The 58th Annual Meeting of the
American Eye Study Club

 Tuesday, July 28 through Sunday, August 2, 2015

Location:  Grand Hotel - Mackinac Island, Michigan
AESC President Dr. Bob Wiggins invites Club members and their families to the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Eye Study Club.  It will take place at the historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in northern Michigan.

General Information

Information Shortcuts

Housing and Transportation

Housing Information . . .

We have arranged for a room block at Grand Hotel for Club members and their guests.  Room rates include a full daily breakfast for all members of the family in the main dining room or the continental breakfast (from 9:30 - 11:30) in the Geranium Bar.

CLICK HERE for details about housing and to access the online hotel reservation system.
As a reminder, Grand Hotel has a dress code that is in effect for public areas of the hotel after 6:30 p.m. CLICK HERE for details.

Transportation . . .

Getting to Mackinac Island is half the fun.  Cars are not permitted on the island with transportation by horse-drawn vehicles, bikes and foot.  You'll most likely access Mackinac Island by ferry from either Mackinac City or St. Ignace.  Private aircraft can land at the Mackinac Island airport.

  • Airline Travel -- If you are flying to the meeting, there are two area airports.  The Pellston Regional Airport is located about 12 miles south of the ferry landing in Mackinaw City, and shuttle service is available.  Delta Airlines offers connections there through Detroit.  The other option is Traverse City, which is served by several airlines through Chicago and Detroit, including American, Delta and United.  It's about two hours to the ferry landing.  The closest major airport is Detroit (DTW).  It is about a 4.5 hour drive.  As you are planning your travel schedule (airlines especially), be sure to take into account the ferry schedule!  The last weekday ferry to the island is at 9:30 p.m. and the first ferry leaving the island is at 8:00 a.m.

  • Airport Transportation
    • Pellston Airport - There is a fairly reasonably priced shuttle from the Pellston airport.  Mackinaw Shuttle is a company recommended by the hotel.  Advance reservations are recommended.
    • Traverse City Airport - We had hoped to be able to arrange for a shuttle or charter from Traverse City.  However, the cost for a charter bus is prohibitive, and there doesn't seem to be enough interest among members coming in around the same time to make it work.  We suggest renting a car if you fly into Traverse City.
    • Car Rentals -- Avis and Hertz operate at Pellston, and the five major car rental agencies are found at Traverse City.  In addition, there are several taxi and shuttle services at Traverse City.  CLICK HERE for a list and phone number (note -- we have not made arrangements with any of the Traverse city shuttle services.)
  • Private Car -- For those arriving in your own vehicle, the ferry landings have large, free parking lots, as well as covered lots and valet parking for a fee. CLICK HERE for information about Shepler's parking options. 

  • Ferry Service -- We are making arrangements with Shepler's Ferry.    You can check your baggage at the ferry landing and it will be transferred all the way to Grand Hotel.  How convenient is that!  On your return home, the hotel porters will transport your luggage to the island dock and hand it over to Shepler's.  The ferry will keep your luggage in their secure storage area on the mainland until you arrive... so no need to travel on the same boat as your bags.
    • Ferry Schedule -- CLICK HERE 
      If you are arriving at Pellston or Traverse City, look at the Mackinaw City schedule.  If driving through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the St. Ignace ferry (north of the bridge) probably will be more convenient.
      • During the day, there are ferry departures every half-hour from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., and then hourly until 9:30 p.m. (the last departure from Mackinaw City)
      • Returning to Mackinaw City, the earliest departure from the island is at 8:00 a.m. and the latest is 10:00 p.m.
      • Be sure to check the ferry schedule when planning your flights!  If you have an early flight home, you may need to stay overnight on the mainland.
    • Purchase Ferry Tickets -- CLICK HERE
      • We have negotiated a discounted price for the round trip ferry crossing... Adults = $18 and kids 5-12 = $9  (under 5 are free)
      • Buy your tickets at the dock or online.
        • At the dock, tell the ticket agent you are part of the American Eye Study Club group in order to get the discount
        • ONLINE - use the following promotion codes
          • Adult tickets - "AESC"
          • Children tickets - "gateway"
          • Please note . . .  If buying both adult and children's tickets, you will need to split the purchase into two orders so that the system gives you the right prices.  First, buy the adult tickets, and then go back and buy the children ticket using the appropriate promotional codes.
      • Parking at the Shepler's Ferry (check Shepler's website for details)
        • Park for free in their outdoor lot unsecured lot.
        • Secured parking - $15 per night outside or $30 per night inside (includes drop-off service)

Meeting Registration & Program


As usual, we have basic meeting registration fees for members, spouses/adult guests and kids.  Registration for the meeting is required for individuals attending the conference events, including the social events.  We also have a number of planned group activities.  As a reminder, your Grand Hotel room charge includes breakfast in the hotel dining room daily for everybody staying in your room.  Because of this, we are able to greatly reduce from previous years the meeting registration fees.

REGISTER ONLINE NOW (credit card payments only) 

Download the paper registration in PDF format (for check or credit card payments) - DOWNLOAD HERE

Registration Fee Details
  • Conference Registration (includes group dinners and receptions)
    • Members - $475
    • Spouses and adult guests (age 18 and over) - $375
    • Teenagers (age 13 - 17) - $250
    • Younger kids (age 5 - 12) - $100
    • Children under 5 - No charge
  • Activities -- CLICK HERE for more detailed descriptions
    • Kids Excursions on Wednesday morning (during the spouse book club)
      • Island Bike Expedition for kids age 7 and older -- $25
      • Butterfly Adventure for younger kids -- $15
    • Lighthouse Cruise for families on Wednesday afternoon
      • Adults -- $45
      • Kids age 2 - 12 -- $22
      • Includes round trip ferry from the island to Mackinaw City docks
    • Tennis Tournament on Thursday afternoon
      • $20 per player (includes tennis balls and beverages)
    • Friday Afternoon outings
      • Arch Rock Kayak Tour -- $60 per person
      • Carriage tour of the island -- $30 per person
    • Saturday Morning activities
      • Golf Outing -- $100 per player
      • Non-Golf Outing (Mimosa Croquet) - $15

Program Information

This year's program chair is Brian Welcome.
  • Call for Papers -- The vitality of this conference is directly related to the participation of members.  PLEASE CONSIDER GIVING A TALK!  As a reminder, individual lectures are 8 minutes in length with an additional 7 minutes for discussion and questions.  Members also are encouraged to organize a "mini-symposium" which can be as much as an hour in length.  
  • Meeting Abstracts - view the lecture topics submitted so far 
  • New!  Detailed Program - CLICK HERE

Spouse Book Club

This year, Kim Wiggins has selected "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr.  A winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this New York Times bestseller is about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

As usual, the spouse book club will take place on Wednesday morning right after the family breakfast.  An organized and supervised kids' activity will take place at the same time, so spouses with younger children can still attend the book club.

Other Useful Background and Fun Stuff

Last Updated on Monday, July 20, 2015 01:46 PM