CHELAN, Wash. - For the first time in 90 years, a second ferry service is set to operate on Lake Chelan.
State regulators ruled Thursday that Backcountry Travels LLC met the legal requirements for obtaining a commercial ferry certificate and that the proposed ferry service would benefit the public.
The approval of the ferry service is an initial order and subject to a 20-day review period, officials said.
Backcountry Travels LLC submitted the application for ferry service in August 2018.
Lake Chelan Recreation, Inc., doing business as Lake Chelan Boat Company and Lady of the Lake, had operated an existing commercial passenger ferry service from Chelan to Stehekin since 1929, according to the Utilities and Transportation Commission.
Backcountry Travels, LLC and UTC officials presented the economic growth of the Lake Chelan region as reason the community could support a second ferry.
“As a term of approval, today's order requires Backcountry Travels to cooperate in a staff investigation to ensure that an additional commercial ferry service on Lake Chelan will not result in a reduction in service quality, safety, or availability by either provider,” UTC officials wrote in a news release.
A public comment hearing was held by the UTC on April 22 in Chelan, and the commission said 265 of 269 comments were in favor of the Backcountry Travels LLC application.
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