Editor's note: photo taken before March of 2020
Sharing what makes La Porte County a unique place to visit and experience robust culture, nature, and industry has been the goal of the LaPorte County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) from the start. With a focus on the relationship between tourism and economic impact, the LaPorte County CVB holds an important role in enhancing quality of life in the community.
“Our goals include increasing economic impact through new visitor spending, reinforcing destination brand equity, enhancing visitor experiential offerings, investing in the agreed-to-destination vision, and creating or expanding partnerships,” said Katie Dermody of the LaPorte County CVB.
La Porte County has the unique advantage of having access to a thriving arts and culture scene, local businesses that keep the county connected, and beautiful, natural ecosystems like the newly designated Indiana Dunes National Park.
“The most standout quality about La Porte County is the diversity. If you’re looking for outdoor activities, you can rent a boat, kayak, or fish one of our great lakes and ponds,” Dermody said. “If you’re not looking for a water activity, we have so many amazing farms and orchards, museums, a zoo,and a casino to enjoy. There is no shortage of outstanding locally-owned restaurants, breweries, and wineries. We have something to offer everyone,no matter what season.”
Through partnerships with organizations like the La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership (LEAP), the Indiana Tourism Association, and others, the LaPorte County CVB has partnered with organizations who share similar visions for the county that speak to a deep understanding of what makes the county special.
“Our partnerships, like our relationship with LEAP, are always looking at quality of life. For example, in partnering with LEAP we were able to keep the civic auditorium running and active, which the whole community will benefit from,” Dermody said. “They are natural partnerships that allow groups to meet common goals.”
The same can be said about the LaPorte County CVB team, mirroring the CVB’s relationship with its thriving community.
“The team at the CVB is pivotal to the success here,” Dermody said proudly. “Not only is there eminent comradery between each other, but they believe in La Porte County and know how special of a place it really is. They are all passionate about helping to advance the economy in La Porte County.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, forcing many businesses and economies to shut down around the country, the LaPorte County CVB jumped in toaction, reaching out to organizations and partners in the area as it began the arduous process of navigating a new normal.
“We formed two committees: the heads in beds and community recovery. Both committees have been focusing on seeing what we can do to help, and to find out what precautions their businesses are taking to ensure the safety of both employees and patrons,” Dermody said. “As restrictions gradually lift and leisure travel begins, it will be crucial for the CVB to be able to reiterate the safety precautions in place to both locals and visitors.”
The crisis has not stopped the CVB from continuing to show what makes LaPorte County special. Arts in the Park brings art enthusiasts to one of LaPorte’s community areas, thanks to partners like General Insurance Services, Healthcare Foundation of La Porte, and more. Unity Park in La Porte has been welcoming “foodies” all summer to enjoy local food trucks. Even the Friendship Botanic Gardens annual fundraising gala—this year online—will see the community support a local favorite attraction later this month. Despite the hardships the year has brought, the LaPorte County CVB and their partners have been showcasing the county non-stop as a vital destination for everyone.
The LaPorte County CVB is nationally accredited, and a member of the Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission (NITDC), Indiana Tourism Association (ITA), and Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI). For more information about the LaPorte County CVB, please visit https://www.michigancitylaporte.com/.