps.gov/indu/planyourvisit/portage-lakefront-short-term-lease.htm

Tim Zorn is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.



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