The New & Improved South Shore Industry News

The New & Improved South Shore Industry News

Welcome to our new and improved industry news! We've included updates from the region's hospitality industry, upcoming events, a monthly survey, our most recent blog posts, hotel occupancy numbers and information for our partners. We'd love your feedback! Email Barb Mack at

Region Updates

The recently opened Duneland Distillery in Chesterton is a veteran-owned distillery serving barrel rested moonshine, flavored moonshines, gins, vodka and more. Vern Brown’s great, great grandfather was both a Baptist minister and moonshiner, a rare combination, but he began a family tradition passed down through the generations.

Phil Glaze recently opened Smokin’ Glaze Barbeque on Broadway Avenue in Merrillville.  After working 26 years on the railroad, he realized he was missing his true calling. This take-out-only restaurant serves ribs, chicken, beef brisket, seafood and more. Check it out the next time you’re in Merrillville.

The Grand Re-Opening of Pieces of Jayde Uncommon Goods took place on Saturday, March 5, 2022.  They’re now located in a larger building in Chesterton and the store is filled with unique items that you won’t find anywhere else. Jayde is a jewelry artist who incorporates natural elements found in and around the dunes. A variety of classes and workshops are also available.

Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana is hosting a vendor information session on Thursday, April 7, 2022, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am or 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. For one-on-one interaction to discuss the goods and services you can provide, register here.

Pierogi Fest® is taking applications for food vendors for their infamous wacky, award-winning festival. For more information or to complete the vendor application, please click here.

Beginning March 31, 2022 the Indiana Dunes National Park will charge an entrance fee to enter the park.

Since the renaming of the National Lakeshore to the 61st National Park in 2019, the Indiana Dunes has welcomed more visitors than ever. The number of bucket-listers, road-trippers and local or visiting park-goers has grown from around 1.7 million to 3 million visitors per year.

This new revenue stream will help fund the Marquette Greenway Bike Trail as well as improvements to parking, transportation and visitor services. Find pricing information here. Annual passes are available at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, Paul H. Douglas Center, West Beach Entrance Station and Dig the Dunes Trail Stop as well as online at

Please educate your employees about this new fee so they will be able to provide visitors with the famous Hoosier Hospitality they’re expecting.


Partners - Do you have anything new happening at your business?  If so, pass along the information to and you could be included in next month’s “Region Updates” section.

Mark Your Calendars


The Indiana State Festival Association is hosting a spring workshop on Saturday, April 23, 2022 at Spring Mill State Park Inn in Mitchell, IN. Topics at the workshop will include contracts, refunds, insurance, the Indiana Health Department, working with your fire marshal, team building and Facebook/marketing. The workshop is free to attend and includes lunch, however, you must register in advance. Register online here.


After two long years of COVID restrictions, the South Shore CVA will once again host a networking event on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 for National Tourism Week. Look out for more information next month!

Survey Says!

Every month we’ll poll our partners and have the results in the following month’s newsletter. This month’s question is:

What percentage of open positions do you currently have at your business?


Recent Blogs

Check out our latest blog posts to learn more about the region or find activities to share with your customers or enjoy with your own family!

Partner Corner


The deadline is approaching for inclusion in our ’22-’23 visitor’s guide.  If you still need to renew your partnership or know of a business that could benefit from a partnership package, contact Barb right away at!

Hotel Occupancy

Hotel occupancy has remained strong as we enter 2022. While Lake, Porter and LaPorte County occupancy has been up between 5-6%, Jasper/Newton Counties have increased hotel occupancy by nearly 14%!