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Whether you are a first-time attendee or have been coming to the Mackinac Policy Conference for years, here is some basic information to help you prepare for your stay.

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Registration and Policies

Getting to the Conference




What To Expect In Advance Of The Conference This Year

Typically the Chamber mails you a ferry ticket in advance of the Conference. The 2021 ferry ticket will be digital. Registered attendees will receive the ticket via email on Tuesday, Sept. 14, directly from Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry.

You will receive a mailing from the Chamber by Thursday, Sept. 2. This mailing will include important Conference information to help you prepare for your time on the island. The Conference mailing will be sent to the address the Chamber has on record for you..

Questions Related to May 20, 2021 Announcement

When will the vaccine validation process start?

To help attendees prepare for the Conference, more details regarding the May 20, 2021 announcement requiring vaccines will be shared over the summer.

I have a health condition that prevents me from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Chamber will have a process for individuals who are unable to receive the vaccination due to a health condition. When the final process for vaccination validation is confirmed, the Chamber will communicate with those individuals directly. If you would like to be contacted because you would like to attend the Conference but are unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine due to a health condition, please contact Wendy Nodge at

My religious beliefs prevent me from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Chamber will have a process for individuals who are unable to receive the vaccination due to religious beliefs. When the final process for vaccination validation is confirmed, the Chamber will communicate with those individuals directly. If you would like to be contacted because would like to attend the Conference but you are not able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine due to religious beliefs, please contact Wendy Nodge at


Registration for the 2021 Mackinac Policy Conference is closed. The wait list for registration is no longer available. 2021 Conference sessions will be available for live or on demand viewing via the Chamber’s website. Registration for the 2022 Mackinac Policy Conference will open in November.

IMPORTANT: Onsite registration is not available for 2021. Individuals attending the 2021 Mackinac Policy Conference are required to be registered and processed through the CLEAR Health Pass to validate their COVID-19 vaccination by Sept. 10. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Getting to the Conference

How do I get to Mackinac Island?

Proceed northbound on I-75, take exit 337 and follow the signs to Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry. The approximate driving time from Detroit is five hours, plus a 15-minute ferry ride to the island.

Can I fly to the Conference?

Delta Air Lines flies from Detroit Metro (DTW) to Pellston Regional Airport (PLN).

Guests can arrange ground transportation from Pellston to Mackinac Island by calling Mackinaw Shuttle at 888.349.8294. Advance reservations are recommended.

If you are interested in chartering a plane directly to Mackinac Island from Oakland County International Airport, call Calvin Ford at Pentastar Aviation at 800.662.9612. Advance reservations are required.

How do I get ferry tickets for the Conference? When do the ferries run?

Electronic Ferry Ticket Only: Ferry tickets will be emailed on Tuesday, Sept. 14, to the email address you used to register for the Conference. Ferry tickets will not be mailed. If you don’t receive an electronic ticket in your inbox, check your spam, junk, or clutter folders.

Ferries will run less frequently than the spring Conference. Please refer to Shepler’s ferry schedule, and be prepared for longer wait times and lines at the ferry dock due to the reduced schedule.

  • 30 or 60 minutes | Minimum time between departures
  • 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. | Latest ferries leaving Mackinaw City on Monday Sept. 20 and Tuesday, Sept. 21
  • 7:00 p.m. | Last ferry departing Mackinac Island on Wednesday, Sept. 22
  • 8:00 a.m. | First ferry departing Mackinac Island on Thursday, Sept. 23

Valet Parking is Not Available: All parking options are self-parking.

  • $10 per night | Standard off-site parking: Shepler’s offers free ground transportation to and from the ferry dock.
  • $30 per night | Limited premium on-site parking: This option is limited and expected to run out.

Tips for your trip: View Shepler’s 2021 Mackinac Policy Conference travel tips.

How do I get to Grand Hotel and around the Island?

Most Conference attendees are staying at other hotels. For your convenience, each registrant at a hotel other than Grand Hotel will receive four complimentary taxi tickets when picking up Conference credentials. Additional taxi tickets are available at the Grand Hotel front desk at your own expense. Driver gratuity is always appreciated. Taxis will be available at peak times for Chamber guests for transit to Grand Hotel. The average taxi rides are $4.75 to $6.75 for a one-way trip to Grand Hotel.

In case a taxi is not waiting when you need it, call Mackinac Carriage Tours/Taxi Office at 906.847.3323.

What do I need to pack?

The Grand Hotel has slightly relaxed its dress code for the Conference. Throughout the week, attendees are encouraged to dress in business casual or resort attire. No ties are encouraged. However, comfortable shoes are a must as attendees will walk a lot throughout the Conference.

Mackinac Island weather can be very unpredictable. Be sure to pack a rain jacket or umbrella, dress in layers and pack warm clothes for crisp mornings and cool evenings. All receptions are held outside (weather permitting). Please pack accordingly.

Are face masks required?

  • Face masks are strongly urged when indoors at Grand Hotel.
  • Face masks are required at the registration desk during the check-in process.
  • Face masks are required in the Gallery and the corridor leading into the Theatre and inside the Theatre.
  • Face masks will be provided to attendees in the Conference gift bag and at stations throughout Grand Hotel.


Where can I stay on the island?

There are more than 1,300 hotel rooms on Mackinac Island, ranging from economical to extravagant.

To view a full list of available island hotels, please visit the Mackinac Island website.

Grand Hotel Reservation Policy

To make a reservation at Grand Hotel, please call 800.334.7263. Each caller is limited to one room reservation. A caller will not be able to reserve multiple rooms, only one room reservation per caller. If a company is trying to secure multiple rooms at Grand Hotel, multiple calls will need to be made.

Grand Hotel room reservations are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a three night minimum reservation requirement. Rooms usually fill up in less than an hour of taking reservations. Once Grand Hotel reaches capacity, Conference attendees can be placed on a waitlist with the Hotel. However, it is strongly advised that attendees secure alternative accommodations.

Call In Day for the Grand Hotel is March 1, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. Other properties on the island will also be taking reservations on March 1, 2021.

Island Hotel Reservations

In order to make reservations at an island hotel, a Conference confirmation number will be required. This number is found in the subject line of your confirmation email. If you did not receive your confirmation email, please contact Marianne Bogard at


Are meals included with my Conference registration?

Your Conference registration fee includes:



Dinner Receptions

The Conference registration fee does not include meals in the main dining room. You must have a meal ticket for any meal in the Grand Hotel dining room. If you are staying at Grand Hotel, you will receive a guest card at check-in. If you are not staying at Grand Hotel, tickets can be purchased by calling 800.33.GRAND or at the front desk.

When and where do I pick up my Conference credentials?

Upon arrival at Grand Hotel, stop at the Lobby Level of Grand Hotel, down the hall from the hotel’s front desk to pick up your credentials and Conference materials. Admission to sessions and social events will not be allowed without a Conference name badge.

Throughout the Conference, Grand Hotel access is limited only to registered and credentialed Conference attendees. Individuals attempting to obtain access to Grand Hotel property, events and the porch who are not registered and credentialed will not be permitted access.

Attendees will be required to display their credentials to gain entry to all Conference functions including meals, sessions and receptions taking place on the Grand Hotel properties.


Where can I work on the island?

Attendees looking for business and communications services can utilize the Attendee Business Center in Rebecca’s Room on the lower lobby level of Grand Hotel. Staff are available to assist you with your business needs.

How can I see the attendee list?

The attendee list will be available to registered attendees via the Conference App.

What is the hashtag for the Conference?

The Chamber encourages attendees to post about the Conference using the hashtag #MPC21 on all major social networks.

How do I make calls, send faxes, and keep in touch with my office?

There is a Communication Center at Grand Hotel. The center will provide Conference participants with a message center, fax machines, access to a color printer, and computer workstations. Text messaging is available if you give your phone number to the Communication Center staff.

At other times, Conference registrants may receive messages through Grand Hotel’s switchboard at 906.847.3331.

Can I host a private meeting or event during the Conference?

Grand Hotel properties offer many options for private meeting or event space. During the Conference the Chamber oversees scheduling all property space. Scheduling unsanctioned Conference meetings or events is at the discretion of the Chamber. Meetings and events can not conflict with Conference programming and priority is given to Conference sponsors. For more information, call Megan Spanitz at 313.596.0395 or email

What fun activities are available on the island?

Grand Hotel’s private golf courses and tennis courts will be available for your use. Tennis is available at no charge to Conference participants. Reservations are suggested. Call 906.847.3331 ext. 519.

The Jewel is Grand Hotel’s 18 holes of golf comprised of two nine-hole golf courses – the Grand Nine and the Woods Nine. Call the pro shop at 906.847.3331 ext. 518 to reserve a tee time.

Horseback riding, bicycling and private carriage tours are easily arranged through Grand Hotel.

To see other activities available on Mackinac Island, visit the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau website.

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