Indiana Dunes Tourism, DunesWalk Inn Team Up
Times Staff |
Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Join Indiana Dunes Tourism, DunesWalk Inn owners and Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the launch of the Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail and the opening of the new DunesWalk Inn.

Visitors can stop by 1491 N. Furnleigh Lane, in Chesterton, between 5 and 7 p.m. Thursday to learn about treasures along the Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail and tour the historic Furness Mansion recently renovated and converted into the DunesWalk Inn.

There will be refreshments and brief presentations on the Beyond the Beach Trail and history of the Inn.

Pick up a trail guide showcasing more than 50 of the regions natural, historic and cultural treasures. Unlike a linear hiking or biking trail, the Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail allows users to set their own route and visit natural, historic and cultural sites throughout the region that best fit their interests and timetable.

Curious about autumn bird migration throughout the Indiana Dunes, but not sure where to start?

Indiana Dunes Tourism will also offer Ken Brock’s Birds of the Indiana Dunes published in partnership with the Shirley Heinze Land Trust at no charge while supplies last. The trail and bird guides will enable visitors and residents to appreciate the upcoming autumn bird migration that takes place throughout the Indiana Dunes as they explore sites along the Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail.

Explore biking, paddling, fishing, hiking, historic and other sites along the Trail using the Trail Guide or by visiting the Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail website at

Subscribe to Beyond the Beach Trail news and updates at

Meet the Owners

Ari Killian and his wife Stephanie are the sole proprietors of the DunesWalk Inn which is still known to many as the Furness Mansion.

A third-generation Beverly Shores resident, Ari decided to purchase the property last December after finding the house was quickly falling into disrepair.

Ari used his own construction firm to renovate the house into an upscale vacation rental spot. The main renovation took place over six months, starting in January and on July 23, the Killians welcomed their first guests.

Ari told the Chesterton Tribune the history of the property was one of the driving forces behind the project. Ari even added on brick chimneys to the house that would mimic the ones seen around 1881 when the house was built. The powered windows in the library mimic the appearance of the original windows.

“You have to get that feel,” he said.

During the ribbon ceremony, Ari thanked the neighboring residents and businesses like the Schoolhouse Shop for their help during the rehab of the property. He said the experience was different for him because he is used to “placating” upset neighbors in his other developments while here people were more than willing to lend a hand.

Ari and Stephanie wed in Rhode Island in May while renovation was underway. They have residences in Beverly Shores and Chicago where Ari works as a commercial and residential developer and has received recognition from the Chicago Commission on Landmarks.

Ari said his family has lived in the area since his grandfather bought property in Beverly Shores in 1944.

Taking Reservations and Donations

The Dunes Walk Inn is located at 1491 N. Furnleigh Lane off of U.S. 20 near the intersection of Kemil Rd. and Furnessville Rd.

The E. L. Furness Mansion sat on Furness’ prosperous 700 acres of farmland. A few original buildings still stand on the property including a partially dismantled water tower. Furness was the first agent of the Michigan Central Railroad and owned his own lumber business.

The new owners have asked that anyone willing to donate photos or books on the Indiana Dunes for the library contact the inn.

The Dunes Walk Inn is officially open for business. For reservations, call (219)728-6393. Rates range from $125 to $175 per night and are subject to change without notice.

Additional News Articles

The News Dispatch

Posted: Sunday, November 21, 2010
Room At the Inn

Chesterton Tribune

Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Newly Opened DunesWalk Inn Blends History with
Modern Amenities

NWI Times

Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Indian Dunes Tourism,DunesWalk Inn Team Up

NWI Times

Posted: Monday, September 20, 2010
Historic Mansion Restored as Boutique Hotel

Chesterton Tribune

Posted: Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Furness House Set to open as Vacation Inn

DunesWalk Inn Press Release

Posted: May 12, 2010
Furness Mansion Gets a total Makeover as
DunesWalk Inn

The Chronicle

Posted: Wednesday, October 6, 2010
A Living Piece of History


Posted: Monday, October 18, 2010
Landmark Gets News Look

  • “I can’t exaggerate the marvelous time we enjoyed at DunesWalk Inn…the perfect place in the perfect location for total relaxation.”

    Margaret — Madison, Wisconsin

  • “My extended family members and I liked DunesWalk Inn so much that we have decided to make it our annual retreat!”

    Leslie — Valparaiso, Indiana

  • “Our whole party was totally impressed with how beautiful the place is. Doug and I absolutely loved it!”

    Doug & Sherrie — Grayling, Michigan

  • “The historic mansion has been lovingly transformed into a gorgeous boutique hotel. It has a serene, spa-like interior…”

    Patricia — Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  • “DunesWalk Inn is the place to stay if you want to be spoiled by luxury and have fun in the Dunes.”

    Viktoria — Vernon Hills, Illinois