Overnight accommodations for this event can be made at the Grand Hotel (1-800-33-GRAND), which is offering a special "Early Opening" price of $160.00 a night per room (tax not included). A continental breakfast is included in your room rate. Lodging at the Grand will be in the Millenium Wing (east end) of the hotel, and most rooms are furnished with two double beds. If you book a room at the Grand, you must mention that you are part of the "Michigan Geocaching Organization" group to get the above listed rate. There will also be a baggage handling charge of $7.50 per person, in addition to a 2% Mackinac Island assessment fee. There is NO FORM needed to book your reservation. If you are told this, it is incorrect, and tell whomever you are speaking with to go check with management. Please be aware that your credit card is charged at the time that you make your reservations. NOTE: There is NO DRESS CODE at the Grand at this time of the year - so don't worry about having to dress up!
For those who might prefer to lodge elsewhere (cheaper) on the island, some recommendations are listed below:
At this point in time, we know that the Arnold Line will be running ferries to the island. Shepler's may be running their ferries as well, but it is uncertain at this time. Discount coupons can be printed off of their websites - www.arnoldline.com or www.shelpersferry.com . The Arnold line ferry will ONLY be departing from St. Ignace. You will need to cross the Mackinac Bridge to get to the Arnold Dock. The bridge crossing now costs $3.50 each way. There are a limited number of ferries running at this time of the year, so please plan carefully.
The "Gatehouse" restaurant, which is right down the hill from the Grand, will be open for dining (for both lunch and dinner), as will the "Village Inn" (located downtown). A few other places will also be open. Expect to spend around $12.00 per person for lunch, and about $15.00 -$20.00 per person for dinner (depending on what you order).
I highly recommend bringing your own bike, if at all possible. The ferries charge $8.00 per bike to bring them over on the ferry. There is a "parking lot" for bikes right across from the Grand, so your bikes can be parked there in the evening.
The Grand will be providing us with a group room for our gathering ALL THREE DAYS of the weekend. The group room is on the lower level of the hotel and can be reached by entering the east end of the building. We will have a sign up identifying our group. We will also have coffee and tea available each morning, and will have ice tea and lemonade available each afternoon. There will also be cake and other munchies available on Saturday for our attendees. Our raffle drawing will be held back at the group room at the Grand at 7:00 pm on Saturday evening. We've got some great prizes to give out, but you must be present to win. We also are planning a simple game for all attendees, and the prize for that game can be mailed to the winner. We will provide details of the game the morning of the event.
Most island stores are closed at this time of year, but a few will be open. Fort Mackinac will not be open. The Butterfly House will not be open. Last year, a couple of the fudge shops WERE open, so I expect that they will be again this year.
If you have any questions about the event, or the island itself, please feel free to e-mail me at Madelyn. Looking forward to seeing you all on the island at the end of April!