I've spent several weekends in Northern Michigan this spring-- and while it was crowded driving north on Memorial Day weekend, that's the only time there has been traffic that I've seen. The gas prices this last weekend left towns like Charlevoix, East Jordan, Boyne City, Gaylord, Petoskey, etc., somewhat forlorn looking. The weather was decent but there was just no activity.
Tourism doesn't seem to be at the same level in the northern towns which are so gorgeous and thrive on visitors. But the gas prices can't help. And I had others on the phone tell me during the weekend that gas was $3.53 in Syracuse and $3.17 in Nashville. Nice. People don't have the funds to travel en masse to northern Michigan from southern Michigan. Whether it gets more reasonable soon or not will be crucial to many who, as I say, depend on tourism for their livelihoods from golf courses, to restaurants to camp sites to hotels.