Tourism continues to be a big draw across Upper Michigan

Munising attractions are still operating in spite of the pandemic.
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 6:14 PM EDT
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MUNISING, Mich. (WLUC) - The coronavirus pandemic has not made it an easy summer for many across Michigan and the United States.

Places like Munising, however, are another story.

Tourism did continue in the area; but, the President of the Munising Visitors Bureau, Cori-Ann Cearley, and others were unsure if there would be a tourist season at all.

“Prior to this year,” Cearley said, “I think most people involved in tourism could say, ‘Okay. Come June, we are going to see this. Come July, we are going to see this.’ But, no one knew what was going to happen going into this summer.”

One of the city’s tourist attractions is Pictured Rocks Adventure, a kayak tour company currently in its second year of business. Unlike some of the other attractions, its start-up date was not delayed.

“My first tour was about May 20th,” said Paul Staples, one of the company’s guides. “Usually, it is really slow, 1-2 tours a day kind of thing. And then, right around the first week of June, it just kind of blew up.”

Despite the health protocols put in place and extra equipment, Staples says he and his co-workers were able to meet their monetary goals.

“We just had to switch it up a little bit with having more vehicles to shuttle people, keeping that space and distance in between,” he explained. “Other than that, we were still hitting our numbers.”

Cearley says it is miraculous that the season continued on a positive note. She was thankful that everyone did their part to make sure businesses continued to function.

“I think everyone in our community has done a fabulous job of navigating all the struggles that we have had this year to operate businesses because things are just different,” she said.

Both the Visitors Bureau and attractions like Pictured Rocks Adventure plan to continue to provide tourists as close of a sense of normalcy as possible next summer -- as all of us await the conclusion of the pandemic.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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