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Mackinac Island developers, preservationists in conflict over proposed waterfront hotels

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. – The northern Michigan resort island that bans cars and yet draws close to a million visitors each year is facing key decisions on what development to allow to accommodate the tourist business that keeps it alive.

Mackinac Island authorities have come into conflict with backers of plans for waterfront hotels that would involve demolition of an ex-Ryba’s Fudge store.

Developers of the newly opened the Bicycle Street Inn & Suites on Main Street are planning two more hotels. Last Monday, the island’s Historic District Commission rejected a waiver request for the project.

Melanie Libby tells the Detroit Free Press (http://on.freep.com/13EikAK ) that she and fellow developer Ira Green are trying to reach a compromise that will “enhance the Mackinac experience.”

Eighty per cent of the 3.8-square-mile island is state park.

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Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com