Mackinac Island Businesses Prepare for Busy Summer Season

Slowly but surely, seasonal workers and businesses are getting prepared for the busy summer tourism season on Mackinac Island.

Island ferry companies and other businesses are finishing up their winter work to be ready for summer.

9 & 10’s Blayke Roznowski and photojournalist Erin Malone talked to workers who are almost ready for the big rush.

"It’s always good when the weather starts getting warmer," Arnold Mackinac Island Ferry Captain Terry Foley. "The days start getting longer is a sure sign that summer is coming." 

As winter melts away, Mackinac Island businesses are working hard to get the island ready for the summer season.

"I have to put all the plumbing back together, take all the plastic bags off the power pedestals and put out trash cans and a lot of the stuff there," seasonal harbormaster Derrick Horn said. 

"Get the orders in once it gets all in, set it up and sell it," Seabiscuit Cafe seasonal worker Karl Thalacker said.

All of that work means seasonal workers are making their way over to help.

"A lot of the places like to open by the end of April, so were going to have pretty steady over here people coming over to work," Foley said. 

"Every week you’re seeing more and more workers coming back and actually seeing some tourists coming over," Horn said.

The work isn’t just on the island. 

Arnold Mackinac Island Ferry is making fixes and updates on several of their boats. 

"Our flat bed freight boat motorized barge got a new Cummins engine this winter," Foley said. "Then the catamaran, which we’re hoping to get back running soon, is getting new seats, new carpet and also quite a bit of mechanical work needs to be done on that too."

It won’t be long before this street is packed with people.

"It’s always good to be back," Thalacker said. "It’s fun to leave, better to be back. It’s the best place on earth."