Bear Lake boating companies, frustrated by a dry marina for the past six years, are anticipating a more prosperous summer.
A 10-year trend of low water levels began to reverse itself in 1995. Now, an above-average snowpack and a wet spring are causing the lake to rise 1 foot every 12 days, said Utah Power hydrologist Carly Burton. By early July, he expects the lake will be 12 feet higher than it was four years ago."We're expecting a banner year," said Ken Hansen, owner of Bear Lake Sails and boat rental services at Rendezvous and Blue Water beaches.
Before this year, boating companies have had to use cranes and tractors to take boaters to the water's edge - a sure way for businesses boasting service and convenience to lose customers.
But all that has changed, evidenced by the few boat slips available for rental.
"In years past, it was pretty easy to find a boat slip," said Mark Johnson, spokesman for Harbor Village Resort and Realty. "This year, there are waiting lists."
Johnson says the higher lake levels aren't drawing just boaters.
Bookings at the resort are up, with the major summer holidays filled for the past six months. Nearby real estate that was selling for $12,000 per lot two years ago is now going for $20,000 or more per lot, Johnson said.