Thursday, September 30, 2010

Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry Service

Justin Bassett of Walstrom Marine in Harbor Springs, MI provides this Mackinac Island update:

While this story is not directly sail related, it will certainly affect your readers in the Great Lakes, especially those 300 plus sailors that participate in the Mackinac races yearly.

Over the years, Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry Service has been the preferred ferry for a majority of the people participating in the Chicago to Mackinac and Port Huron to Mackinac races. This is in part because they provide superior customer service with friendly staff on clean boats, and partly because Chris Shepler was a member of the Heart of America Challenge with Buddy Melges and sailed competitively for a number of years for a few Great Lakes programs, most notably, Bill Alcott and his various Equation yachts.

Sadly, the Shepler family, who has been providing ferry service to Mackinac Island for 65 years and three generations, is in a fight for their survival right now and needs all the help they can. The city of Mackinac Island is considering only renewing one ferry franchise; these franchises currently allow three companies to provide service to and from the island. Essentially, the city is considering buying all of one line’s docks and controlling the service via that one line, forming a city run monopoly.

In a time when the economy here in Michigan is in the toilet, it is unfathomable that a city government would want to run a ferry boat company out of business (and send 150 people to the unemployment line) to create a city run monopoly of the ferry service to the biggest tourist destination Island in Michigan. That should be news for many of your buttheads.

Here are some stories that have appeared recently in region press:

Michigan Live, Michigan Live, Detroit News, Petoskey News Review, and Chicago Tribune

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At 11:36 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

This is a crime! Shepler's have been there forever! The city needs to stay out of the ferry business!

At 7:29 AM, Blogger timothy said...

Ok...where can we "fight the good fight"? How about some contact email or phone information? Screaming voices are better than bleeding hearts.

At 8:12 AM, Anonymous mike said...

What is this? The next thing you know the City will restrict fudge production to one company. Take out the competition and you take away good prices and good service. Monopoly should only be played as a board game.....not to be played to put people out of work and take away a good company.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger timothy said...


At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like your residents need to recall all the city officials and replace them. Eliminating anyone of the ferry services is just plain stupid!


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