Ferries on the Great Lakes are getting faster; but some ferries are not experiencing the same speed in their ticket sales. (Photo by Anne-Marie Labbate)
Two high speed ferries that began operation on the Great
Lakes this year have shut down for the winter. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports that for each of the boats, the first season did not go according to plan:
Two high speed ferries that began operation on the Great Lakes this year have shut down for the winter. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports that for each of the boats, the first season did not go according to plan:
The Lake Express Ferry that crossed Lake Michigan between Milwaukee and Muskegon exceeded predictions and carried more than 120-thousand passengers. But the boat cancelled its November and December schedule because of a low number of bookings. Lake Express President Kenneth Szallai insists the problem is not people being reluctant to cruise the lake in cold weather. He says the company just didn’t do enough to market the late-season service.
“People are used to the traditional ferries ending up in October… and because we didn’t do our part of it… they didn’t realize we’d be operating and so our sales were kind of flat for those two months.”
Szallai says the Lake Express will again carry passengers next spring. Another high speed ferry between Toronto and Rochester, New York abruptly shut down in early September. A Rochester newspaper reports problems include, quote, questionable business decisions, bad luck and lack of cash. It’s unclear when the boat will resume service.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Chuck Quirmbach.
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