The Star Line ferry is one of only two ferry services that operate on Mackinac Island.

The other, Shepler's Ferry, was sold two years ago. What does this new deal mean for future Mackinac Island tourists?

97.5 NOW FM logo
Get our free mobile app

While the island is located only 4 miles off the mainland you won't find me paddling across the Straits of Mackinac! How will visitors be shuttled to the island moving forward?

Star Line Ferry Mackinac Island
Star Line Ferry Mackinac Island - Canva

It's a Deal!

The iconic Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry Company has been in operation since 1978 but on Saturday, June 29 2024 the Detroit Free Press first broke the news of its sale,

The second of two ferry services that shuttle visitors to Mackinac Island from the mainland of Michigan has sold to the Florida billionaire who purchased Shepler's Ferry two years ago, sources confirmed to the Detroit Free Press. The Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry Co. closed the deal at 11:59 p.m. Friday

Based out of Naples, Florida David Hoffman and his Hoffman Family of Companies is now the largest owner of real estate parcels in the Mackinac area and currently employs nearly 500 people. In addition to Shepler's and now Star Line, Hoffman bought two local newspapers, the Mackinac Island Town Crier and the St. Ignace News.

However, if you're worried about all the changes that could be coming-- don't! Hoffman is aiming for a smooth transition by keeping all current ferry staff employed and maintaining current ferry prices.

When Hoffman first purchased Shepler's in 2022 he told the Detroit Free Press,

We're very much about maintaining the culture of Mackinac Island and that's what we bought into. We don't want to see that change

And I have to imagine that still holds true in 2024. Although change can be unsettling, it can also lead to big improvements. We'll be very curious to see what the future holds for Mackinac Island and all who visit!

5 Myths About The Great Lakes Only Non-Michigan Residents Believe

If I only had a dollar for every time some non-Michigander asked me if it's possible to see across the Great Lakes!

Gallery Credit: Lauren Gordon

Mackinac Island Cottage For Sale Has $5 Million Dollar Views

Cairngorm Cottage is located at 7989 Algonquin St on Mackinac Island.

Gallery Credit: Lauren Gordon

More From 97.5 NOW FM