Mackinac Island saw big tourism rebound during 2021 season

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MACKINAW CITY — Business owners on Mackinac Island are celebrating a big rebound in tourism this year after fewer visitors made the journey to the island in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Many visitors discovered the iconic, carless island getaway for the first time this year, said business owners on the island.

Chris Shepler, a third-generation operator of Shepler’s Ferry, which shuttles visitors to Mackinac Island, said the summer “was out of control” for the ferry service.

“Absolutely crazy. We set records for our all-time busiest summer in the history of our company,” he told the Detroit Free Press.

Through Sept. 1, the island’s overall hotel room revenue for the 2021 season was on pace to smash the record year it saw in 2019, when revenue topped $74.56 million, said Tim Hygh, executive director of the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau. Final data is still be crunched for 2021, he said.

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