First major development for NewPorte Landing: Dunes Event Center sports complex

Developer Rick Ashmore posted this as the view from the future Dunes Event Center, with Clear Lake in the background.

A 50,000-square-foot sports complex that will focus on youth and adult volleyball will be built in NewPorte Landing. The Dunes Event Center will be designed to draw teams

Ashmore

and spectators to LaPorte for tournaments and will also eventually feature other sports as well, says its developer, Rick Ashmore.

The project was announced at the Aug. 7, 2017, LaPorte City Council meeting. Construction is planned to begin in the fall and completion is slated for spring 2018.

Besides volleyball courts and facilities, the structure will also house batting cages, basketball courts, soccer fields, and event space, according to a press release.     

“The Dunes Event Center is a wonderful addition to NewPorte Landing,” Mayor Blair Milo said in a release. “The popularity of this facility and sports tourism means that there will be a great number of people traveling to the center of the City of LaPorte and we are happy to welcome them here to play, eat, shop, and stay overnight. Even more exciting is that they’re coming to be active!”

Bert Cook, executive director of the Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation, said, “This project is a great example of multiple parties, both governmental and private working together to achieve a common goal. Rick Ashmore and his team have been committed to making this project a part of the greater NewPorte Landing Redevelopment Area and both the LaPorte City Council and Redevelopment Commission have worked to make that a reality. I am really excited to see this project come to life.”

21 Responses to “First major development for NewPorte Landing: Dunes Event Center sports complex”

  1. Big Al

    Aug 08. 2017

    I doubt many people really know how good this may be, but the Volleyball people sure do. This is going to bring value to this area in Dollars. Mr Ashmore knows how to promote this venture with teams and tournaments that will bring very large numbers of people that will need food and a place to stay. This is truly a good move!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Keven Putnam a.k.a. mr.pottawattamie park

    Aug 08. 2017

    Absolutely awesome!!!!!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Brad

    Aug 09. 2017

    What ever happened to the proposed Kroger super center?

    Reply to this comment
    • Staff

      Aug 09. 2017

      The new Kroger store is still planned in another area of NewPorte Landing.

      Reply to this comment
  4. joe

    Aug 09. 2017

    This will be a great addition to the community. The tournaments hosted by Dunes will bring hundreds of hungry visitors to our downtown area, especially over the winter season. Congrats Dunes and congrats LaPorte. Those complaining about the parking and traffic need to get over it. We can’t have sleepy town and active growth at the same time. VB4E!

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  5. Karyl Wood

    Aug 09. 2017

    Just wondering if this event center is going to be multi-purpose and will be capable of holding live concert events when sports events are not going on? That would also draw business to the area of you have some big name musicians perform live. I am friends with some band members of a very big name 80’s musician that I’ve been a fan of for 31 years and I could talk to their people and get them here for some shows. Just a thought!

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  6. Tammy

    Aug 09. 2017

    This is so awesome for Laporte! They will need to build more hotels because with volleyball comes tournaments which brings lots of people and lots of money to this community! They will need hotels! Great move for Dunes!

    Reply to this comment
  7. wanaspk2

    Aug 09. 2017

    I don’t think this is awesome at all. I am willing to bet there are a lot of us that feel the same way. What happened to the Kroger project? I was looking forward to that. Just what LaPorte needs, another ball field.

    Reply to this comment
    • Staff

      Aug 09. 2017

      The Kroger project is still planned in another area of NewPorte Landing.

      Reply to this comment
  8. Tina

    Aug 09. 2017

    I think this is wonderful and will definitely bring in more business and people to La Porte. I can’t wait until Kroger gets built too. Now let’s get some clothing stores in there too. Great job!

    Reply to this comment
  9. Corey Trevor

    Aug 09. 2017

    Oh yipee cant wait. Not.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Kathy Putz Wegiel

    Aug 09. 2017

    I’m thrilled for the future of La Porte. Moving forward….Thank you

    Reply to this comment
  11. Paul Boardman

    Aug 10. 2017

    Milo gets a D- on the development for Newport landing for the following reasons:

    Poor judgement – As a developer of a non-profit $85 mil small United Center, 7k sports 9k capacity concerts state of the art multi-purpose arena in La Porte County, (Dunes and Lakeshore Arena do not compete different markets) tread carefully.

    A project like Dunes will require regional participation to be a success. Any feasibility study of this project in this location will point to a massive risk in terms of location. Meaning access from major interstates. That is why the Courts is on 49 very close to 94 and I-80 interchanges. If the city does go through with this, safeguards must be put in place like a building with an easy capability for adaptive reuse. Also, the demographics point to next generation kids are less likely to travel for sports. The numbers are falling.

    If I am elected Mayor I will not rush into this project just for a headline. I will search the country actively calling developers who would look at this development with experience with an eye to the next generation economy not the tail end of a past economy. Along these lines, big box is dead noone in the country is rushing to build more big box. The Milo Morris cartel wants to feed us what is easiest for them and their resume building instead of rolling up their sleeves getting on the phone and finding an incredible fit that extols and inspires our assets. It’s so ignorant that it must be called out! I’m for agritourism, aquaponics, hydroponics, clean manufacturing tourism. This fits what we want. I’ll make it happen. Let’s show people what we can make and charge them to see it happen. For this development to be a success it must be self sufficient. It is not a retail location therefore, it must make something, create value and sell it locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. People are interested in how we apply new capabilities to grow food, and make clean product.

    Developers are very specific. In this case La Porte is playing the developer role with zero expertise by not having a cohesive plan for Newport Landing. They are selling off key land (frontage) that spoils the entire plan. Coffee Creek in Chesterton is doing the same thing as NIPSCO will not bring in the expertise to develop it well, a waste.

    Now regarding a Kroger expansion. Our current Mayor begged for a bigger superstore that will only create a monopoly in our food supply. 1) Did she negotiate higher wages? 2) Did she allow more self serve jobs, not good? 3) Must Krogers source locally, If a Kroger store nets $3 million a year exporting that much cash out how do they support our community as a good citizen? Did she negotiate Kroger contributing to our community? Nope she just disrespected us and our value and begged.

    I favor locally owned businesses, buy La Porte and LaPorteans 1st. I am assertive on this stance. Paul Boardman

    Reply to this comment
    • Brad

      Aug 10. 2017

      Totally disjointed and incomprehensible. Time to hire a competent spokesperson.

      Reply to this comment
  12. Sandra

    Aug 11. 2017

    Shop and eat where, isn’t this what NewPorte landing is suppose to be about? Isn’t this suppose to be a shopping and eating area for families? This facility could of been put somewhere else in La Porte but instead the way I see it, it is going to ruin the area that was meant to bring prosperity, instead its using room that could have been used for something to actually bring money into this town. Just another obvious flub by our city govt. So instead of families getting to actually really do something together (not watch a family member participate in something) and good place to eat they still have to go 20 minutes to an hour out of town to do it…. nice job!!!

    Reply to this comment
  13. Concerned

    Aug 11. 2017

    Mr. Boardman

    If you back La Porte so much why does your kid go to Culver?

    Reply to this comment
  14. Big Al

    Aug 11. 2017

    Sandra if you’re that unhappy with this just move 30 minutes away, then you will have everything you desire. I believe this is just the start and more good is on the way.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Gift Horse

    Aug 11. 2017

    Some of you people have nothing to do but nag, nag, nag.
    I bet if you hit the lottery you would still complain.
    If you don’t like LaPorte then by all means, LEAVE!
    I think Blair Milo has done a fantastic job during her term/s as mayor of LP. Sure it’s easy to throw stones at her now that she’s leaving, and thinking that one of these new candidates can do a better job. I haven’t seen a mayor do as much as she has in decades. Who can blame a person for trying to better themselves in their career, or even wanting to get away from such a unappreciative town like LP.
    You p*SS and moan about everything that happens in LP whether it’s the opening of a new business, a new event in town, someone dying from drugs, or streets getting paved that aren’t you choices.
    Nag, nag, nag. Pack your bags PLEASE!

    Reply to this comment
  16. KRose

    Aug 14. 2017

    The Dunes is going to bring 100’s of players, parents, coaches from around the country, just as it has done for 18 years! Every college coach knows the sterling reputation of the Dunes, as they scout weekly at the Dunes now! Benefit to LP, huge. Krogers will also be bigger and better. Chill and be happy for progress!

    Reply to this comment
  17. mike h.

    Aug 18. 2017

    It will need a water retention pond, right?

    Reply to this comment
  18. Anon

    Aug 31. 2017

    Can’t wait till Starbucks is done. It’s the only place I go when I want to be seen drinking overpriced burnt tasting coffee while I’m pretending to write my novel I know will never get published anyway. All of my friends who don’t actually want to work for a living do the same.

    Reply to this comment

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