Tourism Review

Rick Wright is Visit Michigan City La Porte convention and leisure sales manager.

Your local professional conference, meeting and event planners are located right here in La Porte County and have been in business for 37 years. La Porte County Convention & Visitors Bureau is ready, willing and able to provide you with professional service. We are just a quick phone call or email away. Rick Wright, our convention and leisure sales manager, can help find accommodations, dining and a venue for your event.

Recently, he did just that by finding all of the above for the Indiana State United States Bowling Commission Women's Bowling Association.

Two years ago, some of our staff spent a Saturday in Indianapolis at the Indiana State USBC WBA conference where we presented a bid request to win the conference for 2015 in La Porte County. We were the last two communities to present and we received an overwhelming "yes" vote from the members. We were so happy to get the conference here. Now it is 2015 and the bowlers will be here starting March 28 and every weekend after that for six weeks. So, get ready Michigan City and LaPorte County and expect at least 2,400 bowlers plus their families to arrive. They will be bowling at City Lanes and Lakeshore Lanes in Michigan City.

That is just a small portion of the leisure sales department story. Rick Wright said, "Not only are we waiting for this big bowling tournament to hit town, but we have already helped facilitate the Indiana Parks & Recreation Association and the International Harvester Collectors Annual Winter Convention. In April, we will be helping Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa to host the Eby-Brown Expo, followed by the 4th Annual Coho Derby.

The 3rd Annual Maple City Grand Prix will be held at Stone Lake in LaPorte May 29-31 and thanks to Rick's hard work, we anticipate at least 30,000 to 35,000 visitors. He said, "All of these people will be making a major contribution to our economy."

Last July, Rick and some of our staff traveled to the World Massage Festival Annual Convention. Because of their presence, they were able to fine tune the members' transportation needs, so they can get to the convention site free of transportation worries. He went on to say, "That is what we can do for any group large or small when we are included in the request process. In fact, my ending statement on my bid says, 'La Porte County is truly a destination where your group can make memories. Tell us what we can do for you ... when you ... come join us'.

"Everyone at the CVB is looking forward to the 7th Annual Great Lakes Super Boat Grand Prix featuring many of the world's fastest and most powerful offshore power boats speeding past spectators on Washington Park Beach reaching nearing 150 miles per hour.  It's an exciting event for all ages and includes up close and personal contact with racers, boats, VIP parties, car show, downtown parade, block party and more", Rick said.

In September, the Association of Indiana Counties Annual Convention will be hosted at the Stardust Event Center, Blue Chip Hotel Casino & Spa with 1000 attendees. This is the second year the convention will be held in La Porte County.

Finally, Rick said, "2016 will be a blockbuster as well with many conferences and smaller events already making plans to come to LaPorte County. Everyone will be happy to know that PGI will return for their annual convention in July. La Porte County was honored to be the host for the very successful 2012 Pyrotechnics Guild International Convention which injected a considerable amount into the La Porte County economy. Our appreciation cannot be measured and we look forward to the opportunity to partner with them for the 2016 event that will be hosted at the LaPorte County Fairgrounds."

La Porte County has made a name for itself as a business, conference and tourist destination. Professional planners appreciate the support of the VMCLP staff, the many hotel and dining offerings, the unique amenities and the beautiful  area that we all call home. For more information for meetings, conventions and conferences please contact Rick Wright, Convention and Leisure Sales Manager at rick@michigancitylaporte.com or 872-5055.

La Porte County CVB Community Relations Manager Jane Daley can be contacted at 872-5055 or jane@michigancitylaporte.com.

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