Indiana Dunes Tourism Gets International Award
October 2, 2014 — Indiana Dunes Tourism on Tuesday received an international award for its creation of The 3 Dune Challenge.
Indiana Dunes Tourism is one of three winners of the Big Idea award presented by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) at their 2014 Visitor Services Summit in Providence, Rhode Island.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for the work we did in creating The 3 Dune Challenge,” said Lorelei Weimer, executive director of Indiana Dunes Tourism.
“To be recognized by the international association that is in charge of accreditation for destination marketing organizations is the highest honor.”
DMAI chose Indiana Dunes Tourism after the organization took Trail 8 at Indiana Dunes State Park in Chesterton and branded it as The 3 Dune Challenge, working with the state park and Friends of Indiana Dunes to install signs to make it easy to follow the challenge trail and offering free commemorative stickers to those who conquered it.
In the first two months after the June 12 kickoff, more than 1,200 people did the challenge and drove to the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center for a free sticker. More than $13,000 worth of 3 Dune Challenge clothing was sold at the Visitor Center in the first three months. In addition, the state park’s Nature Center, where the challenge begins, saw a 15 percent increase in visitors.
The challenge trail has also been the site of a marriage proposal, and a girl did the challenge on the anniversary of her kidney transplant. The challenge can be done any day of the year.
Weimer said The 3 Dune Challenge has been even more successful than she envisioned, both with local residents and visitors.
To complete The 3 Dune Challenge, a person must tackle a special 1.5-mile course at Indiana Dunes State Park, climbing Mount Jackson (elevation 176 feet), Mount Holden (184 feet), and Mount Tom (192 feet). These are the three highest dunes in all of Indiana Dunes State Park.