While most northern Michigan businesses are busy preparing for their grand re-opening this weekend, Mackinac Island will remain closed.
“Mackinac Island will not be open for business for Memorial Day this year,” said Tim Hygh, executive director of Mackinac Island Tourism. “There will be no ferry service at all Memorial Day, Saturday and Sunday.”
The decision was agreed upon by the Mackinac Island city council, the island’s public health task force and island business owners. As long as the stay-at-home order is still in place, residents feel like they don’t have much to lose by staying on lockdown, Hygh said.
Instead, Mackinac Islanders will enjoy their last quiet weekend.
“Last year, we would have been working,” said business owner and city council member, Steven Moskwa. “This year we will be relaxing.”
Mackinac Island has about 500 year-round residents, but during the six months between May and October, it usually attracts about a million people.
“The streets are pretty much empty right now,” Moskwa said. “From down by the lakeview to down towards Marquette Park, I only see four people.”
Although they have lost revenue for the entire month of May, business owners are more concerned about being safe so that they can resume normal operations in 2021.
“In the long haul, business is not worth jeopardizing people’s health,” Hygh said.
The island will be reopening on May 29, though it will take four weeks to be completely up and running. The Mackinac Island website is being updated daily so visitors can see when each business is going to open.